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Old September 29 2012, 04:09 PM   #259
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Re: Lucy Liu cast as Watson in CBS' Sherlock Holmes show

Forbin wrote: View Post
I tend to NOT like bringing a classic character into the present and pretending his whole literary history never existed. I.e., for this series to work, it has to be in an alternate-reality 2012 where there was never an Arthur Conan-Doyle series of stories, nor any of the many Holmes movies or TV series. I'm sure that's not a problem for many people, but I have trouble wrapping my brain around it.
Well, it's no different from, say, a Superman movie being set in a world where Superman hasn't been a defining part of pop culture since 1938. Or having Star Trek be set in a future where there was never a 20th/21st-century franchise called Star Trek. Or having a vampire series wherein vampires have always been killed by sunlight for thousands of years, even though that trope wasn't introduced into vampire fiction until Nosferatu in 1922. Or the various works of Arthurian fiction that situate King Arthur and Camelot in the Middle Ages even though the legends (and their possible historical antecedents) date from nearly a millennium earlier. The one thing that's always going to be missing in any fictional universe is its own history and legacy as a work of fiction.

For me, the part that's hardest to suspend disbelief about is something different. I can buy an alternate world where Conan Doyle's detective fiction was never published. But it's hard to believe that anyone who bore a child in the late 20th century would've named them "Sherlock." It's a pretty weird name. But I suppose it's possible. There have been various historical figures with the last name Sherlock, and a few places with that name (in Australia and Kansas, though, not England). So I guess he could've been named after one of those.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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