Howard Ostrom, a Sherlockian based out of Florida known primarily for his massive and unique collection of autographed photos of actors who have played Holmes and Watson in one form or another (eg. film, TV, radio, theater, etc.), has of late been writing quite a few essays on a variety of Sherlock-related topics. A few months ago he teamed-up with Ray Wilcockson to research the virtually unknown history of African-American performers playing the Great Detective - a line of inquiry inspired by the discovery of a one reel silent film titled The Tale of a Chicken (1914) - culminating in the three part essay “Voices From the Darkness: African-America & Sherlock Holmes" (2013). His latest essay series is based on extensive research into silent Sherlock Holmes films seeking to answer questions like "Who were these Si-locks? What of the titles they appeared in? How did they come about?" The first part of "Silent Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes and the Silent Film Era" spans the years 1900 to 1908, beginning with the one minute Mutoscope film familiar to many Sherlockians titled Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900) - and thanks to Sherlockian Michael Pointer's rediscovery of the film in 1968, you can view this remarkable piece of Sherlockian and Film history here. (On a related note, Michael Pointer wrote three excellent Sherlock books, my favorite being the ridiculously oversized (12” height) The Pictorial History of Sherlock Holmes (1991).) Ostrom catalogues twelve films in total, all made before 1913 though many are sadly lost to us forever. Follow @HowardOstrom on Twitter to receive future updates.
[A still from the Mutoscope film Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900).]
Sherlock Peoria recounts his recent adventure watching episodes of the new Russian Sherlock Holmes (2013) TV series without English subtitles, a feat I also attempted: “…it’s been quite a puzzling experience. Sherlock Holmes has always been about words for us, if you think about it, and suddenly being deprived of any words at all is quite strange. You find yourself going, “I think this is The Sign of the Four … but it’s obviously not.” I like the look of the series, though the Sherlock Holmes is another one of our recent “Sherlocks who don’t look like Sherlock.” The Watson is very good, but Watson has always been a bit easier to capture on film.” The Russian Sherlock Holmes TV series premiered this past November (16 episodes to date) and stars Igor Petrenko as Sherlock Holmes and the late Andrei Panin - the actor was found dead with a head injury in his Moscow apartment in March of 2013 - as Doctor John Watson. The show is set in Victorian London and has a gritty, realistic feel that doesn’t shy from the seedier, less picturesque side of late-19th/early 20th century urban life. As frustrating as watching the episodes are sans subtitles, I look forward to being able to properly immerse myself in this new and exciting adaptation. If you’re up for the challenge, all the Russian Sherlock episodes are available on YouTube or Russia.tv. For another perspective on the series plus extensive reviews, check out the Baker Street Babes.
[The final scene from Episode 02 of the Russian Sherlock - an obvious homage to the original - and totally brilliant - Russian Sherlock adaptation The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (1979-1986).]
Baker Street Babes released ‘Episode 47: The Game (Is On!)’ wherein “Curly, Maria, Taylor, & Ardy sat down with some of the team behind Sherlock: The Game Is On to learn how it started and to try and solve the puzzle of how such a collaborative project of this size even works.” After listening to the Babes talk to the game’s creators, make sure to watch the Making of Sherlock: the Game Is On video for further information as well as a wealth of game previews, graphics and artwork. Other Sherlock-themed games discussed include Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Board Game and the Xbox, Playstation and PC Sherlock Holmes series from Frogwares, the latest offering being Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments.
[Opening screen for the fan-created video game Sherlock: the Game Is On - a cute looking, crime solving puzzle role playing game based on BBC Sherlock.]
Doyleockian reflects on the recent rumblings of the so-called ‘fandom that waited' noting that the original Sherlock fandom had to wait a decade to find out what happened between events in “The Final Problem" (1893) ending with Sherlock’s apparent death at the bottom of the Reichenbach and "The Empty House" (1903) - of course The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901) was published after LAST but it’s stressed that the Dartmoor adventure occurred before FINA. Alistair Duncan suggests we “spare a thought for the fans of Sherlock Holmes in 1893. When they picked up their copy of The Strand in December and read Watson’s summing up of the conflict between Holmes and Moriarty they went through emotions very similar to those of today’s teens to twenty-somethings (and older). But what they didn’t have was a closing scene of Holmes watching Watson from afar - very much alive. The Victorian fans of Holmes were not going to get that scene for ten years. It puts the wait for Sherlock into perspective doesn’t it?” As much flack as Moffat receives for making BBC Sherlock fans wait nearly two years to find out what happened after events in The Reichenbach Fall, it doesn’t compare to the sheer heartlessness of ACD who left Strand readers adrift thinking that Holmes died along with Professor Moriarty. So Duncan drops the gauntlet asking: “Could you modern fans even conceive of such a wait for a mere temporary return? Judging by the internet most of the newer fans of Holmes are struggling with a mere quarter of that wait.”
[My homage to “The Strandom That Waited.”]
The Stranger delivered up a very knowledgeable review of the Seattle Repertory Theatre's production of The Hound of the Baskervilles: “After the nightmarish opening sequence, in which a man is pursued and devoured by a hellhound on a misty moor, Kennan initiates the comedy, and the rest of the play keeps it rolling in ways that are direct or indirect. Even the dead-serious themes and concerns of the play—such as trying to capture a killer, protect the innocent, and separate the natural (true) from the supernatural (untrue)—become funny. Once Holmes’s seriousness is undone by traces of comedy, the entire culture Conan Doyle’s novel represents is undone, and we can’t help but chuckle at a society that had complete faith in progress, saw women as soft in the head, believed that the shape of a man’s cranium corresponded with his intellectual abilities, and saw wars for resources and markets as an honorable civilizing mission in the long march of history.” I wish NYC was a little closer to Seattle so I could check out this adaptation of HOUN.
[Info on The Hound of the Baskervilles from the Seattle Repertory Theatre which runs from November 15 to December 15, 2013.]
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere marks the passing on November 8, 2013 of Sherlockian Jerry Wachs, BSI (“Sir James Saunders”) with a set of memories related by fellow BSI and friend Jerry Margolin. I’ve copied just one to this post but make sure to read all of Margolin’s remembrances: “Jerry was a collector of Sherlockiana. His particular specialty was Sherlockian lapel pins; he had the largest collection in the world. I think it got up to over 1,000 pins and it covered every aspect of the world of Sherlock Holmes. Like most of us, he was very social, very well liked by all who knew him and was very well respected.” Jerry Wachs full obituary can be found here, but some essentials include: “Gerald N. “Jerry” Wachs, M.D. died on Nov. 8, 2013, in New York, at age 76. Jerry had many accomplishments in his life, but none more important than his four children…He was also the treasured grandfather to six beautiful grandchildren and [a] loving brother…Dr. Wachs was responsible for the FDA’s approval of over 20 new drug applications…an avid collector who was most proud of his 19th-Century first edition English poetry collection…a life master in bridge…He was the constant companion of Gail Postal for the past 19 years. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.” Posts like this also serve as a reminder to make the most of the time we have with Sherlockian friends young and old - particularly when, due to distance and obligations, those times are scattered over months and years.
[Remembering Sherlockians, gone but not forgotten.]
Sherlock.Everywhere - the Tumblr site of IHOSE - re-posted this imaginary cover from a site that imagines “the greatest team-ups that never happened…but should have.” From the creator of the Super-Team Family…The Lost Issues: “These two shared a story in Detective Comics #572, and I have always wanted to see them together again. It’s great to see Sherlock Holmes getting so mach attention these days. I enjoyed the Robert Downey Jr. films, they were fun if a bit splashy for Holmes. Elementary has grown on me as well, an interesting spin on the Watson/Holmes story. My favorite current Holmes incarnation is on the BBC’s Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect in the role of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Still, no actor has ever topped Jeremy Brett in my mind when it comes to playing the world’s most famous sleuth.” Here here.
[Sherlock and Batman team-up in an issue that never was…but should have been.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Telly Visions discusses the recent two hour documentary How Sherlock Changed the World (2013), scheduled to premiere on PBS December 17 which “will explore the real-world impact of history’s most famous fictional detective, including the effect that Holmes has had on the development of real forensic and investigative techniques, and will feature noted forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee.”
[I’ve been looking forward to seeing the How Sherlock Changed the World documentary since first hearing about it.]
Empire Magazine features an exclusive photoshoot in their latest issue with BBC Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss shot on the 221B set. Also, click here for Empire Magazine's piece on BBC Sherlock's Season 3 trailer: “The revelation that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes is alive is a surprise to exactly no one who saw the end of The Reichenbach Fall (or to those who noticed that the show’s title has not suddenly switched to 'Watson'). But to those in the universe of the show, it’s going to come as an almighty shock, one that we doubt will be greeted with total joy when they discover the wool that has been pulled over their eyes.”
[Moffat and Gatiss chillaxin at 221B for their Empire magazine photoshoot. ]
Sherlockology announced the UK air dates for BBC Sherlock Season 3, Episode 1: “The long awaited day has finally arrived. Sherlock Series Three will air in the UK from January 1 2014. With a suitable degree of theatricality, the BBC today confirmed the premiere airdate for Sherlock Series Three in the UK through the medium of an empty hearse, flowers announcing the date that the Great Detective will return to life and grace our screens once again.” Americans will of course have to wait until January 19, 2014 - the last day of BSI Weekend - to officially see how Holmes survives his dive off of St Barts and how Watson reacts to the return of his missing roommate.
The Final Problem pointed out that someone must have “finally told John that web counters are so 1998” - the evidence being that The Personal Blog Dr John H Watson no longer possesses a hit counter perpetually displaying always 1895.
The Baz - a site for all things Rathbone-related - in their Sunday Pics #13 feature posted a few screenshots of Basil Rathbone as the Great Detective in the classic The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), a film which I just re-watched as part of my Thanksgiving break Sherlock movie marathon.
[Vintage Rathbone as Holmes in the 1939 film The Hound of the Baskervilles, the first in the series of 14 movies starring Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Dr Watson.]
The Daintiest Thing Under a Bonnet, just announced via the Baker Street Babes website, that Sherlockian and actor Curtis Armstrong will MC the charity ball: “This year, we are delighted to announce that our cosplay/noir/Victorian costume competition prize will be awarded by no less lovely a Sherlockian than Mr. Curtis Armstrong! You’ve seen this fabulous gentleman as Tom Cruise’s best friend in Risky Business, and he’s appeared in nearly fifty films more films, including Revenge of the Nerds, Better off Dead, Dodgeball, Akeelah and the Bee, Ray, and most recently, Sparkle. He’s the charming co-host of TBS’s reality show King of the Nerds, and you can also catch him on New Girl, The Closer, and Supernatural.” And for those unaware, Booger from Revenge of the Nerds is also a Sherlockian of some renown! You can follow Mr Armstrong on Twitter. Tickets for the Ball are still available here.
In thanks to all of you who follow us & in honor of reaching two rather big numbers, we’re giving away a signed pair of the Sherlock Original Soundtrack! They are both signed by composers Michael Price and David Arnold (originally these were for the raffle at SherlockeDCC, but we couldn’t get them to San Diego in time, so they’ve just kinda been chilling, waiting to be loved).
To enter, fill in the form at http://bit.ly/BSB25k19k by December 7th!
He took up his violin from the corner, and as I stretched myself out he began to play some low, dreamy, melodious air,—his own, no doubt, for he had a remarkable gift for improvisation. I have a vague remembrance of his gaunt limbs, his earnest face, and the rise and fall of his bow. then I seemed to be ﬂoated peacefully away upon a soft sea of sound, until I found myself in dream-land…
Oh, Arwel Wyn Jones, how you love to torment us. XD
In A Scandal in Belgravia Molly Hooper doesn’t actually say what her job position is instead she says:
“I’ve seen much worse but then I do post-mortems”
The most likely explanation is that Molly is a histopathologist. They are the doctors who normally do all the port-mortems and…
This is so interesting!
NOPE NOPE NOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOP
AND DOCTOR WHO
The Sherlock bits. And the music. What. Lyndsay can’t. Lyndsay is 1000% done with life on Earth. Also giggling. What even is this magical promo.
"And all the fun we haaaaaad last yeeeear…"
Simultaneously laughing and crying at BBC Christmas advert
Clip of Sherlock opening door plays at the line “BABY PLEASE COME HOOOOOOOoooOOOMEEEE!”
John lying in bed looking despondent “I REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE HERE”
John looking on in horror as Sherlock jumps off St. Barts “AND ALL THE FUN WE HAD”
No, seriously, Lyndsay is ugly laughing. What have they done.
Would have killed to see this live.