Friday, March 4, 2022

That time when something more is needed

 This month brought a moment that was a little sad, but a familiar part of Sherlockian life, nonetheless.

Good old Three Patch Podcast, the massive once-a-month dose of fannish thoughts, has made the hard choice to shake up their format, and with it, move to less Sherlock-centered content in general. They've been moving in that direction for a while now, as BBC Sherlock recedes in our rear-view mirrors, and the choice makes sense, as the pace of new media content featuring Sherlock Holmes slows. And Three Patch has always been good with whatever topics they've chosen each month.

This is the point where someone needing to bolster their own fragile ego might be going, "Well, they weren't real fans after all, now, were they?" We've seen those guys before, for sure. And we've also seen the part where Sherlockians run out of road at mile marker "60" before, too. Conan Doyle only gave us so many stories. BBC only gave us so many episodes. We run dry of Granada. Downey can't seem to get to another movie. And after watching "Holmes and Watson" about a dozen times, well, even there a guy just has to eventually move on. We're fans, not maniacs.

Some transitions get a little more kindly treatment than others by some. If a Sherlockian's focus suddenly turns Doylean, they get a little bit of a pass. If they turn to Victorian history and become a fan of London's sewer system in the late nineteenth century, they're still acceptable if an occasional reference to the Canon is made. But sometimes, Sherlockians are good enough at what they do that they can still do that thing without keeping one hand on Holmes. How many authors have had a first novel featuring Sherlock Holmes, then moved on to their own characters? Three Patch podcast falls into that category: Creators whose abilities let them expand outside our little pond, rather than doubling, tripling, or quadrupling down inside it. 

We all take the path which suits us best. After forty years at this, I've seen some great Sherlockians disappear from the radar for career or family pursuits for a decade or two, only to return as grand as ever. I've disappeared from certain circles myself for years at a time, and been welcomed back while thinking "I didn't really go anywhere . . ." In this month's podcast on their new future, the Three Patch crew said they'd be back when new Sherlocks were stirring comment, and I've listened long enough to know that day will come. 

The little sad I have at Three Patch's honest statement of their course change is basically a sad at the passing of the 2010s. We had a great surge of Sherlockian spirit and Sherlock Holmes content, along with the new Sherlockians that come with such a surge, that we hadn't seen since the seventies or eighties. But we aren't done. None of us are ever done, even when we're finally done, as new lovers of Sherlock Holmes come along to pick up the torch and carry it forward.

So while I may not be listening to quite as much Three Patch Podcast as I was in their more Sherlock-centered days, I'll be keeping an ear open for episodes that hit my fannish sweet spots until they return to our favorite duo. 

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