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kottke.org posts about Sherlock Holmes

Teaser trailer for Sherlock season 4

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 25, 2016

I really like Sherlock, but a little less so every season…and this trailer seems to point in what I feel is a bad direction. Why does everything have to be so cartoonishly big and important? This isn’t James Bond with the entire world under imminent threat every 12 months from some heretofore unknown super-villain who is in charge of a global cabal of baddies that suddenly materialized, fully formed, out of nowhere. To be fair, Sherlock is far from the only show/movie series that does this (and to be more fair, they do it less than most), but the constant raising of the stakes is lazy writing and leads only into a corner.

The two most suspenseful movies I saw last year were Mad Max: Fury Road and Spotlight. Both focused on relatively small actions — the rescue and survival of five women in the former and the gathering of long hidden truths about the Catholic Church in the latter — and both were edge-of-your-seat the entire time. And the movie about journalism (journalism!) was actually the more suspenseful of the two, even though I knew the outcome the entire time. That’s excellent writing. I know the Sherlock team is capable of excellent writing — it’s one of the most inventive shows out there — and I hope this season will be more interesting than the OH MY GOD THE WORLD IS ENDING AND ONLY SHERLOCK CAN SAVE US vibe I’m getting from the trailer. TL;DR: the trailer for a TV show is too exciting. (Oh brother.)

We Work Remotely

Trailer for the Sherlock Christmas special

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 11, 2015

With the pace of the excellent Sherlock series slowing down a bit because of scheduling (Cumberbatch, Freeman, Moffat, and Gatiss are increasingly busy), they still somehow found time to shoot a Christmas special that will air in December 2015. Here’s a short teaser scene:

Update: A longer trailer. Makes it look a bit darker than the regular show, which I’m not sure is a good thing.

Mr. Holmes

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 05, 2015

In Mr. Holmes, Ian McKellen plays a post-retirement Sherlock Holmes who has moved to the country to take up beekeeping. Here’s the trailer:

Update: Not that the first trailer was bad or anything, but this new one provides much more of a sense of what the film is about.

I’m going to watch the shit out of this movie.

Notes for Sherlock

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 28, 2013

[Sherlock season 2 spoilers ahead…] At the end of the second season of the excellent BBC series Sherlock, Holmes jumps off the roof of a building in Smithfield, London. Ever since then, fans of the show have been leaving notes near where he would have landed.

Sherlock Notes

(thx, phil)

Moonshiners’ cow shoes

posted by Jason Kottke   May 14, 2012

Cow Shoes

This is one of a pair of cow shoes worn by moonshiners during Prohibition to hide their tracks from prohibition agents. From a 1922 edition of The Evening Independent:

A new method of evading prohibition agents was revealed here today by A.L. Allen, state prohibition enforcement director, who displayed what he called a “cow shoe” as the latest thing front the haunts of moonshiners.

The cow shoe is a strip of metal to which is tacked a wooden block carved to resemble the hoof of a cow, which may be strapped to the human foot. A man shod with a pair of them would leave a trail resembling that of a cow.

The shoe found was picked up near Port Tampa where a still was located some time ago. It will be sent to the prohibition department at Washington. Officers believe the inventor got his idea from a Sherlock Holmes story in which the villain shod his horse with shoes the imprint of which resembled those of a cow’s hoof.

I think I saw a woman wearing a pair of these on 6th Ave last week. (via nyer photo booth)

Sherlock!

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 25, 2010

The BBC aired a new adaptation of Sherlock Holmes this summer called, simply, Sherlock. The three 90-minute episodes are set in the present day (which could have been cheesy but isn’t) and make for some really good television. American audiences can find all three episodes on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS starting this week:

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement, The Last Enemy) in the title role, Martin Freeman (The Office, UK) as Dr. John Watson and Rupert Graves (God on Trial, The Forsyte Saga) as Inspector Lestrade, Sherlock premieres on Masterpiece mystery! on Sundays, October 24, 31, and November 7, 2010 at 9pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

In with three criminally clever whodunits, A Study in Pink (October 24), The Blind Banker (October 31) and The Great Game (November 7), consulting detective Sherlock Holmes teams up with former army doctor John Watson to solve a dizzying array of crimes with his signature deductive reasoning. From the writers of Doctor Who, Sherlock is co-created and written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

Worth seeking out, especially if you get PBS in HD (here’s the opening title sequence). If you miss it, the series is also available on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov 9.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle interview

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2010

In this filmed interview, the Sherlock Holmes author discusses how and why he came up with the famous detective.

He refers to Watson as Holmes’ “rather stupid friend”. (via mr)

Opening sequence for Sherlock Holmes

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 25, 2010

The Art of the Title Sequence highlights the impressive Sherlock Holmes opening credits, including an interview with the designer.

Sherlock Holmes trailer

posted by Jason Kottke   May 19, 2009

The trailer, in HD, of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. (as Holmes) and Jude Law (as Watson).

221B Baker Street

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 04, 2008

Overhead view of 221B Baker St, the fictional abode of Sherlock Holmes. An annotated version is available. The address didn’t exist when Doyle wrote the Holmes stories but after the extension of Baker St, a building close to where that address would be started to get a lot of mail addressed to Holmes.

Almost immediately, the building society started receiving correspondence to Sherlock Holmes from all over the world, in such volumes that it appointed a permanent “secretary to Sherlock Holmes” to deal with it. A bronze plaque on the front of Abbey House carries a picture of Holmes and Conan Doyle’s narrative detailing Holmes and Watson moving in at 221B.

Science and drugs

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 12, 2005

Scientists who have tried drugs have included Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and Stephen Jay Gould. Like Sigmund Freud, fictional detective Sherlock Holmes was a fan of cocaine. (via cyc-c)