Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Is this a topless tower I see before me jesting Pilate?

Saw the new Sherlock Holmes film yesterday. I enjoyed it, my companion was more lukewarm (if you can be more lukewarm) and we discussed it amiably over a pint afterwards. Today having several other things I needed to do as a matter of some urgency, I had a look at some of the responses to the film on-line and in the forums.

Golly, as a girlfriend I used to have would say at inappropriate moments.

The anger, the loathing, the darkness, the horror, the horror. I was quite startled at the depths of feeling this film has produced. I shouldn’t have been of course. I remember the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine/Babylon 5 war in the ‘90s. For those of you who had a life at the time, this concerned the rivalry between the fans of those two science fiction television programmes. Both series were set on futuristic space stations and each side was convinced that the other was a spoiler attempt or outrageous rip-off. It is said that there were death threats, it got so bad. In the end the widow of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, had to step in and appear as a guest star on the other show to try and get everyone to calm down. Odd.

The Holmes army seems to fall into three basic categories: only Basil Rathbone will do; only Jeremy Brett will do; they’ll both do but no-one else or we’ll start killing the hostages. These people, as my mother (silver hair for the use of) says, do not have enough to worry about. On The Guardian forum there’s a good solid dose of snobbery as well.

It is of course very peculiar to watch these violent disagreements going on if you have no strong feelings on the matter. When the aforementioned Guardian placed The Wire at number 14 of their fifty best TV series list the other day, one poster was unable to even type coherently he was so angry. As it happens, I haven’t seen that series and no longer intend to. After the hysterical praise given to it, it can only be a crushing disappointment, like Withnail & I.

Where else may one find such sound and fury? Dr Who? No, though some Tennant fans get a tad shirty if you gently point out that he didn’t so much act in his last episodes as swivel his eyes and hair in random directions as the mood took him. Liked his Hamlet though. James Bond? No, though there was some promising skirmishing when Daniel Craig was cast. Dracula? Nary a squeak to my knowledge. Incidentally, the best vampire film out there is the appealingly named Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. No, honest, it was written and directed by the people who made The Avengers.

So where and what is my ignition point? What sets me off into incandescent fury? I’m not a football fan so nothing there. With a superior air that I like to feel I can carry off rather nicely, I assumed I was above such things and could look and laugh at all that.

I was wrong.

If you’re bored and you wish to reduce me to the kind of gibbering fury that so convulsed that Wire fan mentioned above, then suggest to me that Shakespeare did not write his plays. Suggest that Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe (current favourite with these braindead morons) did instead. I had intended to blog on this subject a month or so ago after some correspondent to The Times trotted out the Marlowe theory in the letters page but found I was actually unable to do so as I was so angry. I’m having difficulty now. I’ve no idea why this one so infuriates me, but it does. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a forum I need to add to…


  1. I can let you in on an exclusive, Sandy - I actually wrote Shakey's plays (thought that was a good pseudenom at the time) - it all began in the 23 & 3/4 century when I was sitting on a station in the depths of space, taking in the views of a nice wormhole in the vicinity - then a very animated man with floppy hair and baseball shoes came running along the promenade and pulled me into his blue box - when we stepped out we were in Stratford of all places... Had landed on someone the locals called "The Bard" though - all very upsetting, and there was a local constabulary investigation of deduction into it, but they all sounded like they were speaking a dialect of English that might as well have been from Baltimore or somewhere... The wild-eyed man in the blue box disappeared after that so I had to settle down to a life in the 16th century, assuming Will's mantle - thankfully the blue box maniac left me a handy multi-phasic temporal laptop so I've been able to log in and leave this comment on your blog - what say we discuss all this in the pub sometime? Ye Olde Chesire Cheese is my local... ;)

  2. Oh God now you've started something. I fully expect to see a horde of Allanonians appear. I'll see you at the Dirty Duck.