monthly fandom

SuperWhoLock

Everybody loves a good crossover. If you’re a member of more than one fandom built around a work of fiction with a well-developed universe and interesting characters, it’s very natural to wonder, “What if this character from this work met that character from that one?” Or, “What if the characters from this universe suddenly found themselves in that one?” And so, much fanfiction and fan art is created.

SuperWhoLock Why Have I not seen this before? I just sat there staring at my computer for about 2 minutes before i could move.

But ever since someone decided that Doctor WhoSherlock, and Supernatural go together like peanut butter and chocolate, “Superwholock” has become so popular on the Internet that it’s practically a fandom in its own right. For a long time, this puzzled me. As a Whovian and a Sherlockian, it was easy for me to see how those two shows work together. They’re currently run by the same people, star many of the same actors, and air on the same UK channel. Of course there are similarities between the two! But I couldn’t understand how Supernatural fit into that group. It’s an American show. I knew just enough about it to know that it has nothing in common with the BBC except for Mark Sheppard (and really, what speculative fiction show doesn’t have Mark Sheppard?).

But now, having added Supernatural to my list of fandoms, I understand. All three shows have:

1) Male protagonists of questionable sanity who fight evil (and tend to do it attractively).

2) A habit of killing main characters and bringing them back to life.

This inevitable meeting. | 34 Amazing Crossovers You Wish Were Real...I HATE TO LOVE THIS! Because it's Rory & Death!

I feel like these two would get along. They could form a club with Sherlock and just snark at each other all the time while eating chips.

3) LOTS of angst.



4) At least one beloved character who sports a Long Coat of Power

And most importantly…

5) An insanely devoted (and possibly insane, period) fan base.

Tumblr Explains Why "Sherlock" Needs To Come Back On The Air Right Now

Apparently, the three of them own Tumblr.

 

There are other similarities, but those seem the most obvious to me. Since these are my three favourite TV shows (with the exception of Firefly), I find Superwholock to be all kinds of fun. And some people have put a lot of work into making it believable. Seriously, Google it sometime. Just as one example, I’ll leave you with this trailer for the feature-length crossover episode that will, sadly, never happen. For your viewing pleasure:

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

For All Your GIFing Needs

As we say adieu to Sherlock for this year, I’d like to leave you with some of the funnier gifs the show’s fandom has cooked up. Depending on your point of view, these may be the silver lining to every hiatus, or proof that Sherlockians just need serious help. Either way, please enjoy:

1. As we all know, Sherlock is an excellent dancer.

2. But he’s best at finding clues.

3. Just as Sherlock hides his dancing skills, Moriarty has long kept his musical aspirations a secret.

4. I think some of the fans’ ideas about how Sherlock should come back were better than the version on the actual show…

5. Like, WAY better.

6. Sometimes we need John to say what we’re all thinking.

7. John is not impressed with Sherlock’s theatrics. No matter what universe he’s in.

8. Like everyone, Sherlock sometimes feels the urge to do an Elsa impression.

9. I…don’t even know what to say about this one.

10. Anyway, thanks for making the Internet a little more interesting, Sherlockians.

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

Molly Hooper Appreciation Post

I would be remiss if I ended this month without posting about Molly Hooper. For a character who wasn’t in the original stories, Molly is pretty darn awesome. She started out as just a shy, sweet little mortician with a crush on Sherlock, and grew into so much more than that. Here are just a few of the traits that make Molly great:

But they were so cute together for half a second…

 

1. She dated, then dumped, Moriarty. Also known as the most dangerous criminal in London. Just let that sink in for a moment.

“I know what that means, looking sad when you think no one can see you.”

 

2. She overcame her shyness in order to reach out to Sherlock when she could tell he needed help (and notice that no one else, not even John, realized Sherlock needed help at that point). And this was AFTER he humiliated her in front of her friends.

This is her “I know something John Watson doesn’t” face.

 

3. She helped Sherlock fake his death. Making her the only non-relative who knew he was alive after “The Reichenbach Fall.” And she kept his secret for two  years.

And this is her “stop being so dramatic, Sherlock” face.

 

4. She appears in Sherlock’s mind palace as his most positive advice-giver.

And she looks AT LEAST as good in a jumper as John.

 

5. Despite starting out so shy and besotted with the oblivious detective, she painstakingly gains Sherlock’s respect over the course of the series, and she also grows in self-confidence at the same time. By the last episode, she’s on such equal footing with Sherlock that she slaps him in the face for misbehaving, and he doesn’t even hold it against her.

You go, Molly! I’d take you over Irene Adler any day. You totally count. ❤

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

DIY 221B

I am planning to move in the near future, so the subject of apartments and apartment organization has been rather on my mind. So, during my travels through the interwebs, this article caught my eye.

It gives instructions on how to make your apartment/living room/office look like Sherlock’s flat at 221B Baker Street, complete with links where you can buy some of the essential accents. And yes, you can even get the exact same wallpaper, at a website called “Tangle Tree Interiors.” You might have to add the smiley face yourself, though.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to invest all of my apartment budget into making Sherlock proud.

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

#1:The Reichenbach Fall

Last one, everybody!

The Reichenbach Fall

Summary: As Sherlock’s fame continues to grow, so do the schemes of his arch-nemesis. As Moriarty starts carrying out his promise to “burn” Sherlock, the detective and John race desperately to stay one step ahead of him.

Why it’s ranked here: I think one of the reasons Series 3 was so disappointing is that this episode was such a hard act to follow. It’s beautiful. It’s mind-bending in the best possible way. And yes, it manages to be heart-breaking, even though practically everyone who has ever heard the name “Sherlock Holmes” knew how it would end.

It was fitting for me to post about “A Study in Pink” right before this one, because in many ways “The Reichenbach Fall” completes that episode. In “Pink,” for example, we see Sherlock risking his life just to prove how brilliant he is. John has to save him at the last second. In “Reichenbach,”  we see Sherlock allowing his reputation as a brilliant detective to be destroyed in order to save John. Look what a good dose of character development can do! On the other hand, “Pink” starts with John alone, dreaming about the war. “Reichenbach” ends with John alone, re-assuming his military posture, psychosomatic limp, and psychiatrist. Oh, and both episodes prove why you should never get into a cab without looking at the driver.

Moriarty is, obviously, a big reason why this episode works. His antics are more subdued during his scenes with Sherlock, which just makes him that much creepier. And it doesn’t help that everything seems to be going exactly his way from the beginning. For me, the most disturbing moment in this entire series is when John and Sherlock encounter Moriarty as “Richard Brook.” He was so convincing that for a split second, I really wondered if this was his true identity.

Although even as a children’s storyteller, he’s still creepy as heck.

 

 

For a story with so many allusions to classic fairy tales, this episode plays on a uniquely modern fear: that paranoia we all sometimes feel about hackers, super-secret spy agencies, and anyone who can use the power of the Internet to steal someone’s identity, twist it into something completely false, or even erase it from existence. Just the fact that the vast majority of people seem to believe everything they read on the Internet, even though the vast majority of people are able to edit the Internet with impunity, makes all the drama in this episode uncomfortably plausible. If somebody can do that to Sherlock Holmes, then why not you? Sweet dreams…

“James Moriarty isn’t a man at all. He’s a spider.”

 

So Moriarty was an awesome villain. But this was also the first time we really got to see Sherlock as a genuine, honest-to-goodness hero. No, he’s made it very clear that he’s not “one of the angels,” and no, of course he didn’t literally sacrifice his life to save his friends, but he did sacrifice his reputation. And for Sherlock, that’s even more impressive. It’s quite heartwarming to see definitive proof that he has, indeed, learned to value a few people more than his own ego.

“Goodbye, John.”

 

But on the heartbreaking side of things, special mention has to go to John Watson, and Martin Freeman’s portrayal of him. John’s monologue at Sherlock’s grave is one of the most tear-jerking moments I’ve ever seen on television, and it’s all down to Martin’s beautifully genuine performance. The way that scene was filmed also helps–I love how, when John finally breaks down, the camera doesn’t look directly at him; we only see him cry in the reflection off the tombstone. And then he straightens up, gives a salute-like nod, and he’s immediately right back where he was at the beginning of the show. Cue the tears.

“There’s just one more thing–one more miracle, Sherlock, for me. Don’t. Be. Dead. Would you do that? Just stop it. Stop this.”

 

And then…look who came to his own funeral! Cue “Stayin’ Alive” chorus.

I love this show.

 

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

#2: A Study in Pink

“The name is Sherlock Holmes. The address is 221B Baker Street.” *epic wink*

A Study in Pink

Summary: This episode introduces us to Dr. John Watson, an army medic recently returned from combat in Afghanistan. He’s having trouble re-adjusting to civilian life in London, has a psychosomatic limp that resulted from a war injury, and is feeling bored and depressed…until he decides to rent a flat with brilliant consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. Next thing he knows, he’s running around the city investigating serial suicides, and it only gets crazier from there.

Why it’s ranked here: I remember watching this episode for the first time back in 2011, when Netflix was a new and exciting thing. The words “21st-century Sherlock Holmes” drew me to the show, but did not prepare me for how awesome it was going to be. From the moment Sherlock first appeared on screen, to the part when Mycroft says “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” over the epic theme music, I was squealing internally with pure nerdy joy. There’s nothing quite like one’s first experience with a brilliant bit of telly.

But this episode is, in its own right, one of the best episodes of any show that I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect blend of funny and intense, and the dialogue is so fast and so dense that it improves upon multiple viewings. Both Sherlock and John are immediately set up to be fascinating characters, as is the rest of the cast.

Some highlights: First, all the lines that were ripped from the original Sherlock Holmes stories. I didn’t read most of the stories until after I watched this episode, but the writers clearly did. Sherlock’s deduction of John at the beginning came straight from “The Sign of Four,” except with a cell phone instead of a watch (Afghanistan was still the country in question, though! Not much has changed, apparently…). And Sherlock’s immediate dismissal of Anderson’s suggestion that the word at the crime scene was meant to be German for “revenge” becomes much funnier when you realize that in the book, A Study in Scarlet, that’s exactly what it was. (Also in said book, Lestrade proposed that the killer might have been writing “Rachel,” and Holmes immediately shot him down.) I like television writers who read.

Speaking of that crime scene, I love how Sherlock’s deductions appear on the screen while he’s examining the Pink Lady. It’s a bit of an unusual move, and it may not have worked in another show, but here it was another great depiction of how the Great Detective’s mind works, without him having to explain every step.

Then there’s Mycroft’s introduction. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in thinking that the mysterious, omniscient person who kidnapped John and introduced himself as Sherlock’s arch-enemy was Moriarty. Turns out, he’s just Sherlock’s brother, who shares his ego and love of the theatrical. John’s reaction on finding this out at the end was priceless.

Despite the abandoned warehouse, the remote-controlled telephones and security cameras, and the ominous umbrella…it really is just a childish feud.

 

Then there’s the whole ending scene, with the “battle of wits” (sorry, I can’t help comparing it to the scene in The Princess Bride). It was so intense, from beginning to end, and it revealed so much about Sherlock, not to mention introducing his real arch-nemesis for the first time. The last fifteen minutes or so of the episode set up Sherlock’s entire moral dilemma for the rest of the show: “What’s the point of being clever if you can’t prove it?…You’ll do anything, anything at all, to stop being bored.”

 

That scene also firmly established that John Watson is not the bumbling pushover he is in many Sherlock Holmes adaptations. He’s every bit as much of an adrenaline junkie as Sherlock, and he clearly didn’t spend all that time in the army stitching up wounds. Please don’t threaten his friends in front of him.

Oh, and the Cabbie? Possibly the creepiest villain on this show, and yes, I’m including Moriarty in that assessment. He’s so normal at first glance, and yet, the more you look at him, the more you realize there’s something very, very wrong with the mind behind those glasses. Thanks to this episode, I’ll always be sure to get a good look at the driver any time I take a cab anywhere. Pity Sherlock didn’t learn the same lesson…

Of course, since he used to be an evil Roman soothsayer, perhaps we should have suspected him earlier.

 

Anyway, by the time the credits rolled on this episode, I was completely in love with Sherlock and the BBC (this was my first proper introduction to the channel). I haven’t looked back since.

And neither have they. Best Friends Forever.

 

Namarie,
Aldy

 

Standard
monthly fandom

#3: The Great Game

We’re in the home stretch now…

The Great Game

Summary: It’s a slow month for crime-solving, and Sherlock is bored. That is, up until an anonymous benefactor starts sending him “puzzles” to solve–a series of seemingly unrelated crimes all around London that Sherlock must get to the bottom of in a steadily-decreasing number of hours. Oh, and if he doesn’t, the mysterious “benefactor” will detonate an unwilling suicide bomber in a crowded area.

Why it’s ranked here: Because this episode is INTENSE. So many mysteries! So much deduction! So many ominous count-downs! It’s all fantastic. And the scene where the villain makes a little kid count down over the phone, and Sherlock has to find evidence for his theory before he gets to “zero”? Most stressful 10 seconds of my life. The fight with the Golem in the planetarium was also really intense…not to mention surreal and trippy.

Are we sure that guy is even human? Because he looks like Slenderman.

 

This one also establishes several of the most iconic aspects of the show: the smiley face on the wallpaper, Sherlock’s ignorance of the solar system, John’s blog, etc.

But what makes this episode truly memorable is….this guy.

I love Sherlock‘s take on Moriarty because it was so radically and completely different from what I was expecting. We’ve firmly established his evilness long before he appears, what with the whole “targeting children and old ladies” thing and the creepy “talking with other people’s voices” thing. We’ve also established his status as a criminal mastermind who controls a ridiculously effective army of minions (how else do you kidnap someone, cover them in explosives, park them in the middle of a busy street, and train a couple of snipers on them without anyone noticing?). And there are hints that he shares Sherlock’s darker tendencies (“Why does anyone do anything? It’s because I’m bored.”). Kidnapping John and talking through him was just the creepy icing on the villainous cake.

And then we hear his actual voice–“I gave you my number; I thought you might call”–and this short, young, high-voiced Irish guy, he-who-was-previously-known-as-Jim-from-IT, walks in and starts hamming it up like there’s no tomorrow. He’s not a cold, calculating professor like his literary counterpart. He doesn’t look or sound threatening. He IS absolutely off the deep end (which makes it appropriate that he chose that particular side of the pool for his entrance), and he does have snipers hiding in the wings the whole time, which helps with the intimidation factor.

But the creepy thing about Moriarty is that, once we actually see him, he’s a lot like Sherlock. While Sherlock displays his massive ego through rapid-fire speech and big words, Moriarty displays his by being overly dramatic and cracking bad jokes. Sherlock cures his boredom by solving crimes; Moriarty does it by arranging them. They’re both masters of disguise…so much so that neither even needs an actual disguise. (Did you ever have the slightest suspicion that Molly’s gay boyfriend was Moriarty? Because I didn’t.) They’re both, supposedly, sociopaths with no human connections, although Moriarty can tell that’s “not quite true” of Sherlock. They even wear similar suits. This meeting was a glorious set-up for all the others to come.

And then there’s that first, horrible cliff-hanger. I had to wait a year to find out how they got away from the pool, and I joined this fandom late. It’s like they’re TRYING to drive Sherlockians crazy! Oh wait, this is Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. Yep, they’re definitely trying.

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

#4: A Scandal in Belgravia

It’s not a Sherlock Holmes series without Irene Adler.

A Scandal in Belgravia

Summary: After escaping his first showdown with Moriarty, Sherlock’s fame grows, until he gains a client from inside the Royal Family itself. The anonymous client wants Sherlock to retrieve some compromising photos from a dominatrix named Irene Adler, a.k.a. “The Woman.” Seems like a simple task, except that “The Woman” turns out to be a clever and ruthlessly ambitious blackmailer who baffles even Sherlock’s powers of deduction.

Why it’s ranked here: Do I think changing Irene Adler from a popular American singer to a British dominatrix was a bit…extreme? Yes. Does she stick annoyingly close to Moffat’s usual (slightly misogynistic) formula for female characters? Oh, yes. But while the character’s premise may have flaws, this episode itself does not. It’s a taut, complex thriller with more twists than a stadium pretzel, and it delves deeper into Sherlock and Mycroft’s characters than the show had yet gone without sacrificing any of the story’s intensity.

And yes…I did kind of like Irene Adler. At first, I, like John, just wished she would put some clothes on, but as she got more involved in the story, it was hard not to be impressed at her knack for manipulating even a genius like Sherlock. And when her password was finally revealed at the end, it was hard not to feel sorry for her. I have to give full credit to Lara Pulver and Benedict Cumberbatch for making Sherlock and Irene’s…relationship…believable. I still hope to one day see an onscreen version of Irene Adler who resembles the brilliant, good-natured master of disguise she was in the original stories, but if one must turn her into a love interest for Sherlock, this is the way to do it.

Irene aside, though, there are tons of awesome moments in this episode. There’s the infamous “sheet” scene in Buckingham Palace (“Are you wearing any pants?” “Nope.” “Okay.”)…

There’s the part where Sherlock beats the crap out of an American secret agent for daring to lay a hand on Mrs. Hudson (“And exactly how many times did he fall out the window?” “I lost count.”)…

When he makes this face, you’re in big trouble.

 

And then there’s the triumphant, final plot twist in which Sherlock fakes a death for the first time. (“When I say run, you run.”)

There are some sad moments, too. I felt so bad for Molly during the Christmas party scene. I suspect Sherlock did, too, deep down, because he’s much nicer to her after this episode. And Sherlock’s grief over Irene when she “died” the first time was surprisingly touching, because it was so understated, and you could tell it was rather a new feeling for him. I’ll say it again: brilliant performance by Benedict.

Oh, and the violin theme he writes for her is lovely. Yes, there were a lot of great things about this episode. I, too, am SHERlocked.

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

#5: The Hounds of Baskerville

Ooh, now we’re getting to my favourites!

The Hounds of Baskerville

Summary: An unstable young man named Henry Knight hires Sherlock to investigate a 20-year-old case: his father’s murder, by what he claims was a monstrous red-eyed hound. Sherlock suspects the real culprit may be connected to Baskerville, a top-secret military research facility near Knight’s countryside village.

Why it’s ranked here: I love this episode. It’s funny, it’s scary (for Sherlock, anyway), and it’s based on my favourite Arthur Conan Doyle story, which always helps. No earth-shattering plot twists or intense showdowns here–just your fun, everyday murder investigation with a side of character development and creepy forest-dwelling monsters.

“Sherlock! What do your deducting eyes see?” “Murder!”

Some highlights: First, the scenery. This is the only Sherlock episode that takes place largely outside London, and the camera crew made the most of that. The stark beauty of the moor and the eerie forest contrasts nicely with the high-tech, whitewashed labs in Baskerville. Which makes it all the more creepy when the “monster” shows up in both places…

Speaking of monsters, Sherlock was brilliant in this episode. That hardly needs saying, I know, but “Hounds” showed off so many different sides of him over its 90-minute run: withdrawn tobacco junkie Sherlock, scared (!) Sherlock, nice apologetic Sherlock, World’s Worst Friend Sherlock, and, of course, brilliant detective Sherlock. This is the episode that introduces his “mind palace,” one of the show’s more fascinating concepts.

John also deserves a mention for putting up with “Spock’s” antics in this episode. Apart from the mean things he said to John at the hotel, if one of my friends pulled a prank on me like what Sherlock did in the labs, I think it would permanently strain our friendship. Poor John was scared to death! And with him, that takes some doing. Yes, I know, it was all part of the investigation, but still…it’s no wonder Sherlock only has one friend.

Oh, and as a Doctor Who fan, I quite enjoyed seeing Alonso again. Unfortunately, his luck doesn’t seem to have improved much since he was plummeting to his doom on Space Titanic, but at least he got some closure at the end of the story. In all seriousness, Russell Tovy did a great job in this episode.

“Rule out the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.” It’s lines like these that make me think Sherlock would get along with the Doctor. Even though the Doctor probably falls under his definition of “impossible”…

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard
monthly fandom

#6: The Blind Banker

And now, going all the way back to Series One, we have…

The Blind Banker

Summary: A former associate of Sherlock’s hires him to investigate a break-in at a posh London bank. The investigation leads him and John to a series of improbable murders, a Chinese circus, and a mysterious code.

Why it’s ranked here: For some reason, no one in the fandom talks about “The Blind Banker” much. To be sure, it doesn’t stick in my mind the way all the other episodes do. Maybe it’s because it’s not even loosely based on an Arthur Conan Doyle story, Lestrade and Mycroft don’t show up, and the other two episodes in Series One overshadow it in terms of character and plot development. But it’s not a bad episode, by any means. There’s plenty of funny banter between John and Sherlock (“You had a row with a machine?”), and the mystery is interesting. I also enjoy the story’s Eastern vibe–it makes the atmosphere feel slightly different from that of the average Sherlock episode, so that’s fun.

And I know so much more about pottery preservation than I used to. Thanks, Soo Lin.

Of course, John and Sherlock give a shocking display of idiocy about halfway through the episode, when they’re supposedly trying to protect Soo Lin from an assassin. Sure, boys, go running off in different directions as soon as you hear gunshots, instead of guarding the one person the gunshots are aimed at. Even though you’re both armed, and she isn’t. That’s sure to work out well for everyone. And Sherlock is supposed to be a genius…

ImageGen

Nice move, idjit.

Other than that, though, both guys behave in-character for this episode. Sherlock does some clever deducting, John does some sarcastic insulting, and the former shows his growing affection for the latter by introducing him as “my friend” (a big deal for Sherlock) and saving his life at the end. Now they’ve both saved each other’s life once–and it will happen many more times over the course of the show. John’s attempt at picking up a girlfriend was entertaining, too. I rather liked Sarah. Almost wish she could have stayed.

And even though it wasn’t based on an original Sherlock Holmes story, “The Blind Banker” feels very much like something Doyle might write. The underground conspiracy, the secret code, the damsel in distress, the exotic “Oriental” elements…all very Sir Arthur. More so, perhaps, than some of the episodes that were named after his stories. I think Sherlock’s creator would mostly approve of Sherlock‘s approach to his work, and this episode is one reason why.

Oh, and it also reawakened my desire to learn a secret code. I’ll give you all a hint: my “key” will be hidden in The Lord of the Rings. Have fun figuring out which edition.

Namarie,
Aldy

Standard