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Sherlock Holmes in Popular Culture Kaycee Hallett Transcript

Slide 1: The modern Detective story with the modern detective began with the creation of Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1886 with A Study in Scarlet, which was published in 1887 with the illustrations by Sidney Paget. Most of the stories appeared in The Strand. In 1893 Doyle tried to kill off Holmes after getting tired of writing the stories. This caused public outrage. The popularity of the stories was so great that after publication of The Final Problem, in which Sherlock Holmes apparently plunges to his death, Doyle even got letters accusing him of murder. Eventually public demand was so great and the money from the stories so lucrative that he began to write Sherlock stories once more and continued writing until 1927. The stories have last centuries with Sherlock Holmes as a household name in detectives. There have been countless radio programs, movies, and television shows, some as recent as this year. Slide 2: Sherlock Holmes has been remade hundreds of times, including the current BBC program Sherlock Even now Sherlock Holmes is a household name. There have been hundreds of adaptations of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. From Basil Rathbone, probably one of the more well-known portrayers of Sherlock Holmes, to Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Sherlock in the new BBC series that has updated the stories to modern London. On top of the BBC Sherlock there have been recent movies such as Sherlock Holmes and the sequel Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Jr. All the adaptations of Sherlock have much the same features as the original stories. Sherlock is always brilliant and often condescending. He is usually proficient in boxing and swordsmanship and oftentimes other forms of hand-to-hand combat. He usually has to go up against James (Jim) Moriarty, the consulting criminal to his consulting detective. Thats just modern adaptations of the actual Sherlock character, traits of the Great Detective have permeated through to modern detective stories and modern detectives themselves. Slide 3: The original Sherlock Holmes stories are so lasting that even their style has stayed the same The original Sherlock Holmes stories were so well written that even in todays modern Sherlock adaptations whole chunks of dialogue are taken directly from the stories. This is an example from the first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet from Chapter 2. Sherlock and Watson have just met and Sherlock is explaining what he does and how he does it. Well, I have a trade of my own. I suppose I am the only one in the world. Im a consulting detective, if you can understand what that is. Here in London we have lots of government

detectives and lots of private ones. When these fellows are at fault, they come to me and I manage to put them on the right scent. They lay all the evidence before me, and I am generally able, by the help of my knowledge of the history of crime, to set them straight. There is a strong family resemblance about misdeeds, and if you have all the details of a thousand at your finger ends, it is odd if you cant unravel the thousand and first. Lestrade is a well-known detective. He got himself into a fog recently over a forgery case, and that was what brought him here. And those other people? They are mostly sent on by private inquiry agencies. They are all people who are in trouble about something and want a little enlightening. I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I pocket my fee. But do you mean to say. I said, that without leaving your room you can unravel some knot which other men can make nothing of, although they have seen every detail for themselves. Quite so I have a kind of intuition that way. Now and again a case turns up which is a little more complex. Then I have to bustle about and see things with my own eyes. You see I have a lot of special knowledge which I apply to the problem, and which facilitates matters wonderfully. Those rules of deduction laid down in that article which aroused your scorn are invaluable to me in particular work. Observation with me is second nature. You appeared to be surprised when I told you, on our first meeting, that you had come from Afghanistan. You were told no doubt. Nothing of the sort. I knew you came from Afghanistan. From long habit the train of thoughts ran so swiftly through my mind that I arrived at the conclusion without being conscious of steps. There were such steps, however. The train of reasoning ran: Here is a gentleman of a medical type, but with the air of a military man. Clearly an army doctor, then. He has just come from the tropics, for his face is dark, and that is not the natural tone of his skin, for his wrists are fair. He has undergone hardship and sickness, as his haggard face says clearly. His left arm has been injured. He holds it in a stiff and unnatural manner. Where in the tropics could an English army doctor have seen much hardship and got his arm wounded? Clearly in Afghanistan. The whole train of thought did not occupy a second. I then remarked that you came from Afghanistan and you were astonished. Slide 4: In the BBC Sherlock the relationship between John and Sherlock is very true to the books Sherlock pulls this same kind of routine when he meets John Watson in the BBC rendition of the show. He meets John in the hospital and is immediately able to tell some key things about him, like that he was a soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq, that he has a psychosomatic limp, and that he didnt get along with his sibling. Ok youve got questions. Yeah where are we going? Crime scene. Next. Who are you? What do you do? What do you think? I'd say private detective... But? But the police don't go to private detectives. I'm a consulting detective. Only one in the world. I invented the job. What does that mean? It means when the police are out of their depth, which is always, they consult me. The police don't consult amateurs. When I met you for the first time yesterday I said Afghanistan or Iraq you looked surprised. Yes how did you know? I didnt know I saw. Your haircut the way you hold yourself says military your conversation as you entered the room a bit difference then my day said trained in advance. So army doctor. Obvious. Your face is tan but no tan above your wrists. Youve been abroad but not sunbathing. Your limps bad when you walk but you dont ask

for a chair when you stand like youve forgotten about it. So its at least partly psychosomatic, that says the original circumstance of the injury was traumatic. Wounded in action then. Wounded in action, suntan Afghanistan or Iraq. You said I've got a therapist. You've got a psychosomatic limp. Of course you've got a therapist. Then theres your brother. Hmm? Your phone, its expensive. Email enabled mp3 player but youre looking for a flat share you wouldnt spend money on this its a gift then. Scratches not one, many other times, its been in the same pocket as keys and coins. Not something a man would treat his one luxury item like this. So its had a previous owner. The next bits easy you know it already. The engraving? Harry Watson, clearly a family member thats given you his old phone. Not your father this is a young mans gadget. Could be a cousin but youre a war hero who cant find a place to live. Unlikely youve got an extended family certainly not one your close to so brother it is. Now Clara whos Clara, the case says romantic attachment expense of the phone says wife not girlfriend; must have given it to him recently, the models only 6 months old. Marriage in trouble then, phones only 6 months old and hes just giving it away. If shed left him he wouldve kept it. Sentiment people do. But no he wanted to get rid of it he left her. He gave the phone to you, says he wants you to keep in touch. Youre looking for cheap accommodations but youre not going to your brother for help. That says youve got problems with him. Maybe you liked his wife. Maybe you dont like his drinking. How can you possibly know about the drinking? Shot in the dark, good one though. Power connections got tiny little scuff marks around the edge of it. He goes to plug it in to charge but his hands were shaking you never see those marks on a sober mans phone you never see a drunks without them. There you go you see you were right. I was right? Right about what? The police dont consult amateurs. That. Was amazing. You think so? Of course it was. Extraordinary. It was quite extraordinary. That's not what people normally say. What do people normally say? Piss off. Slide 5: All modern fictional detectives tend to have many of the same characteristics as Sherlock Holmes Batman and Robin are a great example of modern characters that take after Sherlock Holmes. Batman is extremely observant and is able to solve mysteries and crimes. In the DC comic book universe hes even known as the Great Detective. To continue with the comparison he has his own Watson in Robin, an assistant that he trains to help him solve his mysteries. As far as partners go the Dynamic Duo is as famous as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. There are Sherlock characters in several popular television shows. The USA Network show Psych is going on its seventh season and it revolves around a character that is hyper-observant. Shawn Spencer has a photographic memory and the series starts out with him phoning tips into the cops that solve cases, but then the cops call him in for questioning and accuse him of being an accomplice since he had inside information. Shawn trying to come up with a way out of it says that hes psychic, the police end up hiring him as a consultant and he and his best friend and partner Gus solve mysteries together with Shawn pretending to be psychic all the while. Shawn solves his mysteries by noticing out of the way details and putting them together but announces them by having extravagant psychic episodes. He has the same observation and deduction skills as Sherlock Holmes. Once again we see a partner that could be comparable to Watson in Gus. Gus is more

levelheaded then Shawn and more grounded but he gets a thrill out of helping on his cases and being part of the detective agency much the same as the thrill levelheaded, practical Watson gets out of helping Sherlock. Slide 6: Batman and Robin are a prolific crime fighting duo as famous as Sherlock and Watson [Batman comes in beats up a guy to question him about a killers location] And uh give me one of those. Huh. [grunts of pain] I want answers where is Zuko. No way I rat out family. You already have. Batman is able to put small pieces of information and make accurate conclusions based on his observations. Very Sherlock Holmes of him. Slide 7: In Psych Shawn pretends to a have psychic abilities but really is hyper observant like Sherlock How do you expect me to carry you two howler monkeys through tomorrow? Whoa. Well I might have been a little pitchy. I had a dairy heavy Jamba Juice. Stop the excuses step it up I cant carry you through another round. I think I preferred the stalker. Dont. Dont what. Uh smoke. Those things will kill you. Well add them to the list. [Shawn looks around and spots various things putting them together to realize the danger]Stop. I do not have physical contact with people with arm hair. That case. Was a gift from Les McCumin from the Bay City Rollers it was a very expensive pla--- Psych is just one of the shows that have a Sherlock archetype for a character. There are countless cases in popular television shows where the detectives have the deductive skills that Sherlock so often displays.