Tag Archives: sherlock

Not a Fool: The Importance of Portraying Dr. Watson Correctly

All but four of the original sixty Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (also known as the “canon”) are narrated by Dr. John Watson.

You know what that tells us?  Watson is not merely a sidekick.  He’s not an afterthought.  He’s not just the comic relief.  He’s not a cardboard cut-out for Holmes to bounce ideas off. Continue reading

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Sherlock: The Value of Human Life

Sherlock Holmes is undoubtedly one of the most famous characters in literary history. His popularity continues to grow as modern storytellers adopt and reinvent his character in cinematic spinoffs like the Robert Downey Jr. films, CBS’s Elementary, and BBC’s Sherlock. Continue reading

Brother Dear, Brother Mine: Sherlock

NOV / DEC 2014: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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I’ve adored Sherlock Holmes since childhood. I marveled at his genius and thought no one could top him… until I met his big brother, Mycroft, “even more brilliant” than Sherlock, but so lazy he never sets foot outside his club. Instead, he “occupies a minor position in the British government.”

Over the years, adaptations of the stories introduced Mycroft but didn’t explore him in depth other than as a condescending force in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, where he is a mastermind who constantly berates his little brother for his foolishness. Continue reading

A Sign of Respect: Holmes and Watson

JULY / AUG 2013: BY CARISSA HORTON

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“Upon my word, Watson!” said Holmes at last with an unsteady voice, “I owe you both my thanks and an apology. It was an unjustifiable experiment even for one’s self, and doubly so for a friend. I am really very sorry.”

“You know,” I answered with some emotion, for I had never seen so much of Holmes’ heart before, “that it is my greatest joy and privilege to help you.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

You can count on one hand the number of times amateur detective Sherlock Holmes expresses verbal concern for his compatriot, Doctor John Watson. It’s not so much that Holmes doesn’t feel, for I believe he feels very deeply, but rather he can’t function in his chosen mode of professionalism if he gives emotion a stronghold. Still, the façade is cracked, just a little, every time he places Watson in serious danger, the type that could actually result in their deaths. It’s the brief moments, such as the one from Devil’s Foot, that show Watson how much Holmes actually cares for him as a friend and a colleague. Continue reading