Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century

We now have two television interpretations of Sherlock Holmes in the 21sth century, but well before that we had Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century.

A friend recently gave me a DVD set of all 26 episodes of this animated cartoon series which ran in 1999-2000 and 2001. The premise in the first episode is that Sherlock Holmes, preserved in a honey bath since his death as an old man, is revived and rejuvenated to fight a clone of Professor Moriarty.

Before long he's given an android assistant programed to act and configured to look like Dr. Watson (although no Dr. Watson that I've ever seen). Inspector Lestrade completes the team, of course -- Inspector Beth Lestrade, whose boss carries the almost-canonical moniker of Greyson.

Holmes even gets to reside again at 221B Baker Street, which has been preserved as a Sherlock Holmes museum.

Each episode has a connection to one of the original ACD Holmes tales, although often tenuous. In “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” Dr. Grimesby Roylott is an animal rights activist who actually turns into a snake as a result of chemical experiments. The story that was supposedly suggested by The Valley of Fear had me wondering, “suggested how?”

I found the theme song, the animation, and the physical characteristics of familiar characters all disappointing. Inspector Lestrade yells all the time and doesn’t sound English.

Nevertheless, the scripts do show familiarity with the Canon, especially in the use of such phrases as “the game is afoot!” and “when you have eliminated the impossible . . .” The series also created a new catch phrase. Seemingly in every episode Holmes instructs “Eyes and brains, Lestrade, eyes and brains!” The sense of what he is saying is canonical: Observe closely, and then draw conclusions. But the words are not, nor do they sound like the Holmes I know.

If you think that after all this carping I’m going to tell you not to waste your time on the show, you’re wrong. For all of its flaws, I enjoyed the series. It’s certainly worth the price of admission and the 20 minutes it takes to watch each episode.


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