Now that title makes it seem like i am averse to the idea of a new Sherlock Holmes re-imagining. And yes- I am. Simply because the new re-imagining I am about to discuss is one that i came up with. But let me start with a few recent adaptations that i have watched and rather like.
Five years ago, the top of mind imagery of everyone’s favourite forensic detective was Jeremy Brett from the 1984 TV Series. It was a faithful adaptation- if a little dry and largely devoid of any thrills. Still, you had to make do with what was given to you and I must confess, i liked it. Sherlock also looked a lot like the illustrations in the paperback novels i possessed, and so all was well. but then in 2009, Guy Ritchie changed the rules and presented us with a stylized, rough, eccentric and action-packed version with a brand new story filled with special effects and fight scenes. This was not the Sherlock we knew, and i wanted to dislike it… but i loved it! (The follow up movie was not as great)
A second re-imagining of the series set in present day London, produced by the BBC however takes the prize for being my favourite version of my favourite detective. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the series is far expertly crafted and creates new mysteries by using elements from multiple stories making them feel familiar and exciting. The series was true to the character of the novels, but had changed the setting completely. i LOVED it!
A recent US series, ‘Elementary’ was also launched in 2012, but i will not talk about it for 2 reasons… 1) its not set in England, 2) I havent watched and dont plan to either. The series also stars Lucy Liu as a female Dr. Watson, and if that’s the only claim to fame for this adaptation, then i dont know what to make of it.
Anyway… all these adaptations had got me thinking. I am always starting failed projects in writing a novel. And what better way to get out of that rut than to start a story with existing characters? Creating a new world and character back stories is not easy. So, using existing characters that some may call it fan fiction could be my way out! (essentially cheating)
B-u-t i intended to ‘re-imagine’ the series. How would i do that? Modern day Sherlock was already out there and kicking ass. So what was i to do?
My solution… Medieval Sherlock Holmes.
Plot summary: King Watson is hunting in the woods when he runs into Sherlock, a alchemist who is searching for herbs. In an altercation, Sherlock manages to insult the crown and is put in the dungeons for his ‘crimes’. While in there, without leaving his cell, Sherlock solves 2 crimes that prove his fellow inmates innocent. When in the courtroom being judged, Sherlock reveals this and surprises Watson with his intellect. King Watson pardons Sherlock and hires him as the court advisor… and so it happens that Sherlock, who lived next to the baker in the town, becomes the medieval detective.
You know what? I think i should remove ‘Fiction Writer’ as one of my choice careers. Because while i laughed at Lucy Liu playing Watson… the idea of medieval Sherlock Holmes is terra-bad.