Happy 2013! Holmes in Space -- The Knower, is taking yet another holiday break and should be back next week. But that gives the opportunity for readers to do some Sherlockian sleuthing on their own. And in this very diary.
The puzzle: What do Sherlock Holmes and the 1939 Hollywood blockbuster, Gone With the Wind have in common? (Besides antiquated racial views, that is.) Perhaps more than you think.
Note the first clip's musical theme: it starts at the 18 second mark. And note that handsome blond-haired man first seen at the 31 second mark and next at the 37 second mark. The first clues are in this clip:
The music is Tara's Theme from Gone With the Wind. And the handsome blond-haired man is Ashley Wilkes, portrayed by Leslie Howard in that same movie.
The next clip is an episode of "Sherlock Holmes"
So what do they have in common? There are some answers below the orange antimacassar. But for the astute reader with a nose for solving a mystery, the chase is on!
A fairly common compositional technique is to take a musical phrase and, by changing the pitch of some of the notes, to create a new musical phrase. The musical phrase may evoke memories or associations in the listener without the listener being aware. In fact even the composer may not be aware of having done this. So the question becomes, why would the listener/viewer be expected to associate a black and white series from the rather crude early days of television with a lavish Technicolor film out of Hollywood? Especially since the black and white series was set in London while the Hollywood film was set in the south of the US civil war.
The answer is found in the lineage of the actor playing Sherlock Holmes. His name was Ronald Howard. And he was the son of a much more famous actor, Leslie Howard. And Leslie Howard was best known for playing the role of Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind. While one cannot say with certainty that the producers of the series consciously strove to remind viewers that they were watching a famous man's son play the role of Sherlock Holmes, nevertheless they surely wouldn't have minded the association.
Having said that, I don't want to leave the wrong impression. The series stands on its own merits. The three main characters, Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Inspector Lestrade, are very well played. The interpretations of these three at the very least rival those of the more famous productions. And some of the scenery is pretty good.
On the other hand, the make-up for some of non-recurring characters is perhaps best viewed on one of the small black and white screens of the era.
The plots are what they are. How much of them Doyle would have recognized, I can't say. But I think he might have enjoyed some of the episodes. This one for example:
Hope you've enjoyed this detour and hope to see you here again.
And here is a list of the chapters from 2012: