Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (August 18 - August 24, 2012)
Jerry Nelson (1934 - 2012) - creator of Sherlock Hemlock, a character from Sesame Street - passed away on Thursday August 23, 2012. I’m working on a full obituary for later (while wearing my Sherlock Hemlock t-shirt I picked up at an American Apparel warehouse sale a few months ago) this weekend but for now watch a few classic Sherlock Hemlock episodes online: “The Case of the Missing Cat” (see if you can catch the reference to “The Giant Gnat of Sumatra”), “Dial ‘M’ for Mother”, and “The Case of the Missing Toast” and be sure to check out Sherlock Hemlock’s exhaustive entry at the wonderfully maintained Muppet Wiki.
[Sesame Street’s only private plush consulting detective Sherlock Hemlock.]
Alistair Duncan in a fascinating and edifying piece speculates on the influence Charles Altamont Doyle - father of ACD - had on (in Mr Duncan’s non-Game playing parlance) “the road to Sherlock Holmes”. First off, how did I not know that ACD’s father’s middle name was “Altamont” (coincidence?!)? Mr Duncan succinctly maps out (in four steps) the role Papa Doyle had in the character and intellectual development of ACD’ and by extension Holmes, concluding ”…it seems pretty unarguable that the failings of Charles Altamont Doyle are what led to the creation of Sherlock Holmes. A tragic figure who suffered from alcoholism, epilepsy and later dementia ultimately triggered the creation of the most self-controlled and logical character in literary history.” Breaking Duncan News: Mr Duncan just posted an image (modled by Sherlockian author Carrie Chandler) of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s booklet designed to accompany their 2012 pilgrimage to Switzerland. Check it out:
[Click on The Swiss Booklet of the SHSL for larger image and more information.]
Baker Street Blog, in what is perhaps one of the most important cinematic developments of 2012, presents Sherlock Holmes vs the Wolf-Man, a long lost Sherlock Holmes film, conceived, directed and edited by Mr Steven Doyle, BSI (“The ‘Western Morning News’”) who was quote: “the preeminent auteur on [his] block.” Briefly: “A Wolfman is on the loose in London. After a grisly murder in an alley, Holmes begins to monitor the situation. Following a second similar murder of an old man in a cemetary, Holmes and Watson decide to take up the case….” Mr Doyle is of course “author of the Edgar-nominated Sherlock Holmes for Dummies and co-proprietor of The Wessex Press. He manages the publishing for The Baker Street Journal and works in video production in his day job.”
[Sherlock Holmes vs The Wolfman - for some reason I can’t find an entry for this on IMDB.]
Dan Andriacco offers up some choice quotes from a 1974 People magazine article on “the early 1970s boom in all things Sherlock [which] was almost as strong as what we’re experiencing today.” I always do a double take when reading lines like this: “Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is not only alive and well in the hearts of his ardent admirers - he has emerged as the most omnipresent literary figure of 1974.“ Being only negative three when the People article appeared, I can only speculate, but part of me pines for the mid-1970s explosion in Sherlockian popularity since it’s catalyst seems to have been the publication and success of Nicholas Meyer’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. Granted a film soon followed but as I understand it the two subsequent re-emergences of Holmes popularity were based on TV shows (c.1985 w/Granada TV’s Jeremy Brett and today’s BBC Sherlock TV show). I have nothing but pure Sherlockian love for Jeremy Brett and also very much enjoy BC on the BBC, but there’s something extra awesome about the written word (a single book!) having ignited the Sherlockian flames. After the present cycle runs it’s course with the inevitable decline in the popularity of the Great Detective, I hope to see a massive resurgence in Sherlock Holmes popularity generated by a book, opposed to another TV adaptation. (End rant.) Also, make sure to read Mr Andriacco full piece for more excellent quotes.
[The book that ‘shot’ Holmes into the pop-culture vein of America!]
Tea at 221B posted a set of preliminary sketches for The Hound of the Baskervilles from my favorite Sherlock Holmes illustrator of all time Frederic Dorr Steele which appear to live at the University of Minnesota Sherlock Holmes/ACD special collections. I was recently reading a short interview with FDS about how he, as is/was typical of professional illustrators back in the day, had thrown most of his Holmes-themed sketches/preliminaries away and that the majority of any existing material was probably owned by Sherlockian legend Dr. Gray Chandler Briggs of St Louis. If you’re interested in some of the history behind Frederic Dorr Steele, Vincent Starrett, Dr Briggs and FDS’s illustrations, check out the Baker Street Journal article “The Wicked Beginnings of a Baker Street Classic!” (BSJ, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Autumn 2007), pp. 6 - 12.) by noted Sherlockian and all around excellent person Ray Betzner, or for an exhaustively erudite and exciting treatment of this and related topics, check out the remarkable ‘Volume 1’ in the BSI Archival History set by Jon Lellenberg: Dear Starrett—”/”Dear Briggs— (co-edited with John Nieminski). I would love to see at least one of these sketches (like this one) show-up as an affordable, high quality print - fund-raising possibility U of Minn?
Quick Sherlock Links:
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere released episode #44 this week and it’s all about the digital comic Holmes adaptation from New Paradigm Studios that’s “a new modern urban re-interpretation of Sherlock Holmes” which is set in Harlem (New York City) where both Holmes and Watson are conceived as African-American. As well as the comic itself, the issue of race in the Canon is discussed, motivated in part by a Baker Street Journal (Vol. 27, No. 3) article by William P. Collins titled “Norbury and Steve Dixie: Holmes and Victorian Racial Attitudes.”
[Click on image for more preview artwork.]
Sherlockology’s presence on Twitter, as was pointed out by @CO_Jeannie on Thursday, now has over 70,000 followers - that’s 7 with four ‘0’s after it! A humongous congratulations to a site that started from scratch and a sincere love for BBC Sherlock and organically grew into the go-to BBC fandom Sherlock site it is today. 70K Sherlock fans can’t be wrong!
Markings in his third of four posts discussing aspects of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “The Final Problem”. “This post is a commentary on the language and techniques through which Doyle conjures the presence of Moriarty and because his Victorian readership was as ignorant of the Professor’s existence as are Watson and Lestrade of the Borgia Pearl.” A long, but worthwhile read.
BBC Sherlock announced - if you don’t know this you probably live under a rock, or at least under a rock with no access to Twitter - the “three words” that will define Season 3 of BBC Sherlock: Rat, Wedding, Bow. How to interpret these is anyone’s guess (but many will try), though various Sherlockians via Twitter have made some intelligent attempts. The Baker Street Babes offer up their own thoughts as well as links to a variety of commenters which represent the spectrum of speculation. Personally, after reading Moffat’s announcement (over 6,000 re-tweets and counting!), my first thought was: rat = “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”, wedding = “The Noble Bachelor” and bow = “His Last Bow”. Time will tell, but the Internet is obsessing big time about it.
Sherlock Peoria’s Brad Keefauver drops some perspective on today’s ‘three word’ mania: “”I love you” got replaced by “rat wedding bow” as the three most important words in the English language for a lot of people today. At least for a time.”
BBC News announces the (re-)rise of the statue of Sherlock Holmes which has been reinstated three years after it was removed to make way for tram works in Picardy Place, at the top of Edinburgh’s Leith Walk.
[Click here or above for some great before/during/after shots of Holmes Edinburgh statue being removed, cleaned and ‘returned’.]
Computer Weekly speculates that if Holmes was seeking employment today, he might throw the old deerstalker into the ‘data scientist’ ring and eek out a living “Managing and analysing large and complex data sets”.
Well-Read Sherlockian reviews Tim Symonds Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer at Scotney Castle from MX, 2012.
221 Baking Geeks presents their recipe for Sherlock Coke Cakes. I need to make a vegan version of these!
Yahoo Answers has a rather completely useless page called: “How does Sherlock Holmes figure out mysteries?” The most promising repose so far is quote: “First off , He’s bad *** and he’s so ******* smart.” I’m guessing it won’t get much better than that either.
Crime Is Common posted this great shot of Jeremy Brett as Holmes in The Adventure of the Dancing Men, one of the most visually intriguing Granada episodes due to the understated but clever use of animation.
[Abe Slaney’s code didn’t stand a chance.]
Tea Rose made this absolutely marvelous animated GIF of Jeremy Brett from Granada’s adaptation of “The Naval Treaty” - an episode/story that contains many memorable scenes and lines including both ‘the rose’ speech as well as this image of Holmes chilling-out before putting his ingenious plan into action meant to catch the thief of the so-called Naval Treaty. I’ve said this before on Always1895, but one day I hope to own a suit as similar to Holmes’ NAVA suit as possible.
[Click for larger, more animated version of JB in his all white country suit.]