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I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere

Episode 152: Holmes and Watson

Interview with Lee Eric Shackleford

Burt Wolder: Support for this episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere is


made possible by the Wessex Press, the premier publisher of
books about Sherlock Holmes and his world. Find them online
at wessexpress.com.

Scott Monty: Also by Dan Andriacco's Death Masque, the new book in the
Sebastian McCabe, Jeff Cody series.

Burt Wolder: And the Baker Street Journal, the leading publication of
Sherlockian scholarship since 1946. Subscriptions available at
bakerstreetirregulars.com.

Scott Monty: I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, Episode 152: Holmes and


Watson.

Mycroft Holmes: I hear of Sherlock everywhere since you became his chronicler.

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Narrator: In a world where it's always 1895 comes I Hear of Sherlock
Everywhere, a podcast for devotees of Mr. Sherlock Holmes,
the world's first unofficial consulting detective.

Dr. Roylott: I've heard of you before, you're Holmes the meddler. Holmes
the busy body, Holmes the Scotland Yard Jack-in-office.

Narrator: The game's afoot as we discuss goings on in the world of


Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, the Baker Street irregulars, and
popular culture related to the great detective.

Dr. Watson: As we go to press, sensational developments have been


reported.

Narrator: So join your hosts, Scott Monty and Burt Wolder, as they talk
about what's new in the world of Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes: You couldn't have come at a better time.

Scott Monty: All right. Welcome. Welcome back, one and all, to I Hear of
Sherlock Everywhere, the first podcast for Sherlock Holmes
devotees where it's always 1895. I'm Scott Monty.

Burt Wolder: Yes, you are. And I'm Burt Wolder.

Scott Monty: Oh, I almost forgot for a second. Where am I? Who am I? Why
am I here? Almost Stockdaleian of me. Well, we're dating
ourselves with that reference. Admiral Stockdale.

Burt Wolder: I remember President Truman spoke about that on one of his
radio broadcasts.

Scott Monty: Give them hell, Burt. That's what I say. Yeah.

Burt Wolder: Yeah, yeah.

Scott Monty: Well, we're delighted you could join us here for our 152nd
episode. We keep barreling on, despite common sense to quit.
I don't know how we do it. But this is 152, so that means the

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show notes can be found at ihose.co/ihose152, all lower case,
and you can find us online at ihearofsherlock.com, on all of the
social networks @IHearofSherlock, and of course, if you'd like
to email us any of your thoughts, and if you'd like to
participate in the contest we've got later on in the show, you
can reach us at comment@ihearofsherlock.com.

Scott Monty: We'd also like to remind you that we benefit from you
participating. That means by certainly jumping in and
commenting, that's fine, but also by your leaving us a rating or
review, preferably on iTunes. It helps other people find the
show and you can let them know why it is that you've decided
to dedicate an hour of your life every other week to this kind
of silliness. And no judgment, no judgment whatsoever. We
appreciate it and we appreciate you taking the time.

Scott Monty: Also, just a reminder that if you do tune in later in the show,
we do have a special announcement during the Canonical
Couplets quiz. This is an opportunity for you to play along and
win a prize. Want to make sure that you don't miss our special
announcement. And of course-

Burt Wolder: I can't wait to hear what it is.

Scott Monty: What's that?

Burt Wolder: I can't wait to hear what it is.

Scott Monty: Neither can I, I'm on the edge of my seat.

Burt Wolder: Let me run. Hold on. Let me just run the tape forward and find
out. [Fast forwarding noises]. Oh, that was interesting.

Scott Monty: Well, I'm sure everyone else is just about ready to do the
same. In the meantime, before you hit that fast forward
button, take a listen to this.

Burt Wolder: In the ancient Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex, we're looking


forward to the 29th of September and Michaelmas, when the
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harvest will be over and we hold our hiring fairs, because we're
still coping with the labor shortage from the black death. But
you don't need to pay high wages to your field workers
because they want to read your copy of One Fixed Point in a
Changing Age: A New Generation on Sherlock Holmes, from
our Wessex Press. These essays by a new generation of
enthusiasts, many of whom are young or female or both,
embrace modern day revelations of Sherlock Holmes, with an
introduction by Laurie R. King.

Burt Wolder: Departing summer hath assumed an aspect tenderly illumed,


the gentlest look of spring; that calls from yonder leafy shade a
timely carolling. As the season shifts, reach for the pleasure
only a volume from the Wessex Press provides. Choose yours
today.

Scott Monty: It's always lovely there in the land of Wessex. So bucolic. So
bucolic.

Burt Wolder: So many bunions, you know, so much strain in that simple
bucolic, country farming life. I think a good thing to do would
be to have the moisturizer concession that the ancient Anglo-
Saxon kingdom of Wessex or the lineament concession, that'd
probably be even better.

Scott Monty: Lineament. We need more lineament and everything must be


scented lavender.

Burt Wolder: Oh yeah. I like that.

Scott Monty: Well, our next guest is an absolute treat. We hope that you will
enjoy what he has to say.

Scott Monty: In this episode, we are delighted to welcome Lee Eric


Shackleford to the program. Lee is a writer for stage, screen,
and radio, a long time Sherlockian. He teaches playwriting,
screenwriting, and script analysis at the University of Alabama
Birmingham's Theater Department. He has written for shows

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like Herlock and has a wonderful fixation and interest in Star
Trek and War of the Worlds and H.G. Wells and the golden age
of radio and so many other things. We will touch on as many
as we can get to in the next hour.

Scott Monty: Lee, welcome to the show.

Lee Shackleford: Thank you so much, guys. It's long been a dream of mine to be
on I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

Scott Monty: Well, let's-

Lee Shackleford: You're laughing. You're the Rolls Royce of Sherlockian


podcasts.

Scott Monty: Oh, well, you need to dream bigger.

Lee Shackleford: Okay.

Scott Monty: And I want to go there.

Lee Shackleford: Reach for the stars.

Scott Monty: First, get this out of the way. You have your own podcast,
right?

Lee Shackleford: I got a bunch of them.

Scott Monty: Oh, tell us about that.

Lee Shackleford: I'm a podcasting fool. Well, I had my radio drama serial,
Relativity, because that's distributed as a podcast. You find it at
the website relativitypodcast.com. Because I rather naively
chose a name for the show that defies Google. Right? If you
start searching for relativity, you'll never get to the radio show.
So this is what, we'll talk about this later, I'm sure. But this is
something that I've done repeatedly in my writing career.

Scott Monty: I have a theory about that podcast.

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Lee Shackleford: You.

Scott Monty: Sorry.

Burt Wolder: So did Einstein.

Lee Shackleford: Yeah. But I'm also one cohost of a Doctor Who discussion
forum called, logically enough, Discussing Who. So we do those
every week. So yeah, sitting in front of a microphone. It's
become a thing that I do.

Scott Monty: Excellent. Well, we're grateful that you're on the other side of
the microphone this time around.

Lee Shackleford: Thank you.

Scott Monty: Well, why don't we traipse all the way back to the beginning as
we do with all of our guests and find out exactly how you came
to first encounter this guy known as Sherlock Holmes.

Lee Shackleford: It all started in a 5,000 watt station in Fresno, California. That's
a Mary Tyler Moore joke for people of a certain generation.

Burt Wolder: Yeah. My father told me about Mary Tyler Moore.

Lee Shackleford: That's right, yeah. It's like Sir Arthur saying that men who told
him that they enjoyed reading Sherlock Holmes when they
were boys. So obviously at the reception they would expect ...

Lee Shackleford: I almost blush to admit it, but it was A Woman in Green. I was
flipping channels one afternoon and I saw Basil Rathbone as
Sherlock Holmes being hypnotized and they were going to
walk him off the top of the building. And I was hypnotized. And
you know, looking back, I think that's a weird place to get
introduced to Sherlock Holmes. I guess I had been aware, you
know, just general cultural literacy, but I was, you know, still ...
This would have been when I was in middle school, so it wasn't
until high school when we were all made to read. I started

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saying The Red-Headed League, but that's not right. What
were we required to read? Speckled Band.

Scott Monty: Ah, of course.

Lee Shackleford: That was in our ninth grade literature books and I think that
was, you know, I turned the last page of that and said, boy, I
hope there's more. There's more.

Scott Monty: There is plenty more. And you've managed to create more
along the way, as well. So when did you first start discovering
that there were outlets for those of us with a creative bent?

Lee Shackleford: That would have to be The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.


Somebody who knew that I was a fan of the original '60s
stories gave me a copy of the novel in high school and I had
not heard about it. I didn't know anything about it. And they
just said, "Here, I thought you would like it." And I thought,
well, that's odd. This is a Sherlock Holmes story, but it's not
written by Arthur Conan Doyle and so that came along at just
the right time and the book had been around for a while
because the very next thing I knew, the movie was in the
theaters and so I begged my parents to take me to see that
and at the time as a young man, my three favorite things in the
world were Sherlock Holmes, steam locomotives, and sword
fights. So-

Scott Monty: Well, there you go.

Lee Shackleford: ... imagine, yeah. Imagine how I felt about that movie.

Burt Wolder: It was a great picture. It was a real event for people when that
came out. And it's interesting too because, you know, Nick
Meyer, it's interesting the commonality among all of this,
these things that we seem to be interested in because Nick
Meyer, of course, had a very deep connection, still does, to
Star Trek.

Scott Monty: Absolutely.


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Burt Wolder: And that's also one of your interests, too, as one of mine.

Lee Shackleford: Yeah. And you know, it's because of a lot of people felt like
Sherlockian fandom was on the wane until Seven-Per-Cent
Solution kind of brought people, it kind of brought it back to
the mainstream fore, I guess, and then a lot of people said that
Star Trek: The Motion Picture was going to finish Star Trek
once and for all because it just, you know, people had their
own negative feelings about that. Even I had to kind of make
myself like it back in 1979. And then he made The Wrath of
Khan, which holy smoke, you know, that I think everything else
that has happened with Star Trek since then devolves from the
success of Wrath of Khan. So he's the rescuer of franchises, is
Nick Meyer.

Scott Monty: Oh, well, I mean, anyone out there with a failing franchise, just
get in touch with Nicholas Meyer.

Lee Shackleford: Yeah, you know who to call.

Scott Monty: And of course now, Lee, you have the honor of inhabiting the
same airwaves, the same podcast as Nick Meyer, who was on I
Hear of Sherlock Everywhere back on, I think it was episode 85.

Lee Shackleford: Probably the single episode I've re-listened to the most often.

Scott Monty: Wow. And that is our record longest episode. So kudos to you,
sir.

Lee Shackleford: Yeah, that's right. It does, it requires a commitment. But he's a
fascinating person and you don't have to goad him into talking.

Scott Monty: Oh, no. Oh, no, you do not. Well, we want to, we want to keep
talking to you here. So let's get up to Holmes and Watson. This
is, you know, I found it astonishing in checking your bio that,
and I think you were astonished too, that you have produced
more than 200 scripts for stage, screen and radio and your
best known work of course, continues to be Holmes and
Watson, which originally was presented at the University of
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Alabama at Birmingham, May 2nd through 6th, 1989 and
became the winner of the Ruby Lloyd Apsey National Play
Search, and then, later on, the very next year, there was an off-
Broadway version that opened at Theatre at St. Peter's on
January 4th, 1990. And in that case, you played Sherlock
Holmes yourself.

Lee Shackleford: I did, indeed.

Scott Monty: So tell us a little bit about the evolution, the initial spark of an
idea for Holmes and Watson and how you decided to approach
these two characters in a fundamentally different and personal
way.

Lee Shackleford: I'm not sure it's fundamentally different, but, oh, how much
time you got? I was in a graduate acting program. I was doing
my MFA acting and directing studies at Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale, which means that as a Sherlockian, I
had made contact with the Occupants of the Empty House in
southern Illinois. So, which really meant that I was already kind
of under the tutelage of Bill Cochran, BSI and the late Gordon
Speck, BSI, and they came out to see me playing Sherlock
Holmes in a production of The Incredible Murder of Cardinal
Tosca, which is a great, fun show. What a galloping melodrama
that is.

Lee Shackleford: And they were so supportive. They were so encouraging, and I
don't remember which of them or maybe they both said, they
said, "So you're a playwright, you should probably write a
Sherlockian play." And I said, that's interesting because people
around here are telling me that the smart thing for actors to
do these days is to not go out into the acting world hoping to
find a job, but to make their own job, but to create the show
that is going to be the vehicle for them.

Lee Shackleford: And, you know, this is 30 years ago, but right now the most
successful show, theatrical show, in America is something that
Lin-Manuel Miranda created so he could star in it. So it just
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proves that they were right, that a lot of people have done
that. They've created these projects.

Scott Monty: So did William Gillette did that. Right?

Lee Shackleford: Absolutely. So I thought, well, if it worked for William Gillette,


and he played Sherlock Holmes for 120 years or however long
he did it. So I wrote a one man show called Sherlock Holmes:
The Greatest Man Who Never Lived, which I guess is kind of a
spoiler in the title. I performed it exactly once, it was me
onstage as Sherlock Holmes coming back to Baker Street from
the great hiatus and I'm just sort of reviewing how I came to
that place and won't Watson be surprised tomorrow when I
reveal myself to him. The few people who saw that, the one
time I did it, they all liked it, but across the board, they all said,
"You're overlooking the obvious. This play needs to have
Watson in it." And I said, "Well, that's exactly right," because
really, the play, it was Holmes talking about how important
Watson is to him.

Lee Shackleford: So I went back and looked at it again and really thought
seriously about that post-Reichenbach, you know, about
Empty House, and tried to think, what if this really happened?
Because thanks to the Occupants in the House, I had been
introduced to The Great Game, and to understanding that not
everything that Watson tells us is true, which is a revelation in
itself. Right? And I thought, what if what he tells us in Empty
House is not exactly how it happened.

Lee Shackleford: So I read Empty House again and thought, what if these events
are really happening the way he describes? That moment
where Holmes shows back up again and says, "Ah, fooled you
for three years. You thought I was dead." And I thought, I think
if I were Watson, I would punch him in the mouth.

Scott Monty: Well, and that's exactly what happened in the BBC version,
isn't it?

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Lee Shackleford: Yes. That pleased me so much.

Scott Monty: Yes.

Lee Shackleford: Yes, thank you. I've always wanted to him played like that. And
while the physical blow doesn't happen in Holmes and Watson,
it is a long night where the two of them have to hash out how
cruelly Watson's been treated and Holmes' own problem with
articulating his own feelings, which are that the reason why he
came back was for Watson, but he can't say that. He can't say
it, which makes it sound like it's sort of a handkerchief-
wringing, emotional drama, but I knew that I didn't think
anybody would want to sit still for two hours of that. So there
is also a murder mystery, which they solve in the course of
their ... well they can't leave because Colonel Miranda's out
there waiting to shoot whoever shows his face first.

Scott Monty: Right.

Lee Shackleford: So it's the classic setup for ... this is now, in my playwriting
classes, I do this now as an elementary exercise, if you'll
pardon the expression, because this is so fundamental to
playwriting. Get two people who can't stand each other and
then lock them in the same room together. So that's really all
that Holmes and Watson is, is it's literally Holmes and Watson
and nobody else, and it's the two of them and they have this
problem to work out and they can't leave. So that's it.

Lee Shackleford: I was pushing the script around and they picked it up at my
alma mater in 1989 as you pointed out, and my great friend
Jack Cannon played Sherlock Holmes, was the original Sherlock
Holmes in that, and a young man named Alan Gardner was
Watson. And I maintain to this day, Alan is my favorite stage
Watson.

Scott Monty: Why is that?

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Lee Shackleford: Boy, yeah, I could write a book and I get very emotional
because Alan, just a few years ago, he, as still young man, he
contracted this weird and aggressive cancer and it killed him.
But he was the first Watson I ever saw in Holmes and Watson.
He's the Watson I took to New York with me. And so he and I
were Holmes and Watson off-Broadway. Years later, we
revived the show and he and I were Holmes and Watson again.
And he just embodied all of those qualities that I always
thought were Watsonian. He's sort of beleaguered because
he's smarter than people think he is and this is the way he
plays his Watson.

Lee Shackleford: You could always sense him struggling with the fact that he
adores his life with Sherlock Holmes, but Sherlock Holmes also
drives him crazy, and that he dislikes the feeling of being the
second smartest person in the room. And that he's all heart,
that he is always going to respond emotionally first and that he
finds it irritating that Holmes' response is always going to be
intellectual. It's always going to be a ... it's going to work with
the brain. And he's the one who knows that the synthesis of
the two is where the solution is going to be, and Holmes may
pay lip service to that, but Watson is the one who knows it, has
experienced it and felt it. My wife and I were talking about this
just the other night. I should have called the play from the
beginning, Watson and Holmes, because I really think that's
what it is.

Scott Monty: It's interesting because in the ... I don't suppose it's a preface,
but it's a note before the beginning of the play. It says, "In the
spring of 1891, the great detective Sherlock Holmes and his
nemesis, Professor Moriarty, battle to the death atop the
towering peaks of the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. Each
man was intent on the destruction of the other. Both were
successful."

Scott Monty: So following that, you know, you've really got this back to
basics for Holmes and Watson where they have an opportunity
to really explore what they mean to each other and how
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they've come to interact over the years and literally how
they've saved one another's lives.

Lee Shackleford: Yeah, exactly. To me, that was the story worth telling and that
somehow in the canonical telling of it, Watson sort of leaves
that part out.

Scott Monty: Now why do you suppose that is?

Lee Shackleford: Well, that's it. I thought there must be a secret that he's hiding
and the secret is that there was this blazing row between the
two of them in the middle of the night and that they had this
kind of, what I think to Watson as a Victorian gentleman, what
to him would be an embarrassing set of displays of emotion
and he's not going to tell that story. He's not going to tell that
how it really happened.

Scott Monty: And yet, we-

Lee Shackleford: So the version that he makes up is what we get in Empty


House.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Yeah, and yet we have glimpses in the canon of smaller
rows between the two of them, so-

Lee Shackleford: And this was the guidance that I was getting from Gordon and
from Bill that was so valuable at the time, because they, as
much more experienced Sherlockians, as BSI and professional
players of the game. They were saying that the challenge for
people writing pastiche, which is, you know, which is what this
is, is to bend, is to pull on the canonical fabric but not pull so
hard that you tear it.

Scott Monty: I like that.

Lee Shackleford: Yeah. That was great guidance and I had some things happen
and I would show drafts of this to Gordon. He would say, "I
think I can sense the fabric starting to rip," and I would back up
and I always said that I think the result is that there's nothing
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that happens in the play that you can't say they wouldn't do
that, because I'm pretty sure that anything that seems
extraordinary for them, I can point you towards something
that happens in one of the 60 stories and say, yeah, but it
happened here. He said that here.

Scott Monty: Right.

Lee Shackleford: I think. But like I say, I was still very young and kind of an
amateur Sherlockian. So that was my best effort at the time.
But one of my favorite stories to tell about that has a dirty
word in it. Can I say it?

Scott Monty: Yeah, we can make this work. I think our listeners will be
intrigued.

Lee Shackleford: Okay. Yeah, they'll ... Context is easy. But I was invited to the
BSI dinner in 1990. We were off-Broadway in 1990, and I was
at the dinner in 1991 and at one of the breaks where
everybody runs out to pee, I was standing at the urinal, with
two members of the Baker Street Irregulars and one of them
said to the other, "Did you see that play that was here last
year? That Holmes and Watson thing?" And of course, one of
my ears got three sizes bigger. Yeah, this is great. I just happen
to be here for this conversation. And he said, "Because I
thought that was pretty good. You know, I'd like to see that
again." And the other guy said, "Yeah, I don't go for that
Sherlock Holmes meets Tennessee Williams [expletive
deleted]."

Scott Monty: Well, that, that was possibly the greatest compliment you
could have received.

Lee Shackleford: I chose to take it that way, but I did come away thinking, is that
a fair assessment of it? Well, kind of, maybe.

Burt Wolder: Oh, I don't know. I mean, you know, there are a lot of people
who encounter these beloved, these characters, and they

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become beloved and one way to interpret that remark is that
this particular person is just not comfortable with seeing them
impersonated live by actors in new situations, you know,
outside of the story, outside of the ability to sort of recreate
Victorian London and watch everything through Watson's
eyes. You know, some people, they prefer Superman in the
comic books and not in the movies.

Lee Shackleford: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's a legitimate reading too, that I ... The
fact that he was being sort of dismissive about it told me that
he ... there may not be a lot of Sherlock Holmes plays that he
likes.

Scott Monty: Or any, yeah.

Lee Shackleford: Or any, that's right, any theater that he likes, because the play
does sort of ask why are they acting this way? And if you're not
comfortable with that question, then yeah, you're not going to
like this play.

Lee Shackleford: But the really amazing thing to me as the years have gone by is
how many of my gay and lesbian friends who have read the
play or seen a production of it and congratulated me on the
deftness with which I've articulated these two men who love
each other, and I mean love-love each other, but are not
permitted in their society to say so, which was not really my
intent, but isn't that interesting though? What they saw was a
real romantic love story, a love that, as Oscar Wilde said, that
dare not speak its name.

Lee Shackleford: And as a straight guy with terrible gaydar, I would never
presume to try to write a play about two gay men who can't
express it. But apparently I've done it anyway, or at least it's
perceived that way by many people in the audience. And
they're pleased with it. They're happy about it. So-

Scott Monty: I think what you've captured, and this is something we've
remarked on a number of times before, is a part of the
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universality of the canon itself, that it's a textbook of
friendship and what is friendship, but a form of true love. If
you're doing things selflessly and because you care about
another person, you know, whether it's a romantic love, a
friend-based love, it's a universal thing that transcends all
genders. So, you know, I think what you've done is strike at the
universal human truth.

Lee Shackleford: Well, I hope so. Your reading of that makes sense to me and I
can understand why straight people would see them as
straight and gay people might see them as gay because it's a
universality. Yeah. You don't even have to have sex with
people to love them, so-

Scott Monty: Right. Sometimes that ruins it. Sometimes you'd better not.
Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: I will tell you that the setup of the Baker Street set, the way it
has usually been executed by my great friend, Kel Laeger, who
is a devoted Sherlockian, and so it's always his dream to get to
do this show because he gets to build the sitting room at Baker
Street and [inaudible] with everything, but he had the
entrances to our bedrooms side by side. So there's none of this
one's upstairs and one downstairs thing, because it's all on one
stage.

Lee Shackleford: So there's the entrance stage left that goes to the stairs. And
then on the other side of the stage are these two doors. One
goes to Holmes' bedroom, one goes to Watson's. And one
night, when Alan and I did a revival in the year 2000, he did
this scene where he tells me off. He has this big speech as
Watson, you know, I've had it with you because you do this
and this and this and this. And he's supposed to flounce off to
his bedroom and slam the door and I don't know how he got
turned around that night, but he went off into my bedroom
and slammed the door.

Scott Monty: That adds a whole new twist to the plot.


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Lee Shackleford: Exactly. I remember just sort of standing on the stage and
listening keenly to the audience. There's no little titter out
there in the audience. I thought, okay, they don't really know
which of these doors is which. We're the only ones who know,
so it doesn't matter. So I just ended the scene by going off into
the other room. That is a moment I'll never forget because I
thought, well has just made the moment, made a decision at
this moment. "And here's how we're going to sort it out. I'll see
you in a minute."

Scott Monty: And we'll see you in just a minute.

Scott Monty: While the Baker Street Journal is a nominal sponsor of the
show, a visit to the site, bakerstreetirregulars.com, will quickly
show that, well, there's more available there than just the
journal. It's the home of the Baker Street Irregulars Press
where you can buy books with the best of the best. Scholarship
from the ages, curated and edited into volumes that are ready
for your bookshelves.

Scott Monty: One of the best selling books of the BSI Press pantheon is The
Grand Game: A Celebration of Sherlockian Scholarship, Volume
One: 1902 to 1959. This ambitious project was undertaken and
edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger and was originally
published in 2011. It features some of the greatest early
scholarship in the Sherlockian world, from pamphlets and
scarce small prints, to some of the first articles in the Baker
Street Journal. The book has been long out of print, but we
have news for listeners of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. The
BSI Press has reissued The Grand Game, Volume One as a
trade paperback.

Scott Monty: The late Bernard Davies once wrote, "How wonderful to
discover that even if you're slightly mad, you're not alone."
And this book demonstrates well just how interesting it can be
to play the grand game. So pop over to
bakerstreetirregulars.com and get your copy today.

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Burt Wolder: You were talking earlier about Seven-Per-Cent Solution. I'm
curious, are there any other Sherlock Holmes plays that you've
seen and admired? Have you ever seen a staging of the original
Gillette play or any of the other plays that have been done
over the years?

Lee Shackleford: I have seen a great production of Sherlock Holmes or The


Strange Case of Alice Faulkner, and, boy, when it's done right,
what a show that is. That last emotional beat does kind of
make you go what? But that's okay.

Scott Monty: Makes you wonder how that BSI at the urinal might have
responded to William Gillette.

Lee Shackleford: Exactly. Exactly.

Scott Monty: I think I know what he would have said.

Lee Shackleford: But, Sherlock's Last Case, I saw with Frank Langella as Sherlock
Holmes. In fact, there is a funny story about that. I guess since
so many of the people involved in this are dead now, I can tell
this story. God, I'm old.

Lee Shackleford: But when I went to New York as a young man to seek my
fortune, I did this thing that I think that I would have told
anybody else is foolhardy, but I had a little satchel that I
carried all of my finished stage and screenplays around in. Had
this big bag of scripts that I was carrying around with me pretty
much everywhere, with the idea that sooner or later I'll run
into somebody who will want to read them and I'll need to
press it into their hands.

Lee Shackleford: I think I had the idea that the streets of New York were just
surging with celebrities going up and down the sidewalk
constantly.

Scott Monty: The streets of New York are paved with producers.

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Lee Shackleford: Exactly, and I just needed to step onto the right one. But I did
have lunch with a producer who was a friend of a friend of a
friend and so this is somebody I knew, kind of, sort of. And he
had been working with the special effects on Secret of Sherlock
Holmes. No, it's Sherlock's Last Case. Right? I'm getting them
mixed up. Secret of Sherlock Holmes is the one that Jeremy
Brett and Edward Hardwicke were doing.

Scott Monty: Yeah, that's right. Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: Frank Langella's was Sherlock's Last Case.

Scott Monty: Right.

Lee Shackleford: He had been working with the effects team on Sherlock's Last
Case and according to him, anyway, Frank Langella came in in
some kind of an artistic fit and decided that he didn't like the
way things are going and fired everybody, including my
producer friend's clients. And so he was mad about that and
while we were eating lunch, he was telling me about all this
and he was saying, "You know, and it's too bad because I really
want to be involved in a Sherlock Holmes play. My God, if I had
a Sherlock Holmes script, I'd do it right now."

Scott Monty: Pardon me while I reach into my satchel.

Lee Shackleford: Exactly. Ladies and gentlemen, yes, just to show you that that
stupid kind of Hollywood moment actually does happen,
because I said, "Well, funny ..." He took Holmes and Watson
home and read it that night. He said, "Let's do this." And he
knew that I had written it for myself, so I've always felt bad
about this because the original, it had already been done at
UAB at that time with Jack and Alan. But he said, "I know that
you want to do this so, you know, let's just say that's done.
You're going to play Sherlock Holmes, pick your Watson." And I
said, "Nobody but Alan." So that's how-

Scott Monty: That's wonderful.

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Lee Shackleford: I came to doing it off-Broadway.

Scott Monty: Now-

Lee Shackleford: And what an adventure that was.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Yeah. And I want to delve a little bit into some of the
stage craft here because in the appendix of the version of
Holmes and Watson that we have, you have a section called
"Overcoming the Technical Challenges of Holmes and Watson."
What were those technical challenges?

Lee Shackleford: Oh, what a great interview. You're asking all the questions I
always wished people would ask me about.

Scott Monty: See, you just have to know which show to go on, Lee.

Lee Shackleford: I did not set him up with this, people. I did not. I did not give
Scott a list of, "Please ask me about this." This just shows how
young as a playwright I was. I really thought ... I knew that
there was a trend towards simplification, on stages
everywhere, that theater doesn't have the millions behind it
everywhere that it used to have in all cases. I mean on
Broadway right now, everything, if it's not a musical or Harry
Potter and the Cursed Child, then forget it. You know, there
are no straight plays. So if you're writing a straight play, you
got to think about how are theaters going to do it. And I said
this play is going to be perfect because there's only one set
and two actors.

Lee Shackleford: It's brilliant. Right? And in the 30 years since, I've heard again
and again and again from people who have looked at the script
and considered producing it, said, "We loved the script, it
really is a lot of fun, it has such challenging things going on. But
there's two big problems. These two guys are on stage the
whole time. It's a marathon performance for these two guys.
We're not sure we can cast it. Also, this one room that they're

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in has to do tricks. It's got things that blow up and catch fire
and fall down and, you know, we just can't do it."

Lee Shackleford: So I'm hoist on my petard that, yeah, it's only one set and two
people, but holy smoke, what a set and what it demands of
those two people. And I remember, you know, the times that
I've been in the show myself as Holmes, there's about two
thirds of the way through the show where I really start getting
exhausted and I keep thinking, who the hell wrote this thing?
Whose idea was this?

Lee Shackleford: It is, it's just really hard. As anybody whose done the play will
tell you, it's just really hard. But there's a moment, I don't want
to get too spoileriffic, but Holmes shoots something off the
mantelpiece. He put something on the mantelpiece, walks
across the room, takes Watson's service revolver, aims to the
mantelpiece, blam, shoots the thing. And it's a big story point.
My idea was that we were going to use a real gun with real
bullets.

Scott Monty: Oh, boy.

Burt Wolder: Oh, gee.

Lee Shackleford: And I didn't have anybody in the theater world to sort of take
me along and say, "Well, no, you're not. That's not how you do
things on the stage." That's how I would have done it. And of
course, whoever was standing on the other side of that wall,
you know, might've had something to say about it too. But-

Burt Wolder: Only briefly, actually.

Lee Shackleford: We can certainly ... we lose more stage managers that way.
Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: So, if you're not going to shoot it with a real bullet, what do
you do? And what we came up with for ... well, they did this at
UAB as well, but, yeah, in the off-Broadway production, there's
a squib. We had an electrically triggered explosive charge that
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was built into the mantelpiece. So then the things that get
shot, at that moment, Holmes goes over and he puts this thing
down on top of the squib, walks past across the room and pulls
the trigger to the gun.

Lee Shackleford: Now the stage manager offstage is going to fire that squib off
at the precise moment that the gun fires, creating the illusion
that the fired gun is what caused this thing to blow up the way
it did.

Scott Monty: You just have to hope the stage manager hasn't fallen asleep
backstage exactly.

Lee Shackleford: Exactly. And is also telepathic because-

Scott Monty: Well, yeah.

Lee Shackleford: It all sounds wonderful and it looks fine on paper, but the odds
of actually getting those two things to go off at the same time
is pretty slim. So night after night at UAB, we would get
laughter from the audience because the squib would go off
before the gun did, which makes it look like Holmes has
shattered this thing with the power of his mind, or the gun
goes off and the squib doesn't, which that actually happened
more often than not. And Jack [Hannon 00:41:52], our first
Holmes, I always loved this. Nights when that would happen,
he would just say, "Well, I never was very good shot."

Lee Shackleford: And then he'd just walk over and hit the thing with the butt of
the gun, which worked just as well. But we did, we tried all
different kinds of ways to make this work and I still haven't
really figured out what the best way to do it is. It was just
naiveté on my part of writing the-

Scott Monty: Well, these days, you could use Bluetooth.

Lee Shackleford: I really do think there is a way to have a gun, someday, that
looks like Watson's service revolver. It would be a trigger for
the squib. Yeah, no, that really, that is how I think it should be
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done. But I've never been involved with a production that had
that kind of capability.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Burt Wolder: I take it Holmes is not speaking when he's shooting the gun.

Lee Shackleford: He is, he says, "This is my resolution for the year to come." And
so what I always did was I said that, "This is my resolution for
the year to come." Bang.

Scott Monty: Yeah, I mean, yeah.

Lee Shackleford: So that the stage manager knew that's the cadence. "For the
year to come." Bang.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: Anyway.

Scott Monty: Well, great work.

Lee Shackleford: I think we said in New York that we were getting it like six
times out of 10. It's got to be pretty good. All these things that
blew up also had to be replaced every night, and our stage
manager, the great designer, Kel Laeger again, Kel had found a
formula for making sugar glass and so we would melt the glass
every night. There's a window pane that gets shot out, also, so
that had to be replaced every night and it creates a lot of
smoke, making this process, and we learned that if you do this
in the stairwell at Citicorp Plaza, which is where the Theatre at
St. Peter's is, if you send up a column of smoke up the stairwell
at St. Peter's, you will get three of New York's finest hook and
ladder trucks, and all of the guys coming in asking you what
the heck is going on.

Scott Monty: And they probably want tickets, I guess.

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Lee Shackleford: They wanted our hide. Yeah, I'm just glad they didn't bill us for
it. I don't know. I wasn't handling the money end of things.
Maybe they did. Maybe we got fined for that, I don't know, but
there were so many things that we were naive about. We went
to great lengths and great expense to make sure that the two
handguns in the show are period and Watson's gun was an
Afghan war issue Webley service revolver, was a beautiful,
beautiful thing. And I was so proud of that, because I knew one
of the reasons we were doing the show in January, which is
traditionally a terrible time to try to do theater in New York,
was because we knew that the BSI dinner and ASH and
everybody, they were all going to be there, which is great.

Lee Shackleford: On the other hand, it also means that our toughest critics are
going to be there and I really wanted that moment when
Watson pulls that gun out, for all those people in the audience
to go, "Hey, that's Watson's gun. That's well done."

Lee Shackleford: What I didn't know was that when you do a show off-
Broadway like that, that has handguns in it, the police come to
dress rehearsal, to inspect, to make sure everything's okay.
That seems obvious to me now looking back, but I didn't know
that. So they looked over our guns and they said, "Are you
kidding me? No, no, you're not going to fire these guns on this
stage." So the night before opening night or the day that we
were going to open, we are scouring New York City, which
fortunately is a theater town, right, to try to find a stage where
the legal dummy guns that would look something like what we
use. So in the end we had basically a track pistol, which, you
know, it didn't look anything like Watson's service revolver.

Scott Monty: I knew a guy down in the Bowery that sold those out of the
back of his white van. Could have saved you a little trouble
there.

Lee Shackleford: He's still there, painting the tips orange.

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Burt Wolder: So what else ... I mean, you speak so warmly and
knowledgeably about these characters and you have such
interesting perspective on their relationship, and you've
brought them to the stage. Have you ... I mean, I know you've
also done some cartooning regularly in the Baker Street
Journal about Holmes and Watson, but what else have you
done with these characters? Are there more plays? Have you
thought about short stories? Do you think about them? Do you
still think about them for, you know, bringing them around in
various forms, radio, other things?

Lee Shackleford: I guess they're never very far from my mind, right? That you
guys and I, we think about them in some way all the time. My
radio drama serial, Relativity, is not Sherlockian in nature,
although of course we name check Sherlock Holmes every now
and then, even though it takes place 100 years in the future,
because people are still going to be talking about Sherlock
Holmes 100 years from now, right? But it is sort of a conflict
between two people who have those essential qualities. One is
mostly heart and the other one is mostly brain. And they tend
to, you know, get into conflict about how to resolve a
particular problem because one says, no, you know, we need
to take care of the people involved in this. We need to take
care of the things involved, you know. Think it, and the other
would say, "No, feel it."

Lee Shackleford: And for a change, I'm playing the one who's always leaping
into things and not thinking it through. So that heart versus
head thing is always in my mind and it's one of the things that I
know is what I love about the original Star Trek series. It's Kirk
and Spock, and that, very often, the solution to the problem of
the week is not entirely what Spock says and not entirely what
Kirk says. It's the two of them kind of working things out
together, finding a place in between. Or very often, Kirk ends
up being the arbiter between the purely logical Spock and the
hot button McCoy. So sometimes Kirk is sort of in the middle

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saying, "Okay, I think you're both right. We're going to find a
way to make this work."

Lee Shackleford: In this day and age, I really wanted to figure out how to do all
of that with two women. So I wrote a TV pilot that I called
Herlock, and one of the people who, I was on social media
saying, "Okay, we're launching this project now. We're going to
call it Herlock," and one of my friends, his immediate response
was, "So is this porn or what?"

Scott Monty: Wow. So, was it?

Scott Monty: Just kidding, no.

Lee Shackleford: We would have made more money. No, and I was crushed
because I thought, oh no, I hope I haven't done it again. I feel
like I'm always choosing names for things poorly, you know. I
mean, looking back, calling Holmes and Watson Holmes and
Watson was a huge mistake because there is no way ... I can't
own that. There's no way I can copyright that. And now, Jeffrey
Hatcher's play that's now been out for a while and is now the
Sherlock Holmes play that I feel like most people are talking
about. It's called Holmes and Watson. He has no obligation to
say, "Hey, somebody already used that title." There's a
pastiche called Holmes and Watson. I think there was a yet
earlier played called Holmes and Watson that I haven't read,
and now we have a film coming out that's called Holmes and
Watson, which isn't based on my play or Jeffrey Hatcher's, but
is apparently ... It's just going to be a more ... what's the
Michael Caine movie?

Scott Monty: Without a Clue.

Lee Shackleford: Without a Clue. Yeah, I think it's going to be a lot more like
Without a Clue.

Scott Monty: Well, if it makes you feel any better, they're already talking
about the film in BSI bathrooms everywhere.

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Lee Shackleford: Exactly. I don't go for that Will Ferrell meets Sherlock Holmes.
Well, but you see what I mean? If people are looking for my
play, and Jeffrey Hatcher has this problem too, I imagine. But
you Google the words Holmes and Watson. It may be a while
before they get down to your script.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: And I did it again with the radio drama of calling it Relativity,
and Herlock, I didn't even think about this. But that's
unsearchable. If you search for Herlock, Google will
immediately spell, well, let me do the autocorrect you to
Sherlock.

Scott Monty: Oh, interesting. Huh.

Lee Shackleford: So, and if you say no, I mean Herlock, it will take you to the
Japanese, to the anime series Captain Harlock.

Scott Monty: Oh my gosh.

Lee Shackleford: So it's just been very hard for people to find Herlock. But we
did produce that. My bestest buddy David Dunkin directed it
and, the one episode that we did is still out there and it's on
the website herlock.us. So I tell people, just go straight to it.

Scott Monty: If it makes you feel any better, that is the top search result
when you put Herlock into Google now.

Lee Shackleford: Get out of town.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: Shows you how long it's been since I tried that.

Scott Monty: Well, and how long it takes Google to catch on. But they're
smart. Here's the other thing, too. You were once again ahead
of the trend because HBO Japan, and they recently partnered

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with Hulu to bring it to the United States, produced Miss
Sherlock.

Lee Shackleford: Yes.

Scott Monty: Which was I think an eight episode series about, again, women
inhabiting the roles of Holmes and Watson in the modern day.

Lee Shackleford: And I haven't seen any of that, but of course I'm fascinated by
it. But, yeah, two things you remind me of. One is that I always
love my wife's remark about this, that she had seen, we'd
watched The Great Mouse Detective and we watched the Star
Trek: The Next Generation episodes where Data was playing
Sherlock Holmes on the Holodeck. And she said after seeing
those, she said, "Why can Sherlock Holmes to be a mouse and
a robot, but can't be a woman?" I said, "That's good. That's
really good." And that is the origin point of Herlock. And I
started saying, there's not a reason in the world, let's do it.
And we premiered it at the convention, 221B Con. And we
ended up on the roster with two other web series pilots in
which Holmes and Watson are women.

Scott Monty: Oh my goodness.

Lee Shackleford: Two. Yes. There were three. So, which, you know, in one way
was sort of heartbreaking. We said, well, now we're all just
going to get in each other's way. But on the other hand, this
certainly demonstrates that it was the right time, wasn't it?

Scott Monty: Right.

Lee Shackleford: And at this time, you know, Watson was already a woman on
Elementary, which I had not been watching. I knew about it,
but I hadn't been watching it. But anyway, I'm still proud of
Herlock. I wanted to do the thing that Steven Moffat and Mark
Gatiss were doing to begin with on BBC Sherlock, to touch on
canonical stories but to not make the canonical story essential
to people's understanding of the episode, to not literally do ... I

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mean because the first one is sort of Study in Scarlet, kind of,
sort of. And so mine is kind of Silver Blaze, kind of, but it's got
cars, and I don't know, I'd be interested if people listening to
this go watch Herlock and if they feed back to you what they
think about it.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: We've heard from people literally all over the world who love
it, but really not from a lot of Sherlockians. We showed a pilot
at Scintillation of Scions a couple of years ago and Chris
Redmond was live tweeting during all that and he described it
as being vaguely Sherlockian, which kind of made me come
away saying, "No, look, it's Silver Blaze. It's ... yeah. It is, it's
vaguely Sherlockian." Maybe we did sort of get off the
Sherlock path somewhere in the making of it, but anyway.

Scott Monty: Well, hey, you're not alone. Conan Doyle get off the path later
in his series, too.

Lee Shackleford: Exactly, exactly. So yeah, but that wasn't because I was sick of
the character, so-

Scott Monty: Right.

Lee Shackleford: Anyway. I mentioned Star Trek: The Next Generation. I should
tell you that one of the other weird aspects of this whole story
was that after playing Sherlock Holmes off-Broadway in
Holmes and Watson, which was certainly to me at ... I was 29,
then ... which was a career high. I thought, well maybe this is
going to be it. I came back home to Birmingham and there
were messages on my answering machine and one of them
was from my agent asking me if I would like to go pitch for Star
Trek: The Next Generation. Would I like to go pitch for Star
Trek: The Next Generation?

Scott Monty: Let me check.

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Lee Shackleford: Yeah, I'm kind of busy, but, yeah. So that was amazing. And
one of the first things I wanted to do was to propose another
story that would deal with Data in the Holodeck playing
Sherlock Holmes. Of course. Elementary Dear Data had been
one of the most popular episodes of the season before this, for
people who know Next Generation, and I pitched my story,
which would have involved getting Moriarty out of the
Holodeck and bringing him to life in three dimensions and
taking over the ship.

Lee Shackleford: And, in the writer's room there, they said, "No, we can't do
that. The estate won't allow us to use the characters
anymore." And I said, "What? I don't think that's right." And
you know, this is amazing. Do you remember the magazine
Starlog?

Scott Monty: I don't.

Burt Wolder: Yeah, sure.

Lee Shackleford: I had them all, man. Somebody at Starlog had written an article
in which they said that the Conan Doyle estate was upset with
the treatment of the character with Commander Data playing
him. And so they wouldn't allow them to use the character
again. I don't know where they got that, but here's the
amazing thing. People at Star Trek read that article and
believed it.

Scott Monty: Wow. Wow.

Lee Shackleford: Which, that's a power of media story, I guess. But anyway, so I
left that pitch meeting saying, "Let me just talk to Jon
Lellenberg, BSI, who I somebody I happen to know, and is the
executor of the estate, for heaven's sake."

Lee Shackleford: And so I reached out to Jon and he said, "No, that's ridiculous.
That's, no, no, we loved seeing Sherlock Holmes on Star Trek."

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So he got in touch with the head of Paramount legal and then
just like, that the door was open again.

Scott Monty: Well, what he meant is nothing's ridiculous for the right check.

Lee Shackleford: There you go. And I don't know anything about what changed
hands after that. But, yeah, so I went back and, you know, kind
of rubbing my hands with glee. I said, "Okay, who wants to
hear my pitch now?"

Scott Monty: Right.

Lee Shackleford: Now that I've opened the door back for you. So my pitch
became what would ultimately be the episode called Ship in a
Bottle. I guess it's a good news, bad news thing. It means that I
got to live the fantasy that I'd had ever since I was a kid, of
being present at the creation of an episode of Star Trek,
because the original series ended when I was seven years old.
So, you know, obviously I missed that one. The Next
Generation gave me an opportunity to do that.

Lee Shackleford: But the way TV works, especially for freelance, is that you may
get paid for your story, but that doesn't mean your name is
going to be on it, because every hand that it passes through, it
changes a little more and a little more and a little more. And
the Writers' Guild says that the script belongs to whoever
literally wrote the most words of the script. So, and they do,
they count the words from each draft and compare them. And
the story editor for that season, René Echevarria, his version is
the one that is aired and he gets sole story credit, he gets sole
credit for it, which is okay, I guess. I would have loved to have
seen my name in that opening title, but I still know that was
my story.

Scott Monty: Was it recognizable to you in the end?

Lee Shackleford: I had a different ending and so most of what they changed was
in acts three and four of the script, and I have to admit, their

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ending, René's ending, is much better than what I had in mind.
But Sherlockians will appreciate this. I really wanted Data to
talk Moriarty into going back into the Holodeck, and where
they went to is Reichenbach Falls. I had figured out some way
that what Moriarty wouldn't know what was going to happen. I
don't really remember what the mechanism was there. But
Geordi, of course, as Watson, is outside of all this, realizing this
means that they're both going to die. That Data is going to
commit suicide for the sake of getting rid of Moriarty. But the
Holodeck has already been pre-programmed to not only do
Final Problem but to also do Empty House. And that was how
they were going to get out of it. And I remember that people in
the writer's room there said, "Yeah, that's cute. That is cute."
And I agree. Yeah, that's the problem with that. That's cute.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Yeah.

Lee Shackleford: So if it was a show that was known for being cute, that
might've been okay, We might do it on the [inaudible],
anyway, but not on Next Generation, so.

Scott Monty: Got it.

Lee Shackleford: But no, I think it's brilliant, really that in Ship in a Bottle, as it
was ultimately written, Moriarty doesn't know that he's not
out in command and has taken over the world. He's content to
live that. It's really beautiful. So there was this time period
there where I was playing Sherlock Holmes and then just
within a matter of months I was pitching Sherlock Holmes
stories to cable television.

Lee Shackleford: Then since then I've been drawing Sherlockian cartoons and
writing Sherlock Holmes web series and all kinds of things like
that. It never ends. It never ends. Oh, and getting to see
productions of Holmes and Watson here and there, which is,
you know, that's just never ending fun. I'm always willing to
travel somewhere to see a production of Holmes and Watson.

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Scott Monty: I wanted to ask you that. I mean, how often is the play
performed these days?

Lee Shackleford: It's a little hard for me to tell because I self-published the script
and so I manage the rights. So every now and then somebody
will contact me about performance rights. A lot of times
people do it without contacting me for performance rights.

Scott Monty: Uh-oh.

Lee Shackleford: So I'm always intrigued when somebody says, "Oh, you're the
guy that wrote Holmes and Watson. I saw that in Nebraska one
time." Really? Did you indeed?

Scott Monty: Khan!

Lee Shackleford: That's happened with a number of things that I've written,
and, you know, there's not much you can do about it, really. I
guess I'm just glad they're doing the play, because nobody's
getting rich off of this.

Lee Shackleford: What intrigues me though is that I have seen a number of


people do it on basically a bare set, to do it with just a few set
pieces and since the technical demands are so high for the
play, that really interests me. So I'll see production photos, you
know, if it's a production that I can't get to, people send me
photos and I just look at the picture and go, "Wow, I wish I'd
seen that," because I really would like to have known how they
did that. But, I don't know, but my wife asked me just last
night, "Why haven't you written any other Sherlock Holmes
plays?" And I said, "Well, you know, because ... That's a good
question." I think because not long after that, I was the head
writer on a radio drama serial for three years, for more than
three years, and then started writing [inaudible]. I've been
busy.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Understandable. Well, if people would like to get a copy
of the play, Holmes and Watson, it is available through

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Amazon. We will have a link to a purchase that on the show
notes.

Lee Shackleford: Bless your heart.

Scott Monty: And I just want to pause on one last thing that, in your own
remarks about the play, I wish we had mentioned this earlier.
You said you've often thought that the play, it's subtitle should
be Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That's a great way to sum it
up.

Lee Shackleford: That was a sort of a pre-9/11 joke, but yeah, it was ... Actually,
I did make a poster when we did the revival in 2010 that ... I
mean in the year 2000 ... that just said Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, and had the Holmes and Watson profiles.

Scott Monty: That's great.

Lee Shackleford: But, yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Scott Monty: I love it. And it's gotten critical accolades from Jeremy Brett
and Isaac Asimov. I mean, you couldn't be in better company.

Lee Shackleford: No.

Scott Monty: So, Lee. It's been an absolute delight speaking with you. And I
have the feeling that we could continue this conversation for
three more hours if we really set our minds to it.

Lee Shackleford: Let's have a party, we'll get together.

Scott Monty: We should do that.

Lee Shackleford: Good.

Scott Monty: Maybe one of these days, we'll have an I Hear of Sherlock
Everywhere guest party, where we gather all of our previous
guests in a location and invite them to join us IRL, so to speak.

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Lee Shackleford: Yes.

Scott Monty: Well, thank you Lee, and best of luck to you in everything
that's coming next.

Lee Shackleford: Thank you so much.

Burt Wolder: You know, it's interesting, we occasionally encounter people


like Lee, but nobody I can remember with his range of
interests, you know, people who are just creative on many
levels. He's a cartoonist, he's a playwright, he's an academic,
he's an actor. It's really remarkable. And I think the world of
Sherlock Holmes has been enriched by people with this
panoply of creative skill.

Scott Monty: Yeah, I mean he is, he's like our very own George Plimpton. I
don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing as far as Lee's
concerned. For those of you who'd like the cultural reference,
George Plimpton, man of letters, writer, academic, actor, really
a modern day renaissance man and I think that fits Lee in quite
a number of ways.

Burt Wolder: Well, I think Lee would welcome some of the acting
opportunities that came to Plimpton in his later years. I
remember in Tim Hutton's Nero Wolfe series, Plimpton had a
number of parts as different characters. That's a lot of fun.

Scott Monty: I didn't realize that. That's something. He is seared into my


memory as the spokesman for Pop Secret, unfortunately. What
can I tell you?

Burt Wolder: Well, years ago I did a print campaign when I was at AT&T, and
part of that involved, I didn't get to meet him, but somebody
from our group, I was responsible for the advertising and the
idea was that we featured him in a print ad, sort of as a
thought leader, but I don't remember the content anymore.

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Scott Monty: Well, you know, before we get to Canonical Couplets and our
announcement there, we do have another announcement to
share. Pretty exciting one, wouldn't you say, Burt?

Burt Wolder: Oh yes. Very exciting. You know, most of our work, of course,
is done pre-recorded, you know, we had recorded actually
through a concordance, all of the words in the English
language, the verbs, the predicates, the subjects, and so on,
and then these shows usually dynamically render using one of
the banks of BSI supercomputers that happened to be in
Shenzhen, China. But we've decided that for the upcoming
Gillette to Brett V conference that we're so excited about,
primarily because Scott and I rarely get out of our homes.
We're going to do an actual live show, which means we'll be
putting these words together with people watching us in real
time. I can't wait to find out what we're going to say. In fact,
one of the things we might do is do the live show now and
then record it. I mean, I guess we couldn't do that.

Scott Monty: Well, really every show we do is live. It's just we don't air it
live. So there is that. Yeah, this will be different because it'll be
a video show. Obviously if you don't want to watch us, you can
tune into the stream and go to another screen on your phone
or your computer if you will. But we'll have video there. We'll
have a table set up. We're still working on exactly the timing.
So stay tuned to our Facebook page if you want to get more
information on exactly when we are going to broadcast. We're
toying with something between Friday evening and Sunday
morning. You know, the whole conference is on Saturday. We
might be able to pull some people out, as they come by our
table in the dealer's room. And we do want to bring you some
semblance of what it's like there, what people are saying,
maybe grab some interesting people that we certainly intend
to have on the show and do a little bit of a teaser with you
there. And, you know, just kind of generally make it a little
more interactive. We'll give you a chance to ask questions if

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you type in the comments and if we can get them to our
guests, we'll do our best.

Burt Wolder: And it's going to be a wonderful time. I'm really looking
forward to that because while we have our table in the
dealer's room, of course we're going to be stacked there with
cassettes of all the great outtake moments from 150 different I
Hear of Sherlock Everywhere shows, but I'm really looking
forward to that.

Scott Monty: Yeah, it should be a lot of fun. So check it out. It's between
October 5th and 7th. Again, if you are a fan of us on Facebook,
we will update you there and let you know exactly what our
plans are.

Scott Monty: Fall is in the air and with the new season comes football,
leaves, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, everything. And of course
the annual Sebastian McCabe, Jeff Cody, mystery novel, Death
Masque. It's a story of civic controversy and murder in Mac
and Jeff's small town of Erin, Ohio. As preservationists and
development advocates fight over the future of a historic
theater, a key figure in the controversy turns up dead. As Mac
says, the plot machinations of grand opera seemed positively
guileless by comparison.

Scott Monty: The opera comparison is a natural one, for the new Erin Opera
Company is staging an original work with a Mardi Gras theme.
Murder strikes again, this time backstage, and Mac becomes
aware that many of the actors in this real life drama are
wearing metaphorical masks as well. Lynda Teal, Jeff's wife,
records much of Mac's sleuthing for a podcast series, never
imagining that the most dramatic audio of the concluding
episode will come from the murderer.

Scott Monty: Buy Death Masque online or stop by and see Dan in person in
the dealer's room at the Gillette to Brett V conference on
October 6th in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Scott Monty: He'll be there with us. And of course you've heard Dan before,
here on episode 141 of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

Scott Monty: Well, of course it is time for the thought leaders that like to
participate in Canonical Couplets. That's right. It is Canonical
Couplet time, and that means that we reach into our barrel
and pull out a random name and pull out a random poem. You
know, I hesitate to call it a poem, because it is just a couplet.
And as you know, if you've been playing along regularly, we
take a stanza, a two-line couplet that is supposed to be a
summary of one of the Sherlock Holmes stories from the
canon. We read it and you guess which one it is and of all of
the correct entries, we select one at random to be the official
winner that week. And what we do is we send out a prize.
Doesn't necessarily mean it's a huge prize, some sort of
tchotchke or paper good. Could be a book, could be a
pamphlet, something of Sherlockian value.

Scott Monty: And I mentioned that we had a very special announcement


and it is that, well, I have to say we have a repeat winner,
believe it or not.

Burt Wolder: Unbelievable.

Scott Monty: I know. What are the odds? Now we usually don't do this, but
let's just say participation was down recently. So, there is a
name that will be coming up here that you may recognize and
let's hope he recognizes it too, so he can claim his prize.

Scott Monty: The Canonical Couplet in episode 151 was as follows: "It's hard
to find a workable deterrent for kluxers both historical and
current." That word kluxers we think may have thrown a few
people off. This individual wrote in for clarification and he
indeed did find out that it is spelled K-L-U-X-E-R, and there was
only one canonical story in which the Ku Klux Klan was
mentioned. Do you know which one it was, Burt?

Burt Wolder: Sorry, that's the Veiled Squires.


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Scott Monty: So close, as always. So close. It was the Five Orange Pips. It was
the Five Orange Pips.

Burt Wolder: Of course.

Scott Monty: Yeah. And we are pleased to announce that George Fuller won
again. So George, congratulations on your prize. We are so
delinquent in sending out a previous prize to you, we'll stuff
this one in the same box. So that's ... save postage. I like that.

Scott Monty: Well, that means that it must be time for the Canonical
Couplet for episode 152.Just to make sure we don't have
anyone miss this one, we'll be pretty clear about it as well.

Scott Monty: "The fundamental tale wins hardy praise from all who overlook
it's Mormon phase."

Scott Monty: If you think you know the answer to that, if you can identify
the Sherlock Holmes story referenced by that couplet, please
send an email to comment@ihearofsherlock.com. The subject
line should say Canonical Couplet and we will see you at the
end of episode 153. Good luck.

Burt Wolder: Super. I really like that game. It's a lot of fun.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Well, see if people get their act together this time. Chop,
chop, people, you know?

Burt Wolder: Yeah. I think I know the answer to the next one. I didn't realize
that Conan Doyle wrote Orphans of the Storm, though.

Scott Monty: Hey, no spoilers.

Burt Wolder: I'm sorry. I may be getting my reading muddled and everything
else too.

Scott Monty: I don't want us getting investigated by Congress like Geritol or


21. Did you ever see the movie Quiz Show?

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Burt Wolder: Yes, yeah, years ago.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Well, I was recently talking with someone just last week
at a conference. He was a producer as a young student out of
journalism school with PBS and he did some work on some
documentaries for PBS and he actually got to know Doris
Kearns Goodwin, you know, a major biographer. She knows
many presidents and is well known herself. He didn't really
know her, but he was a huge fan of her husband. Her husband
was the lead prosecutor in Quiz Show who went after all of the
game show people, Robert Goodwin.

Burt Wolder: Oh really? So, I mean, in real life, her husband was the
prosecutor?

Scott Monty: That's right. Played by, I think, Rob Morrow in the movie. So he
was busy fanboying over Robert Goodwin while he was
supposed to be interviewing Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Scott Monty: So our little quiz show trivia this time around. Much more than
you needed to know. Well, I think we've just about done
enough damage that we can do this time around. Unless you
can think of something else we should do, Burt.

Burt Wolder: I think we should be moving slowly but surely towards those
red exit signs.

Scott Monty: Oh, please, but don't call me Shirley.

Scott Monty: Well, until next time rolls around, I am forced to remain Scott
Monty.

Burt Wolder: And I'm surely Burt Wolder.

Sherlock Holmes: I'm afraid that in the pleasure of this conversation, I'm
neglecting business of importance, which awaits me
elsewhere.

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Scott Monty: Thank you for listening. Please be sure to join us again for the
next episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, the first
podcast dedicated to Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes: Goodbye, and good luck and believe me, to be, my dear fellow,
very sincerely yours. Sherlock Holmes.

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