“Sherlock” Special Trailers and Information

THIS IS COMPLETELY SPOILERY, SO YE BEEN WARNED!!!!!!!!!

Well, it’s almost time: the BBC “Sherlock” stand alone special is nearly upon us! Personally, my jury is still so out on this whole idea, but I hope that — worst case scenario — the costumes and setting will be spectacular. 😀 I mean, it’s still Holmes and Watson, solving crime and stuff, so … but yeah, nope. I’m in the noping phase right now.

Most Important Infomation: January 1: “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride” will air on BBC One in the U.K. and PBS in the U.S.

Many cities are offering the episode in movie theaters, so if that is your jam, be on the look out for that!

The BBC’s news release reads:

Dr John Watson, meet Mr Sherlock Holmes.

We’ve been here before – but what if this wasn’t the modern day but the late Victorian period? What if the world’s most famous consulting detective and his best friend lived in a Baker Street of steam trains, hansom cabs, top hats and frock-coats? [Chat note: THEY DO LIVE IN A WORLD OF VICTORIANA, YOU BUFOONS. YOUR TV SHOW IS THE AU HERE.]

Welcome to ‘Sherlock’ in 1895!

Some things, though, remain reassuringly the same. Friendship, adventure and especially, MURDER…Why is Thomas Ricoletti a little surprised to see his wife dressed in her old wedding gown? Because, just a few hours before, she took her own life…

Mrs Ricoletti’s ghost now appears to be prowling the streets with an unslakeable thirst for revenge. From fog-shrouded Limehouse to the bowels of a ruined church, Holmes, Watson and their friends must use all their cunning to combat an enemy seemingly from beyond the grave and the final, shocking truth about… the Abominable Bride!

For your viewing pleasure, if you have not seen these:

When words do fail…

Friends,

Yesterday, November 13, 2015, France suffered an unbelievably horrific attack. We all know that our beloved Sherlock Holmes has French roots, and there are robust scions and fan groups in France. Our hearts are broken over these hideous events. Thank goodness, our comrades at  are well, at least physically. For that, we are so grateful.

Last night, this list of organizations and agencies was posted on AJC.com. I believe that all of these are fully legitimate and they have boots on the ground in France. As I learn more, I will update this list:

Donate to Doctors Without Borders

Donate to the French Red Cross (in French)

Donate to Restaurants du Cœur, which provides food to those in need (in French)

Donate to Secours Populaire Français, an aid organization

Donate to Solidarités International, an aid organization

Everyone, be well and stay safe. We are going to have our little Tweetalong tomorrow (11/15/2015) to hopefully give everyone something fun and entertaining to do. A little Holmesian diversion might be quite nice right now.

~Chat

Chat in the City: A Holmesy Reflection on New York Comic Con

20151010_114914_22183762101_oSo, as many Twitter followers noticed this weekend, I attended New York Comic Con at the Javits Center in Manhattan. It was beyond incredible on so many levels, but I certainly enjoyed all of the Holmesian aspects. Here’s an overview with a skew towards Holmes, but if there’s anything you have questions about, feel free to ask!

20151010_163020_21985720738_oMy first goal on Friday was to make the “Elementary” panel at 1:30 p.m. This year, some panels were actually held off-site at the Hammerstein Ballroom, so I was slightly nervous about 1) finding the place and 2) getting there in time to get in and get a good seat. I got down to the city early-ish, and got to walk around the main exhibitor room for a bit before we hoofed it to the Hammerstein. Because I love Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu very much, I endured about 20 minutes of the “Adventure Time” panel in order to be able to rush for a front seat. As those fans started to shuffle out after the end of that panel, I did the wiggle-smush dance to get up front. I don’t hit or push, but I do shimmy, slide and squish! I managed to get my friends and me up to the fourth row, on the aisle, so I had a straight, unobstructed view of the stage.

Nutshell: Jonny Lee Miller is not only fit af, he is charming and warm and lovely about the fans.

Nutshell: Lucy Liu is straight up gorgeous and elegant, and she is passionate about the show. She also wears insane shoes.

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The ballroom was packed, and that was pretty awesome. Everyone was screamy and excitable, so it was fun. They showed a longer trailer for season 4 first, and then the gang came out: JLM, LL, John Noble (Father Holmes) and Rob Doherty (show creator/runner). The moderator was pretty good (no where near as side-splittingly awesome as the “X-Files” mod, but that’s another story), but the real treat was how thoughtful and sincere the panelists’ responses were. It was apparent to me that the actors really cared about the work and the show, and as a fan, that was just thrilling. JLM stopped the moderator before he opened it up for Q&A to say a few words of appreciation for the fans in attendance and the fan support in general. I was really impressed.

The best moment of the Q&A was when a girl (who was seated right in front of me, actually) got up to the mic and said that, when she watched other Sherlock Holmes shows, Holmes seemed rather inhuman, but JLM brought actual human warmth to the role. The audience went ballistic, as did I, but unfortunately there were all the people in line for the mic and I couldn’t see JLM’s reaction. JLM talked about the humanity that was embedded in ACD’s work, and again, the crowd went wild with approval. It was a great affirmation for me that “Elementary” is as valid an interpretation of Canon as any other televised fan fic, and it’s in no way “”faux-Holmes” or any other such nonsense. I’ll revisit this irritation later in the narrative, but suffice it to say that we were all just a bit more in love with JLM.

After the panel was over, I went back to do some Sherlockian shopping. One of my primary goals every year I attend is commission an artist to draw me a Holmes. It’s a perfect memento for me, as I go weak in the knees for talented artists. Here are two of my faves from Comic Cons past:

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I dragged my poor crew up and down the rows of Artists Alley, searching for the One.

20151013_081220_22183766651_o20151013_081124_21552458533_oI found these treasures (left), and then looked to the right of that artist and noticed a very gifted fellow. And he was offering commissions for what I considered a reasonable price. HaiNaNu “nooligan” Saulque couldn’t have been more charming, and he seemed genuinely thrilled to be asked to draw Holmes! My caveat to all artists is that I do NOT want them to draw a recognizable actor as Holmes. I don’t want Basil Rathbone (even if he’s my spirit animal), I don’t want Jeremy Brett (even though he’s possibly my fave) and I damn well don’t want Cumberbatch, because he is [REDACTED] everywhere. I always ask them to create their own version of Sherlock Holmes — whatever he looks like to them. That’s how I’ve wound up with the most gorgeous collection of original Holmesian artwork (if I do say so mahself)!

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Anyhoo, nooligan asked if I minded that his Holmes was more old school-deerstalker Holmes; I said newp, not at all. I then left him to his work, and continued shopping. When I picked up my nooligan!Holmes the next day, I was over the moon! Isn’t it lovely?

20151009_174038_22146089631_oI next found “Moriarty,” a graphic novel by Daniel Corey, with artwork by Anthony Diecidue and Mike Vosburg. Corey was very nice, and while I am relatively disinterested in autographs, I enjoyed getting him.

The next Sherlockian purchase was one of the more interesting exchanges of the weekend. I came across Tom Richmond, who drew that classic line up of Sherlock Holmes portrayals. Now, normally, this is exactly the kind of art I do not want, but eh, it was there and the artist was going to sign it. And frankly, if it’s Holmesian, that means I’m highly likely to buy.

As I was completing the purchase, I asked him, “So, are you going to do another draft of this to add Jonny Lee Miller?” And he said something along the lines of “Oh no, why would I do that?”

Me: Well, many of us really enjoy “Elementary.”

Him: Oh no, I spoke with real Sherlockians before I made this. No one wanted JLM on the poster. A lot of people don’t like the show. You either love it or hate it.

Me: Well, I speak with a lot of real Sherlockians too, and a WHOLE LOT OF THEM LIKE JLM.

I’m strongly considering a #hashtag campaign. 😀

20151009_115343_21513128104_oDuring my meanderings, I also bought the “Sherlock” Funko dolls because science. I got a strange little sticker/cling thing, but again, it was Holmesian so it done got bought. All in all, I had a very lovely (if expensive) Sherlocky time at NYCC!20151013_081332_21985727158_o20151013_081012_22160871492_o

The only big thing I did that was non-Holmesian was attend “The X-Files” panel. That literally knocked my socks off. It was  ah-maha-zing. Amazeballs. Unreal. They were super on top of keeping people from recording the episode, so I have no vids, but if you want any spoilers, I’m happy to dish. After they screened the entire ep, David Duchovny, Mitch Pileggi and Chris Carter came out for about a 20-30 minute panel talk. It was crazy awesome. I took a little video of that, after I was sure the Men in Black weren’t going to pounce on me.20151010_102735_21550731864_o

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be attending next year, because I absolutely adore this con. It’s not too big, so you can move and actually see what you want to see. NYCC is just precious, and a great event to look forward to. If you attend next year, let’s do a real Holmesian/AitB meetup!    

A Modest Review of William Gillette’s “Sherlock Holmes”

sherlock-holmes-william-gilletteOh wow, what a night!

Yesterday (Saturday, September 19, 2015), a group of Holmesians who are affiliated with my local scion traveled to Connecticut to attend a screening of the recently recovered 1916 William Gillette “Sherlock Holmes” silent film.

But we weren’t going to see the film at some random movie theater — oh no! We went to Gillette Castle, where the Friends of Gillette Castle were going to screen the film in the visitors center. Honestly, how perfect?

We gathered at the home of two very hospitable Holmesians to have drinks and nibbles prior to the show, which was just a lovely way to kick off the event. From there, we headed off to the state park.

20150919_164423Prior to the presentation, we were treated to delicious little sandwiches and local wine. We attended the 5 p.m. screening, and I was told after the event that all six shows this weekend (5 and 7 p.m., Friday through Sunday) were sold out. Congratulations to the Friends! The evening was beautiful, and it was possible to glimpse the castle through the trees. Unfortunately, the tours for the castle were over, but I’ve visited before and it is very interesting. Apparently, Gillette was a super cat lover (having 17 or so?) and parts of the castle were designed to be cat-friendly. Obviously, I knew then that Gillette was a superior human being, beyond Holmes and whatever. 😉

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Gillette impersonators Tyke and Teddie Niver were on hand to greet everyone and pose for pictures — they are so fun.

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Prior to watching the film, the Nivers gave a bit of the backstory, and then told us about their trip to San Francisco for the film’s premier. It sounded like they had a smashing time.  20150919_165930

Now, regarding the film: Here be spoilers. One non-spoiler: I thought it was beyond charming on so many levels. Onto the spoilers. Do not read any more if you want to see this movie with zero plot awareness.

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George Boole = Professor Moriarty Y/Y?

220px-George_Boole_colorIt’s not even that I’m fully persuaded by the argument. I’m just completely in love with the drive these folks have to get everyone to know who George Boole was, and the contributions he made in the fields of mathematics and philosophy.

‘If the Boole-Moriarty link can be established, then every literate person on the planet will know about George Boole too’ ~ Prof. Des MacHale

I think their logic is sound: “Those crazy kids have been talking about the Napoleon of Crime for AGES, so maybe we can hook ’em, right?!” And you know what? I’m hooked. Now I know a little bit about George Boole, and I’d like to watch the documentary described at the end of the article. I’m completely on board with this! I’ve gone all pink! I’m waving the banner!

He’s quite dashing, isn’t he? Almost as dashing as that Moriarty from the burlesque show in D.C. 😉

Read the full article HERE!

Understanding the Undershaw Debate/Debacle

800px-Undershaw2010I don’t know about you, but I’ve found the whole business surrounding the “preservation” and/or “restoration” of Undershaw (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hindhead home) a bit confusing.

In some cases, I’m getting the feeling that some of it is obfuscation. That’s another story for another time. It’s important, I believe, to know exactly what is going on before you choose to offer support to any cause. Everyone should go into the situation with clear eyes.

So I thought I’d lay out what’s what (as far as I can tell), according to an article posted yesterday on the Get Surrey website.

The headline reads, “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Undershaw home: Permission granted for judicial review into school redevelopment.” Here’s how this seems to break down:

1897: ACD designs and builds Undershaw for his first wife, Louise, as she recovers from TB. There, he gets his write on, producing The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Return of Sherlock Holmes among others.

1924- 2004: Undershaw is repurposed as a hotel and restaurant.

2007: The Victorian Society applies to have Undershaw awarded a Grade I listing, as a protective measure.  The application is rejected by the Secretary of State for the Environment, who said Conan Doyle was not a ‘literary great’ like Jane Austen. The Holmesian world growls.

2009: Undershaw is earmarked for conversion into 11 flats. The Holmesian world wails.

2012: Campaigners triumph, and Undershaw is not turned into a slew of flats. The Holmesian world cheers.

2014: The David Forbes-Nixon foundation purchases Undershaw. The foundation receives full planning permission to convert the home into a school for children with a range of disabilities, called Stepping Stones School. Heritage campaigners, led by John Gibson of the Undershaw Preservation Trust, mount a vigorous defence.

I emphasize the word “convert,” because the foundation seems to be making substantial and drastic changes to the property. The Undershaw Preservation Trust’s home page features a collection of anonymous quotes speaking about the wretchedness of the changes already made. Now, I appreciate why people wouldn’t want to sign their name to these comments. However, I want to see some evidence. I did a quick Googling, and I couldn’t find actual pictures of the hideous side extension or any of the other elements I’ve heard described. It sounds pretty awful, but I’d really like to know more specifics.

July 14, 2015: Mr. Gibson appeals for a judicial review into the planning permission granted to the foundation. It is rejected.

August 11, 2015: Mr. Gibson has a further oral hearing in front one Mr. Justice Singh, who granted permission to mount a full judicial review challenge.

In the Get Surrey article, a representative for the David Forbes-Nixon foundation is quoted as saying, “It is unclear what Mr Gibson now hopes to achieve with this latest attempt to block our development. All the demolitions are complete, the foundations and retaining walls in place, the hydrotherapy pool under construction and the steel frame for the new extension being put in place.”

So that’s what we know has already been done to Undershaw.

The more you know…

 

 

 

‘[T]he late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory:’ A Q & A With Leah Moore

TNSoSDejahIrene02CovAAnacletoLeah Moore has written scores of excellent comic books, often co-authoring them with her husband, John Reppion. They’ve created Doctor Who – The Whispering Gallery, The Trial of Sherlock Holmes and have a contribution in the collection, In the Company of Sherlock Holmes. Just last week, the final issue of her Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler mini-series (within the larger work, “Swords of Sorrow”) was published, and I’ll have a review of all three up later this week. Despite being terribly busy, Moore was kind enough to answer a few (hundred) questions for us!

First, thank you so much for doing this Q and A!

LM: Thanks for having me!

Obviously, there are about a thousand questions I could and should ask you, but since this is for a website devoted to Sherlock Holmes, I am going to zero in on your work with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters.

It appears to me that your first published Holmesian comic outing was 2009’s “Trial of Sherlock Holmes,” published by Dynamite Entertainment and co-written with John Reppion. (If I’m wrong, please please set me straight!).

How did you become involved with this project? Had you ever written Holmes before?

LM: We’d never written Holmes before, but we were always huge fans of the character in all his incarnations. We had just finished adapting Bram Stoker’s Dracula into a big canonical graphic novel with missing text restored, and notes, and lots of very intense research, and so we were already in a Victorian frame of mind. Dynmite asked if we wanted to adapt some Holmes stories, and we thought, no way, Dracula was sooo hard to adapt, we’ll be clever and take the easy option. we’ll write a big clever original Sherlock Holmes mystery instead. We can make up the case, make up the whole thing, and it will be a piece of cake. Cut to us actually weeping trying to work out the details of our mind boggling plot while writing the third issue. We couldnt have been more wrong. To do a proper Holmes story, where it all makes sense and he can deduce things properly is soooo hard.

In general, did you grow up reading the Canon?  Is it a situation where you are, in fact, denied British citizenship if you are unfamiliar with Holmes?

LM: I imagine so, you possibly have to recite everyone who has played him, and what year. I’d totally fail it I’m sure. My geek fu is weak. I did grow up with the canon I guess, he’s never off the tv, and me and John were relieved that we both had Basil Rathbone’s  superb portrayal in mind throughout.

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A Modest Postmortem of GridLOCK DC 2015

Dear friends, I survived GridLOCK DC 2015! In this post, I am going to attempt to review the experience, from soup to nuts, as far as I can. I just returned home tonight, and I want to do this while I’m relatively in the moment of the experience, but that might mean there will be a few ETAs over the next day or so.

(For the purposes of this exercise, I’m going to leave travel details until tomorrow. They may be quite relevant to others in the future, but they aren’t germane — for the most part — to my convention experience.)

Rather than approach this chronologically, I’d like to go by “The Good, Bad, and the Ugly.” Which is really “The Awesome, the Good, and the Questionable.” Let me also say that while I have attended many scion-related events, I have never been to a Sherlock Holmes convention. I have been to many comic book conventions (most notably San Diego Comic Con and New York City Comic Con), however.

This is long, and there is no teal deer.

THE AWESOME

  1. Location: The Hyatt Regency Bethesda was really lovely for me. The staff was helpful and cheerful, even as I was experiencing technical difficulties projecting my presentation (the GridLOCK staff was excellent as well, but more on them later). Bethesda is lovely, and ScarletSherlock and I added an extra day to our trip to take advantage of touring Washington DC. So overall, gold star.
  2. Several Panels: While there were some pockets of time where there were no panels of interest to me, there were several I attended that were really excellent.
    1. Julianne Burke gave an excellent presentation titled, “Sherlock Holmes in Pennsylvania- What Really Happened in Valley of Fear.” First, much of the information Burke delivered was new to me, but — maybe even more significant — she was personally invested in the history being (mis)represented in VALL. Burke is passionate and engaging, but also funny and wry. I came away wanting to hear a LOT more from her (I feel like this hour just scratched the surface!), but I also felt a mandate to go visit the real Valley of Fear and see the land for myself. Read More

The 2015 Annual Canonical Treasure Hunt Via JHWS

Dear friends,

I’ve tweeted and retweeted a bit about this, but I’ve been horribly lax about getting all of the deets in one place and whatnot.

From the flyer:

THE JOHN H WATSON SOCIETY PRESENTS The 2015 Annual Canonical Treasure Hunt THE JOHN H WATSON SOCIETY The Game is Afoot August 1—September 1 Individual and Team Competition

The John H Watson Society invites all Sherlockians, Holmesians, and Watsonians from around the world to participate in the 2015 John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt. In keeping with JHWS tradition, the 2015 Treasure Hunt will be a difficult and entertaining 100-question quiz designed to challenge your knowledge of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, and their greater world.

Win Prizes and International Bragging Rights

Find complete information at johnhwatsonsociety.com/treasure-hunt

@JHWATSONSOC

Now, I for one am HIDEOUS at quizzes and games, but ScarletSherlock is an absolute dream! If you want to join our team, I will try not to bring us down while she raises the game for everyone. Tweet us or comment in the thread if you want to join in!