Sherlock Holmes Not Likely to Meet the Doctor

sherlocknoDOCTOR WHO and SHERLOCK executive producer Steven Moffat recently admitted that he would love for his two series to do a cross-over story – but also that it is unlikely to happen because he’s the only one who wants it to happen.

Look I’m going to come clean on this: I would. Go speak to Benedict Cumberbatch [Sherlock], Martin Freeman [Watson], [and producers] Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, okay? They’re all in the way. I’m not the killjoy, it’s that lot. It’s probably not going to happen.

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ELEMENTARY 1.1: “Pilot”

As a partisan of the BBC series SHERLOCK, I have to confess that CBS’ rip-off totally not a rip-off new series, ELEMENTARY, is not the disaster I was kinda sorta hoping fearing it would be. But neither is it the sophisticated, classy success it should be. In fact, it’s not even “Sherlock Holmes.” Not really.

In an effort to differentiate ELEMENTARY from the popular SHERLOCK, the American series went (far) out of its way to change stuff – the most visible difference being that Holmes’ faithful associate and chronicler, Watson, has been transformed into a woman. But that’s far from the only change: The action has been moved to modern New York City; Holmes is now a recovering addict working to stay sober; Watson has been assigned by Holmes’ father to keep him off drugs; and the mysteries are not adaptations of the classic Sherlock Holmes canon.
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Moffat Wary of Elementary

ELEMENTARY

DOCTOR WHO show-runner Steven Moffat also co-created the very popular BBC series SHERLOCK, which updates Arthur Conan Doyle‘s famous detective by reimagining classic stories in modern London. This fall in the USA, CBS will debut ELEMENTARY, a series that transplants Sherlock Holmes to modern New York City.

The Grand Moff is a bit… nonplussed, seeing as CBS had asked him to create and American version of SHERLOCK, and when he declined the Eye network had Ringer‘s Robert Doherty put together ELEMENTARY. Now, Moffat isn’t concerned about money — he’s worried that if ELEMENTARY sucks, the stink will be transferred to SHERLOCK. He told IGN.com:

“It’s tough. If it’s bad, it effects, it debases the coinage of our show. If it’s too like our show? We’ll have to take action. Already, [producer] Sue [Vertue] had to correct somebody in print saying she was off to produce the American version of Sherlock, and that’s not ours. If their show isn’t good, it damages us. I don’t know, what do you imagine I think about it? It’s pretty remarkable, really, I’d say.”

What bothers me is, while SHERLOCK currently airs on PBS, if the next season is more widely distributed here, folks will bash SHERLOCK as a “ripoff” of ELEMENTARY. And if ELEMENTARY tanks, that will preclude SHERLOCK from selling to a major outlet here in the States.
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It’s Elementary…One Would Think!

Elementary

I am not happy to see that CBS has picked up the ELEMENTARY pilot for the fall. This is a series that transplants Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation to the present day, where he works as a consultant to the NYPD.

In other words, it’s just another “wacky crime consultant” procedural, to go along with THE MENTALIST, BONES, PSYCH, UNFORGETTABLE, WHITE COLLAR and probably a dozen other shows I’m forgetting to mention.
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Movies I Loved (and Hated) in 2009

The Hurt Locker

From Adventureland to Zombieland, there was quite a lot to like about movies in 2009 – and the good stuff was spread out over the course of the year. Both The Hurt Locker and Watchmen were released way back in March, and Avatar came out in mid-December. And while it’s not on this particular list, I quite enjoyed Sherlock Holmes (see my review), which was unwrapped on Christmas Day. I know, I know, it’s Jan. 2 – what took me so long to post this end-of-year list? Well, I’m still watching stuff, okay? I haven’t managed to catch Up yet, so reserve a potential 12th slot for that one.

And I want to emphasize that these are movies that I loved – not necessarily the best-made or deepest films of the year. I leave that to experts who have actually seen everything. (People still read Roger Ebert, right? Or is it all about Rotten Tomatoes now?) I know Watchmen has flaws, and The Hangover is rather silly, but hey, I enjoyed ‘em. So there! Now, on with the list…

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Review: Sherlock Holmes – the Game is Afoot!

Watson, Holmes and Adler

Sherlock Holmes is a big, modern blockbuster that puts a 21st-century gloss on a 19th-century character who has withstood the test of time.

The filmmakers have essentially gone back to the future with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his partner Dr. John Watson (Jude Law). I am not Holmes scholar, but I have a general familiarity with the character, and I can tell you that what the-powers-that-be have done is consult the source material, Doyle’s original stories, and picked up on several background elements – such as Watson’s service in Afghanistan and Holmes’ faculty for self-defense) and brought them to the forefront. Thus we get a Holmes who can crack skulls as well as he thinks with his own, and a fit, dashing Watson who conceals a sword in his cane. TPTB have likewise stripped away a lot of the barnacles that have attached themselves to the property. Gone is the deerstalker cap (popularized in stage and screen adaptations but never mentioned by Doyle) and overt cocaine addiction (replaced by a vaguely hinted-at taste for wild living; perhaps alcohol). Downey’s Holmes is much more of high-functioning party animal than a deep-thinking hermit; he feels more like Batman or even (wink, wink) Iron Man. However, that true Holmesian hallmark, deductive reasoning (which is actually inductive, but let’s not get into that) combined with an amazingly keen eye for detail, continues to figure prominently. And while this Holmes is a bare-chested brawler, he does puzzle things out before acting out. One recurring storytelling device allows us to enter Holmes’ mind as he plans out a detailed series of physical moves, and then executes them to perfection – presumably illustrating his mind-over-matter philosophy. In short, all the elements that should be in a good Sherlock Holmes movie are there; you just have to pay attention. And it all paves the way for chases, fisticuffs, gunplay, not-quite-damsels-in-distress, quippy lines and climactic battles with the fate of all England hanging in the balance. In short, it’s a summer blockbuster wrapped up with a pretty Christmas bow.
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