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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sherlock Holmes & Mr. Spock

The death of Leonard Nimoy, best known as Star Trek's Mr. Spock, resonated with Sherlockians for obvious reasons: Spock was Holmes-like in his emotionless logic, and Nimoy famously played the title role in a 1976 national tour of William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes.

But I find it surprising that the Spock-Holmes/Nimoy-Holmes axis was seen and foreseen by the late science fiction great Poul Anderson, a Baker Street Irregular, while the original Star Trek series will still in its first run on the small screen.

In an article called "The Archetypical Holmes" in the September 1968 edition of The Baker Street Journal, Anderson argued persuasively that Holmes was an archetype in a strict sense - an original pattern from which many near-copies sprang. Near the end of the article, he wrote:

"I wish to point out that one science fiction personality, who has seized the mass imagination as no other has done, is pure Holmes. I refer to Mr. Spock on the television show Star Trek."

Anderson cites several reasons why he thinks this is true, and then says: "Spock exasperates his less intellectual companions, but usually meets their sarcasms with a ready and biting wit. At the same time, he is athletic, cool and capable in danger. He is withdrawn, austere, philosophical and, as played by Leonard Nimoy, allowing for the uniform and the pointed ears, presents an excellent physical image for Holmes . . .

"When Star Trek finally goes off the air, which I hope will not be for a long while, Leonard Nimoy will be looking for a new role. I suggest that he is the perfect successor to Basic Rathbone, and that you write to the networks and movie companies saying so. I further suggest that his popularity is another hopeful sign. The girls of today who adore this near 200-proof Holmes archetype will be the mothers of tomorrow. They, their husbands, and their children may well create a new age of Victoria."

Well, that didn't happen, nor did the original Star Trek stay on the air a long time. But Nimoy did play Holmes. And yet he never stopped being Spock.
For more on Sherlock Holmes - Star Trek crossovers, check out "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere."

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