Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dream, Jul 10, 2013.
If you go by LoEG, he's not a fan of anybody.
I agree, but they did it with Holmes-- twice.
More than twice, actually. Some of the Rathbones were set in the 1940s. There might he other contemporary set Holmes as well. Of course the concept behind Holmes is that he the world's greatest detective and consults with the police. The concept behind LoEG is literary characters who are contemporaries teaming up.
Surprisingly few, really. Most of the stories, at least onscreen, that feature Holmes in the present or future involve the original 19th-century character being frozen, time-warped, or cloned/resurrected, rather than a simple transposition of the character to a modern setting. And it's odd that it hasn't been done more, because as you say, Holmes as originally conceived was a very modern character -- indeed, for his time he was quite a futuristic character, employing deductive and scientific techniques that were at the bleeding edge of the state of the art for the time, not even widely used by police yet.
^^ It's not odd at all. Holmes' status as an innovator in forensics and as the world's first consulting detective doesn't really work in any other time period. It's like having George Washington elected president in 2012.
I didn't think that was a great idea, either, but at least that wasn't too far removed from his original time period and they did their best to preserve the atmosphere. At this point a century has passed.
The point is, Conan Doyle chose to write a character that was on the cutting edge, so if he were alive today and writing the character today, he would want him to still be on the cutting edge, even if the details of how that was achieved were different. Moffat's Sherlock is on the cutting edge in his use of modern technology, and the production is similar innovative in its use of onscreen graphics, effects, and editing to represent Holmes's thought process. I think Doyle would approve of the innovative spirit there. Robert Doherty's Holmes from Elementary is similarly at the forefront of technology -- surrounding himself with TV screens and putting cameras everywhere, using a magnifier app/accessory on his mobile phone, texting devotedly... and also being culturally progressive, having no problem with an Asian-American woman as his partner or a transsexual person as his housekeeper. To Doyle, Holmes represented progress and modernity. Just because the times have caught up with him, that doesn't mean he can't still be a forward-looking character.
It would not surprise me in the least if this were modernised. I can just see some exec seeing it as a way to combine the superheroics of Agents of SHIELD and the updating-a-classic success of Sherlock and Elementary. Plus period settings are expensive and oft-times fail to engage audiences - from The Lone Ranger, to Pan Am, to the LXG movie. Yes, I know there are period-set hits, but by and large they don't do as well as modern-set movies (compare the take for X-Men First Class to that of the Last Stand, for example) and I can imagine that the recent failure of Lone Ranger will be in people's minds. Not to mention the similarly themed Showtime series I mentioned a few pages ago.
Of course, I hope it will be Victorian-set, I hasten to add.
^^ Well, there are a few period pieces around that are pretty successful, but you're right, I don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful with the contemporary audience.
Those are just refinements and technological advancements, and the modern caricatures of Holmes are just using them, not inventing them. Holmes was something new, something never seen before. For a 21st century Holmes to be as compelling as the original he would have to create something that's as innovative now as forensics was in the 1890s and have an occupation as unique as consulting detective was. And even then he wouldn't be Holmes and it would be silly to use his name.
And, surprise, surprise, Moore isn't impressed by this idea:
This. With several generations' worth of professional police force develoment, it simply isn't credible for contemporary cops to employ or even tolerate an outside consultant. The honest modern-day Holmes update is L&O: Criminal Intent's Goren, whom Dick Wolf explicitly posited as such.
Well, the modern take is that Holmes is useful not merely for being the only person to use his techniques, but for being an exceptionally brilliant observer and analyst, able to discern patterns and connections that elude most observers who do use his techniques.
And really, I think the precedent for that is there in Doyle's canon. How often did we see Holmes say "Watson, you know my methods" and challenge him to apply those methods to solve a puzzle? Watson did the best he could using the forensic and observational techniques Holmes pioneered, applied them with care and intelligence and made some useful insights, but he still lacked the brilliance to see the solutions that only Holmes could perceive. The modern-day Holmes shows work the same way, except that the entirety of Scotland Yard or the NYPD is in the Watson role. Holmes is still Holmes; only his context has changed.
Is it a stretch for the police to employ an outside consultant? Well, yes and no. The police, FBI, etc. often do consult civilian specialists in particular fields where they need expertise. Sometimes they've even been desperate enough to consult so-called psychics. The break from reality is when they continue to work with these civilian consultants on an ongoing basis and the consultants end up doing the bulk of the detective work themselves, as on shows like Numb3rs, Psych, and the like. As a rule, if they need a certain type of expertise on a regular basis, they'll just hire someone to work for them full-time as part of the department. But that's just one of the pervasive conceits of series television -- taking something that should be a singular event and making a regular thing of it.
In the case of Elementary (and maybe Sherlock too, I forget), it can perhaps be somewhat justified by the fact that Holmes doesn't ask for payment for his services, but consults for free because he craves the challenge. Although then you run into tricky legal questions of Holmes's authority as a state actor or lack thereof, but then, that's no different from what you get in stories about Batman or other crimefighters.
Anyway, this has what to do with LXG...?
I don't watch them but aren't Castle and the Mentalist outside consultants? Not sure if that's true to life but seems to work as a premise (assuming I'm correct about their roles).
^I don't know about The Mentalist, but Castle was originally just doing research for his book, using his friendship with the mayor to get permission to hang around with Beckett and the detectives and draw on them for inspiration and realistic detail. So technically, he was consulting with them, not the other way around. But he happened to be clever enough that he turned out to be a useful participant in the detective work.
Yeah, that sort of thing is no problem. It's just a trope of detective fiction.
But there are other modern detectives who see things that others don't see-- Monk is a prime example. Monk would not have been improved by calling Monk Sherlock and Sharona Watson.
He would be Holmes because he's Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest detective, in any age.
A bit ironic, since many of Moore's best known works are "recycled" from the works of others.
"Recycled." That's a polite word. I doubt Moore had permission from Aaron Sorkin, J.K. Rowling, Gildrose Publications, and the BBC (among many others) for the use of their characters in LOEG: Century. One of the best, and also most dismissive, comments on what LOEG is came from Comics Alliance's Chris Sims -- it's "Family Guy for smart people."
That's why you are left to guess who most of the characters and what most of the references are in the last two volumes. There is no way that this series can come remotely close to the atmosphere of Moore's work unless it is on HBO or something similar.
I have a sad feeling that this program if it comes to fruition will bear a striking resemblance to Sanctuary (which I always thought was LXG lite anyway).
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