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Sherlock BBC > Sherlock season 3 SPOILERS

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message 1: by Adler (new)

Adler (aswarmofbees) Does anyone have any idea how Moriarty lived? I've heard the idea that it was his brother on the roof instead of him but I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas?


message 2: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments Gosh, I'm still trying to process last season's "explanation" of how Sherlock lived after falling off the roof I think I've watched it 3 times and I am still confused (but I don't mind because that adds a little spice to rewatching it yet again!)

However, my guess of how Moriarty lived was that the producers put some kind of drug out into the airwaves that deluded all of us poor viewers into thinking whatever the heck they wanted us to think.


message 3: by Philip (new)

Philip Jones (pkentjones) | 12 comments Explanations may be a bit "thin on the ground" but the same was true of the originals. "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House" have provided more than ample subjects for discussion for over a hundred years.


message 4: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments Well, true. In the canon, when Homes disappeared for, I think, 3 years after disappearing over the Reichenbach Falls, we don't really know exactly what he got up to. And we have to take his word for it that he figured out how to climb up the sheer cliff, which he could get away with because no one saw him actually go over the edge.

But it is pretty hard for our BBC Moriarty to fake putting a gun barrel in his mouth and pulling the trigger. Of course, nobody saw that happen except Sherlock (and of course, us...see my earlier comment about drugs in the airwaves...)


message 5: by Derek (new)

Derek Another possibility is that Moriarty really is dead, and a new villain is simply using his face to get Sherlock's attention. (Perhaps Moriarty's Watson, if you will, Sebastian Moran.)

Moriarty said Sherlock's weakness was that he always wanted everything to be clever. Perhaps that's our weakness as well?


message 6: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 59 comments The whole thing seems rather silly, I'm afraid! Moriarty is not a major character in the canon anyway and he appears only on a few occasions. So, why the BBC adaptation has made such a huge thing of Moriarty, it's beyond me. By the way, Mark Gattisse, the writer of Sherlock has been recently criticized for making his season four far too misogynous. How odd that he should write a modern version of the canon and yet remain with the same values as the Victorian times. What's modern about it then? Just the cars and the clothes and of course the smartphone too!


message 7: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments Well, we may only see Moriarty a few times in person in the canon, but he loomed large in Holmes' consciousness.

As for Mark Gattiss (or however you spell it), his ego is pretty huge, but so also is his talent so I suppose we have to put up with it.

In the canon, Holmes does not have a lot of use for women, and yet when he meets them in person he is most always polite and chivalrous. That is the two-edged sword of Victorian values. Watson, on the other hand, is just chivalrous.


message 8: by Derek (new)

Derek Mitra wrote: "The whole thing seems rather silly, I'm afraid! Moriarty is not a major character in the canon anyway and he appears only on a few occasions. So, why the BBC adaptation has made such a huge thing o..."

Despite Moriarty not being a major part of Doyle's short stories, I find that introducing a main antagonist in the television series to be a brilliant decision.

Television story arcs are extremely different compared to that of a short story. There's a necessity to include a driving force to encourage (or force) the viewer to stay tuned for the next season. Each episode needs its story arc, but when every episode is put together, there should be another, larger story arc. Short stories are very different, in the sense that each stands alone and requires a fully-fleshed and independent plot line.

I would argue that, without BBC Sherlock's interpretation of Moriarty as a major antagonist, the show would not be nearly as successful as it is now.


message 9: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 59 comments Derek wrote: "Mitra wrote: "The whole thing seems rather silly, I'm afraid! Moriarty is not a major character in the canon anyway and he appears only on a few occasions. So, why the BBC adaptation has made such ..."

Naturally, they need Moriarty, because there is no other arc otherwise. For the drama, it would have been better to rely on several other characters to create different arcs.The trouble with what the've done is that Sherlock's storyline will always have to be connected to Moriarty for the big drama.What is interesting in Doy'le's stories is that there are many villains and Sherlock 's nemesis is not necessarily just Moriarty. i also do not approve of this Moriarty acting as a spoilt brat in a juvenile way. That casts a show on his intelligence and authority. He is portrayed more as the Joker in Batman than the Moriarty of Doyle.


message 10: by Mitra (last edited Dec 01, 2015 12:40AM) (new)

Mitra | 59 comments Silvio111 wrote: "Well, we may only see Moriarty a few times in person in the canon, but he loomed large in Holmes' consciousness.

As for Mark Gattiss (or however you spell it), his ego is pretty huge, but so also ..."

I don't have to put up with anything, especially when it's about a script writer producing just a mainstream TV show.It's not as though he was a great literary talent. In fact, I often find the dialogues quite annoying. Not evocative or poignant, which is what brings real drama into the story.Actually, Gattisse relies soley on images and action to create drama and not so much on the dialogues. So, his production has been successful because it's easy to watch just like so many other shows.That's not necessarily sign of great talent to be excused for with regards to a reprehensible stance such as misogyny. Conan Doyle's misogyny was normal at the time but it would not be now and since this is a modern version, then it HAS TO GO with our modern values.


message 11: by Derek (new)

Derek Mitra wrote: "Derek wrote: "Mitra wrote: "The whole thing seems rather silly, I'm afraid! Moriarty is not a major character in the canon anyway and he appears only on a few occasions. So, why the BBC adaptation ..."

I agree with you that it would be better if the drama relied on several characters, besides mostly favoring Moriarty. I do have hopes that season four will branch out a bit. I personally think Moriarty is dead, and that another criminal is using his face to attract attention.

Of course, then there's the possibility that one single antagonist will replace another...


message 12: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments I do want to note that I never liked Gattiss' portrayal of Moriarty, who in Doyle's world was a cerebral villain, but definitely an adult villain. Holmes might comment from time to time about how "diabolical" Moriarty is, but Gattiss' Moriarty is, as you say, Mitra, a "spoiled brat." He has a particularly vile adolescent twisted quality that makes me recoil. I was about to say "and not in a wholesome way," as if a villain could ever be wholesome. But Doyle's Moriarty is a mathematician who savors planning murders for their intellectual complexity. ( Which I am sure is no comfort to the corpse.) But Gattiss' Moriarty introduces a sordidness that really makes me uncomfortable. (I don't think Cumberbatch's Sherlock is that bothered; he just compulsively is driven to win the competition.)


message 13: by Mitra (last edited Dec 01, 2015 02:06PM) (new)

Mitra | 59 comments Silvio111 wrote: "I do want to note that I never liked Gattiss' portrayal of Moriarty, who in Doyle's world was a cerebral villain, but definitely an adult villain. Holmes might comment from time to time about how "..."

Actually, Moriarty is not the only problem in the BBC Sherlock. The portrayal of Irene Adler is also very unsavory! A perfectly talented woman in the canon is now portrayed only as a dominatrix and a lesbian. As though her profession as a dominatrix is her only talent and being a lesbian is a means to an end, blackmailing someone in the royal household.The scene with her appearing naked was somewhat unnecessary too,but in another scene Sherlock was prudishly wrapped in a sheet which made both the naked Irene and "unnaked" Sherlock come out rather cheap and juvenile. Almost a scene from James Bond!Then, the cliché dialogue between Irene Adler and Sherlock about her measurements being the same as the code of the safe. That was truly cringeworthy. Not to mention the sleaziness of the "clever"Sherlock showing her the phone saying "Sherlocked"! So obvious and so juvenile yet again. There is no mystery attached to either Irene or Moriarty, not even to Sherlock for that matter. In fact, Conan Doyle invented the name Moriarty from the combination of the two Latin words, "morte - arte" meaning death and art. Moriarty should normally be as much of an erudite as Sherlock himself. Instead, Gattisse has turned even Sherlock into just a quirky type hero,oblivious to everyone around him and whose power of genius is just there, totally unexplained, except as texts on screen. Are we supposed to be overwhelmed by those computerized texts as though we were adolescents?
The Sherlock of the canon is very much involved with the Baker Street regulars, he was very much a people's person, highly protective of the underdog and an avid lover of all types of knowledge, and an erudite. We don't see any of that with Gattisse's Sherlock. A pity really!


message 14: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments Mitra wrote: "Moriarty should normally be as much of an erudite as Sherlock himself. Instead, Gattisse has turned even Sherlock into just a quirky type hero,oblivious to everyone around him...:"
[How does everybody do that italic quote thing? I am mystified...]

Perhaps it is a reflection of the shallowness of our current time that when projected into the present, THIS is the Sherlock that we get. (Somewhere between the Asbergers of Doc Martin and the sociopathic HOUSE, with none of the gentility of the Victorian Holmes.)

I confess that as seedy as it was, I did somewhat appreciate the novelty of the transformation of Irene Adler into a lesbian dominatrix, but she was not (as very little is in Gattiss'hands) very "Sherlockian."


message 15: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 59 comments Granted that Conan Doyle was not a great literary figure and he admitted as much himself, in that he never really took Watson's writing very seriously and told him so. What Conan Doyle did then, was what soap operas do today, except that he told his stories in a newspaper, because that was what was available to the masses then. However, what became absolutely unique with his approach was that he was the first to create a character such as Sherlock, an erudite with an acute scientific mind to detect crimes of the time, uniquely thanks to his power of observation and deduction. Doyle himself, having studied Medicine with Prof. Bell, was inspired by his mentor and "dissected" the criminal cases forensically as Bell would do in his profession. This approach was absolutely unique at the time that Sherlock Holmes, the detective was created. Before that, most murder cases were unsolved or were solved in rather a haphazard fashion. Therefore today, any new adaptation has to carry Conan Doyle's torch and investigate modern day crimes, of all sorts, i.e. Corporate crimes, state corruption etc. introducing the same novel approach. Then at least, we the viewers would have the benefit of being enlightened by what crimes are being perpetrated without us knowing about them and/or how our modern day Sherlock would explain to us in his own clever style, how he has reached his conclusions, instead of just showing us reductive and simple texts of Sherlock's observations, superimposed on the screen. Gattisse certainly does not offer us anything modern in his adaptation of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
There SHOULD also be a valid reason for why he chose Irene to be a lesbian or a dominatrix. Could she not have been an opera singer as in the canon or a libertarian or an artist or even a thief? We live at an age when everything we eat, wear, see and choose is constantly being analyzed, explained to us and investigated. So, isn't it normal that a show such as Sherlock should also be analyzed as to why such misogyny? Why is the only female heroine in such a show a lesbian or a dominatrix? Why is it right to advertise HER naked body as candy for the eyes and NOT that of a male character, namely Sherlock? I'm certain even Sherlock with his great curiosity for all things would have put that question to the writers of this show! Why refer to female sexuality as a show piece and not that of a male?Unfortunately, I fear a great majority of people are entertained by what the likes of Gattisse offer them. Even for the Victorian times, Conan Doyle was more respectful of his female heroine than Gattisse is today. I won't even go into the Irene with hijab on the verge of being beheaded when miraculously she is saved by The heroic Sherlock. An allusion to the powerful Sherlock not so much for his mind, but for being a REAL man, in action, outwitting the terrorists, as though THEY do anything using their mind! It's the unveiling of HIS face at the end that I found so distasteful. As though we should be glad that he passed himself off as a terrorist!


message 16: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments Well, I feel compelled to suggest a reason why Irene is portrayed as a lesbian, and also why a dominatrix.

A lesbian is often a woman who has rejected traditional gender roles and thus liberates herself from many of the restraints on womanhood we find persisting in our society.

So a woman with free agency, daring, and a developed abilities might believably be portrayed as a lesbian, even though there are and have been many heterosexual women who have achieved the same "liberation." (I would also note that Irene Adler appears to be bisexual, which some might say makes her even more of a rebel.)

I might also put forward the view (which I do not particularly advocate or even agree with) that expressing one's sexuality and nudity openly are a form of power, and the manipulation of a vulnerable (male) viewer, while not exactly commendable, is also evidence of a successful one-upsmanship where "all's fair," etc.

Aside from all this, the real issue is that
Gattiss' Irene departs in a major way from the character of Doyle's. The latter depicted a woman who was an artist (opera) and who was courted and then betrayed by a so-called "nobleman." So she was the wronged party.

Gattiss' Irene, on the other hand, was a grifter, a flim-flammer, a blackmailer.

So some serious "poetic license" is going on here.


message 17: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 59 comments My problem with this particular adaptation of the canon is that for its time, Doyle created some revolutionary ideas and methods which were actually picked up later. Deduction reasoning, especially in solving crimes was very new. Given that such ideas were part of very mainstream stories in the Strand, then the viewers of the Beeb deserve as much in 2015.

As for Irene being portrayed as lesbian dominatrix, I fear Gatisse's intention was not to introduce his female heroine as powerful, rebellious and intelligent as someone who would equal Sherlock. Emphasis on the word "equal". We are in 20th century and not 19th, isn't it about time that male/female equality was a given? Gattisse's Irene uses her sexual orientation as a tool to outwit Sherlock or to commit crime. That, I find quite objectionable, because being a lesbian and a dominatrix would have been a major crime and shameful in the Victorian times. Today, people's sexual orientation should not be portrayed as something reprehensible which can be used to blackmail.

Gatisse's writing does not deserve to be introduced as a " modern adaptation" of a work that for its time was remarkable. Let's not forget that Doyle was extremely curious about Darwin's findings, hence his interest in presence of animals in many of the stories. Moriarty was also passionate about Botany and Irene was an acclaimed artistic figure. I'm afraid, introducing such fascinating characters in such flimsy fashion as Gattisse and Moffat do, is cheap and uninteresting. Just "chewinggum for the eyes"!


message 18: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments Mitra,

Lots to think about in your comments. Very refreshing, so thanks!


message 19: by Sarah (last edited Dec 04, 2015 12:12PM) (new)

Sarah B (skauthen) | 50 comments I have to say, I agree with Mitra about BBC Sherlock's Irene Adler. But I would also add that the worst thing was the huge missed opportunity. I've always thought of Irene Adler as being quite like Sherlock but with heart. Her artistic career and her love story testify to this. Far from me to suggest there couldn't be "love" between a dom and her submissive but there didn't appear to be any of it represented in the series. For me, instead of plucking at the emotion within Sherlock, Irene felt just as cold and calculating as him. I felt this was done, perhaps subconsciously, by Mark Gatiss in order to rob "The Woman" of her essentiality and shunt the "emotional conductor" role onto Watson's character to bring the two men artificially closer to each other than they were in the books. Or, well, if not closer than they were in the books, the importance of Irene's part in Sherlock's life is severely minimized to object of "intellectual/sexual curiosity".


message 20: by Mitra (last edited Dec 04, 2015 01:08PM) (new)

Mitra | 59 comments Sarah wrote: "I have to say, I agree with Mitra about BBC Sherlock's Irene Adler. But I would also add that the worst thing was the huge missed opportunity. I've always thought of Irene Adler as being quite like..."

Talking of the "emotional conductor" between Sherlock and Watson, in the canon, we just know that there is a deep understanding and close friendship between the two men and we just go along with it, but in the BBC Sherlock, suddenly, after a brief encounter between two complete strangers seeking a flat mate, we're lead to accept that just within that short space of time, a profound bond and friendship comes about with the result of the two becoming partners. We HAVE TO believe this, in spite of the fact that this sudden "friendship" is not with any ordinary person either, but with a very complex person and supposedly a sociopath like Sherlock. It would have been more realistic and compelling if, at least the psychology of the two characters were exposed a little before introducing them as the inseparable pals right away. Frankly, if it hadn't been for Cumberbatch's RP accent and the upper class English mannerism, the show would not have had the success it had. There is a discrepancy in the character development of everyone of the major characters. Lestrade is a boring and unprofessional inspector with no real interest in what he does and follows Sherlock aimlessly, his assistant the same, Mrs. Hudson is only good for her natterings once in a while, Watson is mostly a drab with no real evidence of any particular insight or wit. When he shoots the taxi driver through a window in a building from across the road, are we supposed to think that it was that "emotional conductor" that allowed him to know exactly where Sherlock was? With all due respect, it's the kind of cheap thrill which one might have seen only in a third rate Hollywood thriller. How this show has received so much credit and award it's beyond me!


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah B (skauthen) | 50 comments Yeah, I think there are some sound observations here.


message 22: by Silvio111 (new)

Silvio111 | 123 comments I wish I could remember whether the Basil Rathbone movies influenced me BEFORE I first read a Conan Doyle story. I was in the 4th or 5th grade when the school weekly newspaper featured "The Speckled Band," and after that I was a fan. But I also used to watch the Rathbone movies at home with my father in the early 60s.

So I cannot say whether the Holmes-Watson relationship of the movies (Cold, formal Holmes and comical yet trusted Watson) came through in the books. If you listen to Watson's literary voice, he has dignity. Holmes is always asking him to bring his "service revolver" for protection on a case as if he willingly puts his life in Watson's hands, whereas anyone who watches the movies would roll their eyes and think, "Really?"

Having said all that, I do feel that that their bond is indeed forged rather quickly in the books. I always felt that Holmes needed an audience and someone to reflect his brilliance back to him; the relationship never felt "equal," yet it was still sincere.

I think the Cumberbatch version does get that part right. You keep thinking, "Why would Watson put up with this jerk?" But then they are both needy and both introverts, when you think about it.

As far as Irene Adler, yes, Sarah, you and Mitra have made me realize that Gatiss (YES! 1 "t" 2 "ss"s - I've got it now!) did rip her off from her rightful depth. Alas.

Well, I do feel that the show has run its course. I don't think it is going to improve much in the new season, whenever that may be.

This whole never-ending state of pastiches of Sherlock Holmes is quite the phenom, isn't it? I can't think of any other author who has spawned such a tsunami of wannabees, some better than others. But in the end, I always go back to my two-ton collection of Conan Doyle stories.


message 23: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 59 comments There have been interpretation of all kinds of Shakespeare's works, more than any other author in living history. That's a good thing too.
With Sherlock Holmes stories, as I said previously, there should be a sense of curiosity and novelty with regards to what we expect of a 21st century Sherlock. Any modern interpretation of Sherlock Homes stories should take into account all sorts of knowledges that we have today at our disposal and whatever has evolved scientifically, socially and culturally from the time of Conan Doyle, especially the subjects that were of great interest to him and to his erudite hero, Sherlock.
Given that Doyle was the contemporary of Darwin and Freude, for example why not write scripts that would highlight crimes relating to psychoanalysis or zoology or biodiversity? These are just a few of the subjects amongst many that could be focused on in a modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes cases.
There HAS been a Sherlock Holmes adaptation that has done just this.


message 24: by Sarah (last edited Dec 10, 2015 06:51PM) (new)

Sarah B (skauthen) | 50 comments Just now reading the earlier posts in this conversation...

Silvio111: "However, my guess of how Moriarty lived was that the producers put some kind of drug out into the airwaves that deluded all of us poor viewers into thinking whatever the heck they wanted us to think."

rofl X) Indeed.

I haven't drunk the Moriarty/Andrew Scott kool-aid, so I don't understand the appeal either. I wish there were less of him. I wish they were sticking to the canon more, tweaking it creatively for a modern series but not jumping up and down all over it. I wish this celery stick I am eating was a cake. I wish all sorts of things.

I haven't heard these misogyny rumours about series 4. I wonder if it might have more to do with Steven Moffat who is rather a controversial figure for all the accusations against him of misogyny.

"Naturally, they need Moriarty, because there is no other arc otherwise." Yup. Sexual tension is an easy sell. And, Mitra, I also agree - he is depicted a LOT like the Joker instead of a rigorously intellectual counter to Sherlock. I think I've just twigged why I don't like BBC's Moriarty much. The Joker was a potent villain because he threw chaos against Batman's rage for justice and order. BBC's Moriarty is chaos against... what? Sherlock is equally as chaotic. Sherlock isn't Batman. He's not an altruist. He's a hyper-intellectual looking for a mental fix who perhaps suffers the occasional fluctuation of conscience. So, what's the point of this new character trait? I don't think it stimulates the character relationship - I just think it's annoying.

When I saw they were bringing Moriarty back, I thought: "What a COP OUT." But I also respect Gatiss' mind and talent. I suspect he's got something clever up his sleeve and we're all moaning obsessively for little reason ;)


message 25: by Mitra (last edited Dec 11, 2015 12:11AM) (new)

Mitra | 59 comments Sarah wrote: "Just now reading the earlier posts in this conversation...

Silvio111: "However, my guess of how Moriarty lived was that the producers put some kind of drug out into the airwaves that deluded all ..."


First of all, the misogyny is all throughout and not the season 4 of the BBC Sherlock. As for Sherlock not being an altruist, it is not true. In the books, Sherlock is very much a people's person and he is a great defender of Justice. He even parts with the criminal sometimes, if he feels that the crime was somewhat justified.
Concerning Gatiss's talent, I highly dispute that, though he and Moffat do, undoubtedly, have the talent of turning such a mediocre production into such a big hit. I suppose being also the writer of Dr. Who must have helped a great deal. I highly recommend Elementary though. That Sherlock is much closer to the one in the Canon, in that he is a poignant character as well as being a genius.


message 26: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 59 comments Sarah wrote: "Just now reading the earlier posts in this conversation...

Silvio111: "However, my guess of how Moriarty lived was that the producers put some kind of drug out into the airwaves that deluded all ..."


I just received a post from Sarah, commenting on how " a person poisoning children in order to get an insurance money could not be an altruist". This comment did not appear on the Goodreads column, but did appear on my email. I'd like to ask Sarah, however, if she is referring to Sherlock Holmes as being the poisoner in question. I've never come across such a story about Sherlock Holmes. It seems highly unlikely.


message 27: by Sarah (new)

Sarah B (skauthen) | 50 comments That was something I wrote before rereading the passage and realizing he was making a point about something that wasn't relevant to the discussion. That's why I deleted it. No, I never suggested Sherlock Holmes was a poisoner. I think this conversation is getting kind of negative so I'm going to extricate myself.


message 28: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 59 comments My apologies to Sarah if I've inadvertently offended her. I hope she does return.


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