Tag Archives: Sebastian Moran

The Hound of the D’Urbervilles

30 Jun

“The Hound of the d’Urbervilles” is a wonderful novel by Kim Newman set (more or less) in Conan Doyle’s world of Holmes and Watson, but follows the exploits of Professor James Moriarty, as seen through the eyes of his Number 2 – Colonel Sebastian ‘Basher’ Moran.

The book is several novellas linked together to make a novel.  I originally came across two of the stories in Charles Prepolic’s “Gaslight” anthologies and fell in love with Kim’s Sebastian Moran.  An utter rogue who would make a good running mate for Harry Flashman.

Kim Newman’s Moriarty is a chilling snake of a man and his Moran is actually terribly human, and actually rather likeable.

A parade of Conan Doyle characters wander through the stories, as do characters from other books – Raffles makes an appearance, as does Thomas Carnaki and Simon Carne.

In the story “The Greek Invertebrate” I was delighted to find a character from Billy Wilder’s movie “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes”, to whit, Madam Gabrielle Valladon aka Ilsa Von Hoffmanstal.

“The Hound of the d’Urbervilles” is a feast for all Sherlock Holmes fans, even though the man himself is never mentioned by name, only obliquely referred to as ‘The Thin Man of Baker Street’, as well as Mycroft being known only as ‘The Fat Man in Whitehall’.

Kim Newman has written a book that is charming, entertaining, funny and poignant by turns.  If you are not sure if you will enjoy it, I will point out that two of the people he thanks at the end are Mark Gatiss and Neil Gaiman.

I would recommend the book to anyone who loves Victorian adventure stories, BBC’s “Sherlock” and Sherlock Holmes in general.  A sense of humor and the ridiculous is a must.  If you do read it (and I really think you should), make sure you keep a bookmark in the back of the book and read the footnotes as you go.  They are amusing, witty and really add to the joy of reading the book.

“The Hound of the d’Urbervilles” is one of those rare books that, when given the chance, will enchant and delight the reader over and over again.

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.

%d bloggers like this: