28 Mar 2014
Stories from the 223B casebook — stories published during Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s lifetime (plus later ones I liked) — are published here every Monday and Friday. The up-to-date list can be found here.
We’ll start with the one I suspect everyone in the world has seen: the “Doctor Who / Sherlock” mashup. I came to the Doctor Who universe thanks to the enthusiasm of my former Patriot-News co-worker Meg Leavy-Horton (who writes the awesome “Namesake” comic). I remember the Tom Baker-as-doctor show back in the day when it appeared on PBS the same time as “Monty Python” but it didn’t hook me.
But I was seriously hooked from the first episode of the rebooted series, so much so that, for the first time since I was a kid, I didn’t want to critically analyze the shows. There was so much going on in the stories. The alien planets. The historical eras (Pompeii! Dickensian London! Agatha Christie’s ‘20s!). The sexy companions. The sheer joy radiating from the doctor. The bubbling energy and optimism. It seemed cruel and shallow to sit there like the Simpson’s Comic Book Guy, sneering that an outmoded police call box could show up and nobody would pay attention.
The “Sherlock” show hooked me in the same way, although I have to admit my critical radar switched itself back on. Although it wasn’t nearly as much fun to watch in the same way as “Who,” it’s still a wonderful series.
And then this mash-up appears, bringing together two iconic heroes with the help of amazing digital technology that’s available to everyone who wants to take the trouble to learn it. It’s the future, today, far beyond what I could have imagined as a kid. And being something of a computer geek, I had to add the “how-to” video as well, because that magic fascinates me.
From high-tech to no-tech, Chris Kendall does an acceptable job playing both Holmes and Watson (or should it be Cumberbatch and Freeman?), especially BC’s tight-lipped speech. They run down the fairy-tale cases SH solved while Watson was in the shower, wrapped up with a not-to-surprising punchline, but still amusing.
The essence of parody is to take a subject to its logical conclusion, no matter how extreme. The slightly bawdy and definitely rude “Oklahomo” from Scandinavia follows that rule in depicting the relationship between the crime-solving duo.