So! Series 3... Sherlock HOLMES is Not Dead... Benedict CUMBERBATCH is Back... My obsession with Sherlock HOLMES continues... What a way to start the New Year.
Regarding Sherlock HOLMES. Where do I start? A family holiday to Norfolk (Mundeslay - we stayed in a chalet). It is c. 1986 and I am c.13 years old. I spent my entire week's pocket money of £5 in one go on the first day and bought myself the 'Canon'. I still remember the excitement of owning my very own Canon, and this far outweighed the fact that I had no pocket money left for the rest of the week, as I had more that a week's worth of reading, and I felt like the luckiest person alive. Luckily for me, my Grandma had come away with us, and she spoiled me terribly and despite my having no pocket money left I was still afforded ice-cream by my ever loving and most glorious Granny.
But, from that point on, that was the end of life as I knew it. As I turned the pages, I fell hopelessly in love with Sherlock HOLMES. I didn't see the point of 'Heathcliffe' or 'Darcy'; it was all about SH. I joined various Sherlock Holmes Societies, read articles, contributed articles and met some of the most wonderful and, if I am honest, really quite delightfully weird people. But I didn't even notice they were strange, verging on bonkers, because I was one of them, and actually I was perhaps somewhat unconventional myself. Yes, my summer holiday in 1996 (by which time I was 23 and really perhaps should have known better), I adopted the character of Miss. Mary MORSTAN (SIGN) and travelled to Reichenbach on a coach with c.50 other Holmesians, and didn't once, at the time, stop to consider that perhaps this was a little bit of an unusual thing to do.
Growing up, for me, Jeremy BRETT was obviously a near 'God-Like' figure in my existence. I was the original 'FAN-GIRL'; although I am sure I said 'OMFG' less often and there were not social media sites for me to channel and share my obsession through. And for me Edward HARDWICKE was the ideal Watson. I obviously wrote (probably incoherently) to them both and received charming hand-written replies. When 'The Secret of Sherlock Holmes' ran in London, at the Wyndham Theatre in the 1988-1989 season for a couple hundred performances, not only did I go and see it twice (apparently it had terribly harsh reviews, but I didn't read them, and if I had I wouldn't have cared one jot!) but I stood outside the stage door to shake their hands, and to give Jeremy BRETT a red rose. You see I was very taken with the scene in The Navel Treaty (NAVA) where Holmes says:
“What a lovely thing a rose is! There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion, it can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”
Anyway, in 'A Scandal in Bohemia' (SCAN), Watson comments, "To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman". So, to me Jeremy BRETT is always the Sherlock HOLMES."... and then Benedict CUMBERBATCH came along... and I fell in love with Sherlock HOLMES all over again. Sherlock HOLMES isn't loveable. He is damaged. "It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love... All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind." (SCAN), but yet somehow, there is something about his 'alone' that is quite upsetting, heart breaking, and I wanted to alleviate his pain. He doesn't want to need anyone. He doesn't trust, and he doesn't need, and he doesn't love - or perhaps he fears trusting and fears needing and fears loving someone, in case that trust is broken and that need is violated or abused, and the love not returned. We all fear that don't we? I don't know, but it is compelling. And Benedict plays the part fantastically well.
The idea of updating the adventures to a 21st Century London is just absolute genius, and obviously I would expect nothing less from Mark GATISS (and Steven MOFFAT). I can completely believe in the modern age that HOLMES would be texting, “WATSON. Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.” (CREE). Making Moriarty the 'camp' arch-enemy Mastermind is a also a stroke of genius, but there are so many subtle little touches that pay homage to Conan DOYLE's original text; everyone involved fully deserves the praise that may have been lavished upon them. "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius" (VALL).
Anyway it is on tonight on BBC1 at 9pm. And I cannot wait.