Christopher Lee turned an impressive 90 years old this past week. The Huffington Post published an article re: Lee’s birthday and epic career - so happy birthday to the actor that has played everybody awesome (basically)! In the Sherlockian world, Lee played Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962) and then many years later as a ‘retiring’ Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991) and Incident at Victoria Falls (1992) - and Lee even played Mycroft Holmes once in Wilder’s masterful The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970).
[Have you birthday drink Sir Christopher Lee!]
Christopher Morley Park is, if all goes as planned, where I will be this weekend. I had no idea there even was such a park. I was searching for Sherlockian sites of interest for a weekend trip to Long Island, NY and instead of finding Christopher Morley’s old house, I found a park that has been named in his honor which also contains his old writing cabin (called the Knothole, cf. image below). Expect a full report next week!
[Chris Morley’s old writing hut, the ‘Knothole’, now residing at Christopher Morley Park in Long Island, NY.]
The Guardian announced the good news many Sherlockians and Holmesians have been hoping to hear: Undershaw Saved! Summarizing the plot up to now: “In 2010, Waverley Borough Council decided to allow the owner, Fossway Ltd, to divide up the property. Campaigners [read Save Undershaw] trying to save the house as a single entity launched a judicial review, and have now won their case at the high court in London. Mr Justice Cranston said legal flaws meant that the council’s decisions to grant planning permission and listed building consent must be quashed.” (I assume “quashed” is an arcane British legal term?) So this is all good news right? Sadly yet predictably the ‘losers’ (Bryn Morgan, a councillor responsible for planning at Waverley council) in the case made the fairly ominous prediction: “Sadly, the decision by the high court places the future of the building back in doubt once again. The poor condition of the building will now only get worse a result of this decision.” Sounds more like a threat than an objective prediction. For further details check out the solicitor’s article on the case here.
[Undershaw today. Photo from Save Undershaw.]
Ribbonrain, someone I don’t know on Livejournal, has a post entitled “Leonard Nimoy artical and pictures of him as Sherlock Holmes stage performance”. The writer’s English might not be perfect, but for those of you that don’t know about one of the greatest Sherlockian ’secrets’, check out all these wonderful pictures/article scans of Spock Leonard Nimoy as the Great Detective - a match-up that’s always seemed very ‘logical’, opposed to say Charlton Heston playing Holmes (even if Jeremy Brett was his #2 in the Los Angeles stage production of The Crucifer of Blood). Click the teaser image below for more images of Captain Kirk’s BFF in the role of Sherlock Holmes. (P.S. Since I’m not sure how long this post can exist on LiveJournal I’ve decided to add the four hi-res scans to my Always1895 image account starting with http://twitpic.com/9r1kex - for posterity!)
[A match made in heaven!!]
Kieran McMullen, speaking of slightly off-color Holmes portrayals, takes a look at They Might Be Giants star Joanne Woodward who is a doctor and whose last name just happens to be “Watson”. First off, if you haven’t seen They Might Be Giants (1971), I chastise you then implore you to sit down and watch it (TMBG was added to Netflix streaming a few weeks ago). OK, now that we’ve all seen it I’m wondering why it’s actually taken this long for Mr McMullen to include it in his ‘Many Watsons’ series? In a way, the timing is perfect because it’s yet another chance to remind the world that, contrary to what is becoming popular belief, Lucy Lui is/was not the first female Watson! It’s debatable if Joanne Woodward is the first truly female Watson, but nitpicking aside, she’s a fantastic and clever and vivacious sidekick to Sherlock Holmes, or at least a deluded man who is pretending to be Sherlock Holmes in 1970s NYC. This film blew my mind in so many wonderful ways. Lyndsay Faye, in her now infamous ‘Open Apology To CBS‘ on why Sherlockians mistrust CBS’s Elementary, started of by discussing TMBG: “for all its Sherlockian iconography, isn’t a Sherlock Holmes reimagining. In fact it’s a Don Quixote pastiche, and an admirable one - it’s about defying reality when reality is too grim or too dull or too heartbreaking, about falling in love with heroism and refusing to be told that the world no longer needs justice served up by brilliant vigilantes.”
Baker Street Babes released their 27th podcast: “On New Year’s Day 2012, a facebook post stopped The Baker Street Babes in their tracks. Amanda Abbington was asking how to become a Baker Street Babe. After we recovered (it took some time), we began a delightful conversation with Amanda about Sherlock and beyond. After a few months of schedule dancing, work, school, and New Zealand, The Babes and Amanda were finally able to meet up and what you’re about to listen to and read is what came of it.” Kind of cool. Much better than the time a guy who looked like Mark Gatiss asked me for a cigarette.
[Proof that this is not a weird elaborate hoax!]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Sherlock Quotes - in celebration of the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee (that’s 60 years!) - posted one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes quotes ever. I of course mean the one about the quartering of Old Glory and the Union Jack and the bygone blundering of monarchs and ministers. God Save the Queen!
[Sherlock: “It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.” (NOBL)]
Alistair Duncan on the anti-Undershaw backlash: “This was not just a fight about saving a home of one of our country’s greatest writers. It was wider than that.” Here here!
Barefoot on Baker Street’s take on the Undershaw Victory. “A massive “well done” to the Undershaw team and all those who supported them.” Three cheers!
These Books Are Older Than You posted an excellent collection of obscure or foreign (non-English) The Hound of the Baskervilles covers. Click the image for the full set:
[Der Hund von Baskerville]
A Case of Witchcraft considers what the Preface to the second edition of one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes pastiches should be. If you haven’t read Joe Revill’s excellent A Case of Witchcraft on MX, pick it up today!
Better Holmes & Gardens reflects on one of my favorite characters in the canon Reginald Musgrave (from “The Musgrave Ritual”).
Re: Sherlock posted a piece entitled ‘The Man Who “Bested” Sherlock Holmes’ about the very early Holmes ‘pastiche’ by Joseph Baron. Swedish Sherlockiand Mattias Bostrum BSI has been doing a lot of interesting research into ACD and I look forward to reading the fruit of his labour one day soon!
Macleans.ca posted an article entitled: ‘Sherlock’s cliffhanger has viewers stumped’ about the internet’s micro-obsession with figuring out how Holmes pulled it and/or what the elusive clue (cf. below) is that Moffat and crew placed in the “The Reichenbach Fall”: “Though the sequences that reveal how Sherlock Holmes survived were filmed at the same time as the cliffhanger, the participants remain mum. All Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of Masterpiece, which co-produced Sherlock, will acknowledge is that “there is definitely a clue” in the final episode.”
Russian Sherlock Parody is a kind of amazing Russian SNL-style skit that features/lampoons Russian Sherlock’s Vasily Livanov (Sherlock Holmes) and Vitaly Solomin (Dr. Watson) along with Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. “I need to look at everything with my subtitled gaze” really takes the cake though! (Thanks Howard Ostrom for the tip!!)
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