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Okay so I have succumbed to a new fandom. I adore the new Sherlock series by Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss. It is past its second series and while it remains inspired by the original stories, it puts a new twist on the tales.

As a long time fan of the original stories and of the series that flourished in the 1980s with Jeremy Brett in the lead, I wondered at this new version and how faithful it would be. Bang up to date and bringing a modern slant to the characters, with blogging and texting taking over from broadsheet articles and sending telegrams, the new Sherlock moves at a pace concurrent with 21st century living – fast and furious. There is a gentle acceptance of homosexuality, even in Watson’s insistance that they are not in a relationship and he is not gay. Sherlock noticeably neither confirms or denies this of himself.  Gatiss is himself gay, in a civil partnership with actor Ian Hallard, the man who appears briefly as Moriarty’s lawyer in the last episode, Reichenbach Fall. Inevitable, then, that there is allusion to this aspect of the Holmes/Watson relationship. Despite the fanfiction, these two men are friends, first and foremost, and so far they haven’t gone down that route. The deep and lasting friendship these two characters have is very prevalent and resists being made into something it never was in the books.

The new Sherlock for the 21st Century is Benedict Cumberbatch, quite frankly a very talented and striking man whose talent is seemingly only exceeded by his kindness. He sounds a really nice person, a perfectionist who appreciates those around him and always seems to have something nice to say about his co-stars.

Of course the grounding presence of Dr Watson in the form of Martin freeman is a perfect foil to Cumberbatch’s edgy, high-functioning, borderline-Aspergers Holmes. There is more to Dr Watson these days that meets the eye. If what has been revealed in canon is to be believed, then Dr Watson is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and were it not for the injuries he was invalided out of the army for, would be no doubt pursuing some extreme sport or other. As Sherlock’s brother Mycroft (expertly played by Gatiss himself) points out, Watson doesn’t fear the war, he misses it. To be an RAMC, experiencing the violent death and severe injuries from IEDs in Afghanistan day in, day out, he would be suffering some severe PTSD himself. There are some interesting articles written by trauma surgeons who served out there. one thing is certain. John loves the adrenaline rush. When Sherlock asks John is he’s seen action, the exchange goes like this –

Sherlock – “Seen a lot of injuries, then?… violent deaths?”
John – “Yes.”
Sherlock – “Bit of trouble, too, I bet.”
John – “Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime… far too much. “
Sherlock – “Want to see some more?”

Watson’s reply is very telling about his character and loaded with longing. Said with an eagerness that seems almost indecent, “Oh, God yes.” Seriously screwed up is our dear doctor. He even gets away with killing someone to save the man he’s known less than a couple of days.

Now, I am not one for forums as a rule but the Sherlock Forum has sprung up and has collected a little core of friendly folks with a similar interest. If you like the series, I suggest you give it a go.

I feel a marathon Sherlock/Torchwood/Doctor Who session coming on. After all, I have to have something to keep me interested until filming begins on series three early in 2013! 2013? I’ll never be able to wait that long… Oh well, I will still have the fandom community to keep me going.

Roll on 2013…