Tag Archives: Mycroft Holmes

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

4 Jan

Having had time to ponder and digest the deliciousness that is “The Abominable Bride”, I have decided to write about it.  Yeah, I know I’m late to the party, but what the hell…

As it wasn’t screened on free-to-air TV in Australia, I went to the cinema to see it.  I think it was probably better suited to the large screen rather than the small, to be perfectly honest.

I was captivated right from the beginning.  I was damn near drooling at Martin Freeman’s narration, which was taking directly from “A Study in Scarlet”.

The plot was so convoluted as to be torturous, but it was a delight.  There were so many canon references, that I will be watching it on dvd for YEARS to capture them all.

I first became suspicious that it was all taking place inside Sherlock’s head when Holmes and Watson went to visit Mycroft at the Diogenes Club.  Whilst Mark Gatiss’ Mycroft was a sterling homage to the canon version (looking very much like Sidney Paget’s illustration for “The Greek Interpreter”), the very Mr Creosote-esque surrounds made me suspect that this was how Sherlock viewed Mycroft (remember the comment of ‘Go Fatty’ in “His Last Vow”?).  I was positive it was all Mind Palace on Sherlock’s second visit when Mycroft came out with the line ‘The virus in the data.’ Anachronism alert!  The Victorians had no idea about computer data, and I’m not even sure they knew what a virus was at that point!

The Reichenbach Falls scene was brilliant.  Loved the fact that Watson saved the day.  The whole sequence seemed to be designed to lay the ghost of Moriarty once and for all.  I suspect that, with the exception of flash-backs, we won’t see Moriarty again.

We got to see and understand some of the complexities surrounding the relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft.

We got a gothic and, at times, downright terrifying ghost story.  That rotting corpse coming to to life had an entire cinema of people shrieking with fear!

Most importantly we got a brilliantly constructed, well writing, extremely interesting episode of “Sherlock”.  Even if it did feel like a 90 minute drug trip!

It was bloody marvellous!

Vale Sir Christopher Lee

11 Jun

I freely admit that I wept this morning when I came online to the news that Sir Christopher Lee had passed away.

As a young adult in New Zealand one of the television channels had what they called “The Friday Night Frights” where they screened classic Hammer horror movies.  I think I saw just about all of Sir Christopher Lee’s body of work for Hammer.  But his horror movie work was never my favourite.

There are three roles of his, however, that I will always love.

The first is Lord Summerisle in “The Wicker Man”.  The movie was chopped to hell and back by the editors, but you do get a better sense of the character from the book adaptation.  A strong man who is rapidly losing control of the situation.

The second is Rochefort in the 1973 adaptation of “The Three Musketeers”.  As Cardinal Richelieu’s henchman, Christopher Lee shone.  The movie itself is a star studded vehicle.  Sir Christopher himself, Charlton Heston, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Frank Finlay, Michael York, Roy Kinnear, Raquel Welsh, and Spike Milligan.

The third one is the one that will always remain close to my heart.  Mycroft Holmes in “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes”.  This Mycroft was a departure from canon in that 1) He was skinny; and 2) He was not a minor functionary of the British Government… he WAS the British Government.

His Mycroft was sophisticated, urbane, witty, sarcastic, and acidic in equal measures.  His role with Sherlock is adversarial and he is always one step ahead of him.

Christopher Lee’s Mycroft captured my imagination in a way the canon version never managed too.  And not just my imagination, his wonderful portrayal was the inspiration for the modern Mycroft as played by Mark Gatiss in the BBC drama “Sherlock”.  I have to admit, I kept hoping Sir Christopher would have a cameo in “Sherlock”.  In my head cannon he was Mycroft and Sherlock’s grandfather.

I read Sir Christopher’s autobiography last year.  He lead a wonderful, exciting, and adventurous life.  I am glad that he chose to share it with us… in both his autobiography and onscreen.

Vale, Sir Christopher, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau

26 Feb

I bought this book on spec with a voucher I got for Christmas.  I am so glad I did.  This has to be one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes books outside of the canon.  Author Guy Adams has created a Sherlockian masterpiece.

The word “romp” is often over used in book descriptions, but it certainly describes “The Army of Dr. Moreau”.  A wild, riotous, romp through Victorian London, the chase led by Sherlock Holmes and a posse of characters from other novels.

The premise of the book is that Dr Moreau was working for Mycroft’s mysterious Department before and during the incidents of Wells’ book “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.  Moreau appears to be dead, but his creations are creating havoc in London.  Who is behind it, and what is their motive?  Mycroft enlists his little brother Sherlock and his friend, John Watson, along with Professor Challenger, Cavor, and one or two others, to get to the root of the problem.

The interactions between the Holmes’ brothers and Watson are gorgeous.  Guy Adams was writing this novel around the same time he was writing the BBC Sherlock tie-in book ( https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/the-sherlock-files/ ), and there is a little bleed through in repartee, not to mention one genuine steal from his Sherlock book, which had me laughing.

Even though the Mycroft of this book is the fat man of Conan Doyle, the temperament and acid wit is much more inline with Christopher Lee or Mark Gatiss’ versions.

One interesting character is Kane, a human/hound hybrid.  John Watson’s method of disposing of this creature after being hunted by it is both humourous and somewhat poignant.

I heartily recommend this book to all Sherlockians, and I would also recommend it to any Sherlock fans who find the jump from Sherlock to Arthur Conan Doyle canon a little abrupt.  This book is perfect to ease your way properly into the genre.

Mycroft in A Scandal in Belgravia

5 Nov

I watched the Sherlock episode “A Scandal in Belgravia” again on Saturday night and a few things struck me about Mycroft Holmes.

The more I watch this episode, the more apparent it becomes that Mycroft is actually quite a nasty little bugger.

It is clear by the time we reach the scenes with Sherlock on the aeroplane, that Mycroft is working hand-in-glove with the CIA.  This is one of the things that alarmed me.

This means that Mycroft tacitly approved of the CIA threatening to kill John Watson to get Irene Adler’s phone.  And he approved of the assault on, and holding hostage of Mrs Hudson.  If he had not approved, the head of the CIA team would have been out of the UK before you could say “diplomatic incident”.  The fact he was standing guard at the stairs to the plane speaks volumes as to Mycroft’s approval and deep involvement in the scheme.

Mycroft was prepared to use his vulnerable little brother to get what he wanted, and he was also prepared to kill and/or traumatize the two people his brother most values.  What sort of man uses his brother’s loved ones as pawns against him in a particularly nasty version of chess?

I think the wrong brother has the diagnosis of “high functioning sociopath”.  It’s Mycroft who shows all the signs of sociopathy, with possible psychopathic overtones, not Sherlock.

This brings me to Mycroft and Moriarty.  The thing that struck me when I first watched “A Scandal in Belgravia” was the fact that Moriarty had Mycroft’s mobile phone number.  How did he get it?  Mobile phone numbers are not routinely printed in telephone directories, and in any case you can bet that Mycroft’s number would be ex-directory.  Only those whom he trusts would have that number.  Sherlock does.  John does.  No-one with half a working braincell would trust Moriarty with their number.

It was pretty obvious from Mycroft’s reaction that he was familiar with the person who texted him.  The message itself was so vague as to be meaningless.

Ergo, Mycroft and Moriarty have been working together on something.  The downfall of Sherlock, perhaps?  Or is Moriarty an operative of Mycroft’s that slipped the leash and went rogue?

I am hoping that Season 3 will give me some answers to my questions.

A View of The Reichenbach Fall

11 Mar

It seems somehow wonderfully synchronistic that I finish watching Sherlock season 2 just as season 3 goes into production.

I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts on “The Reichenbach Fall”.  Firstly, I freely admit that it is NOT an episode I really enjoyed. It was just too uneven and disjointed.  I realise this reflects the dislocated state of Sherlock’s mind throughout the episode, but it made for very hard, very confusing, viewing.

The episode’s savior were the brilliant performances of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Mark Gatiss.  All three men showed what fantastic actors they are.  I am sorry, Andrew Scott fans, but I can’t really praise his performance, mostly because Moriarty creeps me out so much that I can barely stand to watch him.  Sign of a good actor, I suppose.

There were some scenes that just delighted me.

Sherlock entertaining Moriarty to tea.  So delightfully British.  A friend of mine pointed out that tea appeared quite a bit in this episode.  A foreshadow for season 3?  And if so, of what?

My favourite part of the entire episode was the arrest of Sherlock.  Not so much the arrest, as the aftermath.  The Chief Superintendent shooting his mouth off… John takes two steps and…

Sherlock: Joining me?    John: Yeah, apparently it’s against the law to chin the Chief Superintendent.

Do not mess with John Watson.  He is a Bad Ass!

I have tried to work out how the body substitution was done.  I can work out that time was gained by arranging for someone to knock John over with a bicycle.  One of Sherlock’s homeless network, perhaps?  And to pull off such an audacious act, Mycroft had to be involved.  Only he had access to all the resources needed.

Speaking of Mycroft, was I the only one who found him screwing up and blabbing to Moriarty hard to believe?  Mycroft is too damn smart to allow himself to be used.  I believe Mycroft was pulling Moriarty’s strings.  Sherlock’s increasing fame and public adulation was dangerous.  Dangerous to Mycroft’s continued ability to protect the realm.  Sherlock had to be discredited.  Small things hint at this.  Moriarty having Mycroft’s mobile phone number in “A Scandal in Belgravia” is what caught my attention.  I need to go back and study all the other episodes carefully.  Such a hardship, I know.

I really hope that, having served his purpose, Jim Moriarty will not be brought back.  Steven Moffat has said he’ll be back, but Mark Gatiss has said he won’t.  Hoping Mark Gatiss is correct.

Moriarty isn’t needed.  Conan Doyle supplied at least two other excellent villains that would work well in the modern context.  Blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton for one.  The other is Colonel Sebastian Moran.

I believe we have already seen Moran.  Remember the sniper in the staircase?  I think this just happens to be Moriarty’s “little friend”.

With season 3 starting filming next week, we now have only months until we get the answers to our questions.  And get given a whole load of more questions to answer.

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