"Sherlock, what have you done?"
-Not even moved in a day and already upsetting Mrs. Hudson. Good job, Sherlock. It's a good thing she loves you.
"Seriously, this guy? A junkie? Have you met him?
"I'm pretty sure you could search this flat all day and you wouldn't find anything you could call recreational"
"John, you probably want to shut-up now."
"But come on...no, you?"
-And this is where Sherlock's day and all his plans really start to unravel. He was cultivating an image. Not a false image, but the best version of his true self. He was trying to be his best for John, because he wants John to be someone...he wants John to be his friend and he wants John to think he's the version of himself that Sherlock most wants to be. Did that make sense? Did I explain that right? Sherlock wants to be the version of himself that he's showing John. He doesn't want to be a junkie and he doesn't want to be a psychopath...he wants to be a brilliant eccentric who values reason and intellect over all other pursuits...and has exciting adventures with friend(s). And then Lestrade comes in to deal with Sherlock the way he knows best and he fucks it all up for Sherlock, because suddenly John is seeing EVERYTHING and Sherlock's not in control anymore - and then Sherlock starts to fuck it up and it's all going to hell...but we haven't gotten there yet.
"Are these human eyes?"
"Put those back!"
"They were in the microwave."
"It's an experiment."
-Microwaving eyeballs cannot be pretty...or nice smelling.
"This is childish."
"I'm dealing with a child."
-Lestrade does treat Sherlock like a child, so does Mycroft...but in two different ways, I'd argue. Lestrade is much more hopeful-but-exasperated-dad, where as Mycroft is very much an older brother who doesn't actually understand who his younger sibling is or the fact that Sherlock are now his own person and capable of making his own decisions.
"I am clean!"
"Is your flat? All of it?"
-No, the answer is probably no, and they both know it...it's either that, or Sherlock just can't be sure.
"I'm not a psychopath, Anderson, I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research!"
-There is, of course, no such thing as sociopathy. There's antisocial personality disorders...but I don't think Sherlock has that either. He's taken the term as his own though, and that says something. I think it's because people call him psychopathic, but "psycho" brings with it the thought that there is a lack of control. Sociopath is better, people understand it, and it's almost as damning, but "high-functioning sociopath" makes it sound like Sherlock is in control of the situation, that yes, he could be dangerous, but he's "high-functioning" so don't worry.
Personally, I think Sherlock is just normal, but never made to feel that way. He had a lonely childhood because he couldn't relate to any of the kids his age, and then when/if he skipped grades, he still couldn't relate because no one would hang out with "the kid," and he wouldn't be going through puberty at the same time as his classmates...his intellect was vastly older than himself, but his body wasn't. So, what do you do? You separate your intellect from your body! Your body holds you back, because if you were just your brain, if you could find your INTELLECTUAL equals, then things would be different. So, Sherlock starts valuing his brain as the most important part of him - Mycroft encourages this, because he went through the same thing. The difference, of course, is that (from what we can see) Mycroft is content to be the lonely puppet-master (I'd argue that if anyone has antisocial personality disorder, it's Mycroft)...whereas Sherlock actually wants friends, Sherlock wants to be loved, Sherlock is LONELY. And Sherlock's loneliness is something that Mycroft doesn't understand...which makes Sherlock lonelier and even more misunderstood, because not even his intellectual equal/better understands him. So, Sherlock doesn't have a personality disorder, he just has a hard past and a too intelligent mind. (This doesn't mean that he doesn't suffer from depressive/bipolar episodes though.)
"Why would she think about her daughter in her last moments? Yeah, sociopath, seeing it now."
"She didn't think about her daughter, she scratched her name on the floor with her fingernails. She was dying, it took effort, it would have hurt."
-I like how Sherlock considers the pain and effort of the victim. It seems oddly more respectful somehow.
"You said that the victims all take the poison themselves. He makes them take it. Well maybe he, I don't know, maybe he talks to them, maybe he used the death of her daugher somehow."
"But that was ages ago, why would she still be upset!"
-Okay, now here, you're like "But if Sherlock doesn't have a personality disorder, how come he doesn't understand human suffering?" And I'd like to say: Sometimes I don't understand human suffering. I put things into boxes. When my cat died, I cried for three days, but I ain't even sad about it anymore. In a way, it kind of worked out, because then I couldn't miss her when I went to university and moved away...I mean, I could still miss her, but it wasn't like she was anywhere to miss, you know? So it was easier. What I'm trying to say is that everyone has their blind spots when it comes to imagining the pain of others...some have more blind spots than other people, but it doesn't make them a sociopath. It makes them unexperienced. People who have never been in love, can only imagine a facsimile of what heartbreak is like...and people who have never had a stillborn child might not understand how absolutely devastating that can be to a mother. If, for instance, they are a 30-something year-old man who has deemed himself above emotions and who has quite possibly never truly loved or truly been loved in his entire life - well, he might have a LITTLE trouble imagining how pain could linger. He's probably the type of person who puts things in boxes. "Well, felt that, now it's over - moving on"...and maybe, since nothing truly horrific has happened to him (besides perhaps the death of his parents...though that's unconfirmed and we don't know their relationship), he doesn't understand that some things don't FIT into boxes...some things spill out no matter how much you try to cram them in the box.
-Also, all that aside, I think what Sherlock REALLY meant here is that Jennifer Wilson wouldn't still be upset enough that she would CARVE the name into the floor with her fingernails CAUSING HERSELF MORE PAIN...but, true to Sherlock fashion, it kind of comes out sounding wrong, because "who cares about decency! The game is on!"
"Bit not good, yeah."
-Okay, I want to talk about facial expressions and body movement, and it's going to be hard because I don't have gifs or videoclips. But, here goes...
1)I love Sherlock's face when he says "Not good?" And this is where diagnosing him as being on the autism spectrum falls flat, at least, compared to the autistic/asperger people I've met. Sherlock can read facial expressions and social cues, he just usually disregards them...unless, say, he causes a roomful of people to stare at him agape...including his potential flatmate. And his face says, "I've misspoken, shit...what did I say?" Because Sherlock talks a mile a minute and his brain works even faster - and how come they didn't know what he meant?
2)I love how John doesn't look at him like he's a freak. He's shocked, but he just answers him in a low voice, and his eyes kind of shift to the police officers and back, because it's not so much a "how could you say that?" it's more of a "you shouldn't have said that...and you definitely could have picked a better audience."
3) Lastly, there's this full body movement that Sherlock makes between John's line and the line I'm going to write down below. John says "bit not good, yeah" and Sherlock DEFLATES. He's losing whatever he wanted John to be. And then he steps closer to John, DESPERATELY, NEEDING John to understand him. Of all people in that room, Sherlock tries the hardest to make JOHN understand - not Lestrade, not the people who are actually working on the case, but John. Sherlock needs John to understand him because no one else does - because he's been trying with the other people in the living room for five years and none of them ever come through for him - but Sherlock still has hope for John.
"But if you were dying. If you'd been murdered. In your very last few seconds, what would you say?"
"Please god, let me live"
"Use your imagination"
"I don't have to"
-Again, the faces! John's quietly getting angry, as Sherlock brings up memories of the event that destroyed John. And Sherlock, Sherlock feels like he's now lost everything. He was so desperate to keep his plans from unraveling that he got frazzled, and he didn't THINK, and now he's botched it up with John - or believes he has. And it's here that he turns away and starts focusing solely on the case - because at the end of the day, if he doesn't have anything else, he must at least still have The Work.
"But if you were clever, if you were really clever. Jennifer Wilson running all those lovers. She was clever. She's trying to tell us something."
"...she was clever, clever yes. She's more clever than you lot and she's dead!"
-And I know I've already talked about the lack of misogyny in Sherlock elsewhere on the internet...but I just wanted to point out this out: The clevest person (besides Sherlock) in this episode is a dead woman, and she has ALL of Sherlock's respect. He doesn't care that she's an adulterer, or that she works in the media and wears and alarming shade of pink, and he certainly doesn't care that she's a woman. She's clever, and that's all that matters to Sherlock.
"What do you mean how? Rachel...don't you see? Rachel! Oh look at you lot, you're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing. Rachel is not a name."
"Then what is it?!"
-I honestly missed how angry John's line is right here until this rewatch. Sherlock's ignored him to ramble about the case, and John's being inundated with how OTHER people see Sherlock, and he's had it...and he doesn't want the showman anymore, he just wants Sherlock to be honest and tell him what’s going on. And it's actually the first time John really snaps at Sherlock, and Sherlock is so focused on the case, he all but misses it - though, he DOES immediately obey. So there's that.
The cab driver kind of annoys me. I don't know what it is about him, honestly. Maybe just because he does a good job of being slightly creepy.
"...I talked to them and they killed themselves. If you call the coppers now, I promise you one thing: I will never tell you what I said."
"No one else will die though, and I believe they call that a result."
"And you won't ever understand how those people died. What kind of result do you care about?"
-And here we get the Chaotic bit of the Chaotic Good alignment. Because it's true...what kind of result does Sherlock care about? Curiosity killed the cat...and an intellectual pursuit killed Marie Curie too.
"I'm not going to kill you, Mr Holmes. I'm going to talk to you, and then you're going to kill yourself."
-FYI: That's why I don't like talking to people when I'm depressed. I'm afraid of an accidental manslaughter charge. :P
"Does it matter, does any of it? He's just a lunatic and he'll always let you down, and you're wasting your time, all our time."
-Again, what is the back story here? I think Sally wanted Sherlock to be something he's not, and she's blaming being let down on Sherlock rather than on her (obviously) unrealistic expectations. It's almost like when people have crushes on celebrities and they build them up to be these perfect beings in their brains who never use words improperly or vote for the wrong people...and then when they find out that it's not true, the actor takes the blame, even though they were never even pretending to be anything other than themselves...the person with a crush was just seeing something that wasn’t there. (Now of course, I'm not talking about when an actor/celebrity is actually a convicted asshole - like, they beat their wife or something - I'm just talking about when people's whole world seems to fall down because Jensen used the word "gay" in a slightly derogatory way, or he used "rape" in a more archaic usage.) It's healthier not to build people up into impossible caricatures of themselves. You have to imagine people complexly, as a book that I've actually never read argues. (ie: Paper Towns by John Green.)
"Who would notice me?"
"You're too modest, Mr. Holmes."
"I'm really not."
-Oh Sherlock, I love you.
"Why did he do that? Why did he have to leave?"
"You know him better than I do."
"I've known him for five years and no I don't."
"So why do you put up with him?"
"Because I'm desperate, that's why? And because Sherlock Holmes is a great man, and I think, one day, if we're very very lucky, he might even be a good one."
-I think Lestrade is Sally without having lost hope in Sherlock. Lestrade accepts that Sherlock isn't the best that he could be. He accepts that Sherlock isn't a hero, but he still sees the potential in him, and he still thinks that there's a chance that Sherlock could still rise to the occasion.
John is standing at parade rest, by the way. I'd love to talk more about the physicality of how these actors inhabit their roles - but that's more easily done when you have gifs and clips and can wax poetic about the slightest of movements with a whole bunch of 15 year-olds on tumblr. (BTW: If you ever wanted hope for the future, just look at how some 15 year olds dissect art on tumblr...it's amazing, and they should all be getting As in English Lit at school. Though, if you ever wanted to lose hope for the future, go look at some of the 15 year-olds on tumblr.)
Now, we return to Sherlock and that scene from the Princess Bride:
What if he has spent years developing immunity to iocane powder?! You should have called the cops and then analyzed the contents of his pockets and figured out the game he was playing...but hey, then we wouldn't get this dramatic conclusion.
"...between you and me sitting here, why can't people think? Don't it make you mad? Why can't people just think?"
"Oh, I see, so you're a proper genius too."
-I like how Sherlock doesn't beiieve him. Like, "Please, you don't EVEN KNOW, Cabbie, YOU. DON'T. EVEN. KNOW."
"It's not a game. It's chance."
"I've played four times, and I'm alive. It's not chance, Mr. Holmes, it's chess. It's a game of chess. One move and one survivor. And this, this is the movie. Did I just give you the good bottle or the bad bottle? You can choose either one."
-I do like the chance vs. chess debate. What do you guys think? I think it's still chance. There are too many variables to work out someone else’s thought pattern... and if the cabbie is anything like me, he'd just be like "fuck it, eenie meenie mienie... I'll push this one out, I don't even care."
Just a note here: I do like the fact that John spent the entire drugs bust with an illegal firearm tucked into the back of his pants underneath his cuddly jumper. I guess Sherlock serves as a great distraction from anyone noticing John's lumpy back.
Also, I like how we see John flex his hand and head back over for his cane...it's subtle, but the adrenaline's wearing off, and he's no longer sure what to make of Sherlock.
"...everyone's so stupid, even you...or maybe God just loves me."
-Sherlock's face when he gets called stupid. It's like challenging Marty McFly to a dare or telling Hawkeye that he can't hit a target.
"And because you're dying, you just killed four people"
"I've outlived four people. That's the most fun you can have with an aneurysm"
-Every time I watch this, I think that Sherlock is objecting to the idea that this is the most fun you can have with an aneurysm, and I'm always curious as to what else he might suggest...and I always end up thinking about kinky things, because if you're going to go out...what a way to go!
"...there's something else. You didn't just kill four people because you're bitter. Bitterness is a paralytic. Love is a much more vicious motivator..."
-Awesome line. A line that comes into play throughout the series, really, yet it's almost lost here.
"Who'd sponsor a serial killer?"
"Who'd be a fan of Sherlock Holmes? You're not the only one to enjoy a good murder. There's others out there just like you, 'cept your just a man. And they're so much more than that."
-Sherlock has this muscle twitch in his face right here, and it's brilliant. If that was on purpose on Benedict's part, then I applaud...if that was a happy accident, then I applaud the editors/director for mining that gold.
"What do you mean, more than a man? An organization, what?"
"There's a name no one says, and I'm not going to say it either..."
-A spider? I do love how Sherlock's suddenly so much more intrigued than when the Cabbie was just talking about how he killed people. Sherlock's like "okay, boring...tell me something I couldn't figure out just by turning you in and emptying your pockets!"
"I know a real gun when I see it."
"None of the others did."
"Well, this has been very interesting. I look forward to the court case."
"Just before you go, did you figure it out? Which ones the good bottle?"
"Which one then? Which one would you have picked, just so that I know whether I could have beaten you? Come on, play the game."
-Ah, the game...and we're back to the pitfalls of intellectual arrogance.
I don't think Sherlock would have taken it...but then, that's something Sherlock is never going to admit one way or the other on.
John being in the wrong building is awesome. I love that camera sweep through the windows.
"What's the point in being clever if you can't prove it? Still the addict, but this, this is what you're really addicted to. You'd do anything, anything at all, to stop being bored. Not bored now are you?"
-Boredom IS pretty annoying. That's why I have ten billion hobbies.
-I love the suddenness of the gunshot. I love how it cuts off the Cabbie's words. I also love the fact that it's been so long since we saw John's gun, that we forgot that he had it. (At least, I did the first time.)
"Was I right? I was wasn't I? Did I get it right? Okay, tell me this, your sponsor who was it? THe one who told you about me, my fan, I want a name"
"You're dying but there's still time to hurt you. I want a name. The name now! The name!"
-I love this because the order of imporance of information is 1)Am I smarter than you? 2)Who is that criminal mastermind you were talking about that may reign down destruction on me in the future?
-Also, um, a big deal was made about how Sherlock isn't a GOOD man, because he's torturing someone who is dying of a gunshot wound...but, um...I'd do the same. I mean, the guys a bastard and he has information and there's not much time to get it out of him! Maybe that makes me a bad person too...maybe I AM a sociopath. I do tend to identify with Sherlock more than John...but, you know, I just attribute that to the fact that deep down I'm an arrogant asshole.
-I also loved the silently mouthed “Moriarty” that Sherlock does...like he’s testing out the feel of it in his mouth (kinky).
"Why have I got this blanket. They keep putting this blanket on me."
"Yeah, It's for shock."
"I'm not in shock!"
"Yeah, but some of the guys wanted to take photographs."
-Oh the blanket...and Lestrade. There's nothing about this that is not glorious.
"So the shooter, any sign?"
"Cleared off before we got here, but a guy like that would have had enemies I suppose....but we've got nothing to go on."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that."
"Okay, give me."
"The bullet they dug out of the wall is from a handgun. A kill shot over that distance with that kind of a weapon, that's a crack shot you're looking for, but not just a marksmen, a fighter, his hands couldn't have shaken at all, so clearly he's acclimatized to violence. He didn't fire until I was in danger though, so strong moral principal. You're looking for a man probably with a history of military service and nerves of steel- Actually, do you know what, ignore me."
"Ignore all of that, it's just the, uh, the shock talking."
"Where are you going?"
"I just need to...talk about...the rent."
"I've got questions-"
"Oh what now? I'm in shock! Look, I've got a blanket!"
-Haha, nice cover Sherlock...could you be more obvious? Tell Lestrade to ignore you after you stare slackjawed at your flatmate...then claim you have to go talk about "the rent"...brilliant. Of course, the last line is a classic now.
-But, I also love this new description of John, no longer just "Army doctor recently invalided home from Afghanistan," but "A crack shot and a fighter who is acclimatized to violence has a strong moral principal and nerves of steel." As many of you may know (if you've been paying attention) I love characters that have a duality to them. And Intellectual/Fighter is one of my favourites...and John is a sort of blend of that. He's the classic superhero blend without being a superhero - mild mannered doctor by day, crimefighting nerves of steel marksman by night. ;) And I think this is where Sherlock really sees the full potential of John, not just as a friend, but as a complete partner in all aspects of Sherlock's life. Also, this is the first time Sherlock has seen John since he was afraid that John had 'joined the others' in his opinions on Sherlock - yet, John didn't - John followed him and saved him (whether he needed saving or not) and he's standing there KNOWING that Sherlock's going to know he did it and TRUSTING him to protect him in return.
-I’ve seen a couple of fanfics that suggest that Lestrade MUST have put it together and known that John was the shooter... but, I’m not sure. At that stage, Lestrade doesn’t even know who John is besides “a doctor”...and I really don’t think he’d be on the suspects list at all. Especially given how difficult it is to own a firearm in the UK. But, I don’t know...I could go either way with it.
Oh John, you are such a bad liar.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes, of course I am."
"Well you have just killed a man"
"Yes, I- it's true, innit, but he wasn't a very nice man."
"No, no, he wasn't really, was he."
"Frankly, a bloody awful cabbie."
"That's true, he was a bad cabbie, you should have seen the route he took us to get here."
"We can't giggle, it's a crime scene, stop it."
"You're the one that shot him, don't blame me."
"Keep your voice down! *to Sally* Sorry, it's nerves or something."
"*to Sally* Sorry"
"You were going to take that damn pill weren't you?"
"Course I wasn't. Biding my time, knew you'd turn up."
"No you didn't. It's how you get your kicks, isn't it? You risk your life to prove you're clever."
"Why would I do that?"
"Because you're an idiot"
-And that's how John Watson made Sherlock fall in love with him. I think this is when John lives up to all of Sherlock's expectations and more, and it's also when John wins over Sherlock completely too...because John appreciates Sherlock's genius, but (and this is the most important part) he treats Sherlock like Sherlock is a normal person. And really, that’s what he’s been doing since he first met Sherlock, and even after Sherlock amazed him with his “superhuman” abilities...John continued to treat him just like any other person, because John BELIEVES that Sherlock is just like any other person. Even after seeing how everyone else views Sherlock as something “other,” at the end of the day, John still just treats Sherlock like a human. He calls Sherlock an idiot. He points out when Sherlock is bullshitting him...he doesn't handle Sherlock like Sherlock is a child, or like Sherlock is a sociopath, or like Sherlock is some sort of freak. He treats Sherlock like Sherlock is just a person - as complex and as ordinary as any other person, albeit with extraordinary gifts.
And I think, fundamentally, that's how Sherlock has always wanted to be treated. People who believe they are plain and ordinary want people to treat them like they're princes and princesses. They want to be 'the chosen one', they want to be special. Likewise, people who have grown up feeling 'special' or 'like a freak', want to be treated like they're ordinary...they desperately want to just be like everyone else. They fall in love with people who make them feel like they AREN'T different. John manages to treat Sherlock like he's not better than any of them, while simultaneously making Sherlock feel appreciated for his intelligence (the very thing that drives other people away.)
And then Mycroft shows up...
"Did it never occur to you that you and I belong on the same side."
"Oddly enough, no"
"We have more in common than you think. This petty feud between us is simply childish, people will suffer, and you know how it always upset Mummy."
"I upset her? It wasn't me who upset her, Mycroft!"
-They speak about Mummy in the past tense, which, to me, indicates that she is no longer with them. I always pictured Sherlock and Mycroft's parents as having kids when they were older. I think there's supposed to be quite the age gap between Mycroft and Sherlock as well. I'm not sure what they've made it here, but from what I see from the Fandom, people usually have it being AT LEAST 7 years. (Someone tell me if it was ever stated in ACD Canon please!)
-Also, I would argue, and I have, that Mycroft and Sherlock actually don't have anything in common besides both being intelligent and being dramatic.
"Good evening, Mycroft, try not to start a war on the way home, you know what it does for traffic."
-And I think this is the fundamental difference between Sherlock and Mycroft. Everyone always goes on about how dark Sherlock might be...how psychopathic and dangerous, but do they consider Mycroft? Who's more dangerous than a puppet master? Who is more dangerous than a man who IS the British Government? Sherlock says it himself, when John asks, "the most dangerous man you've ever met..."
People assume Mycroft is good because he serves Queen and country, is polite, carries a harmless umbrella, and worries about his poor dear younger brother who suffers from such moods. But Mycroft is NOT fundamentally good in Sherlock's eyes. Sherlock is actually a better man than Mycroft is. Mycroft plays with lives on a VERY large scale. "try not to start a war on the way home" - Mycroft's decisions kill people...people like John Watson. It's true, if it weren't Mycroft, someone else would be in the same position - but that doesn't matter to Sherlock. Sherlock, whether he believes himself to be an angel or not, sets out to ONLY to help people. Yes, people die - but, if Sherlock can help it, only the bad guys die. Whereas when Mycroft goes after "the bad guys" a)they might not actually be bad, and b)good people die alongside them. Sherlock's life might be a battlefield, but it's one with very few deaths - and every death that does occur is a point of sadness/guilt/frustration for Sherlock (not including murderthe original murder victims of course)...whereas the way Sherlock must see it, Mycroft pulls strings and good men die, and Mycroft just eats another slice of cake and carries on. Sherlock likes good people. Yes, he gets an intellectual kick out of people like Irene and Moriarity, but his three favourite people are all fundamentally GOOD in Sherlock's eyes.
Though, I would like to point out that I personally think that part of the reason Sherlock likes John is because he's got a "strong moral principal", is a good person, and also happens to be a remorseless killer....it's like the best of everything for Sherlock. No wonder he loves him so much!
"He's always been so resentful, you can imagine the Christmas dinners."
"Right, no, god no."
-I love how John is like "No, no, I cannot imagine that, I have no life experience that leads me to believe I have any idea what that could possibly be like."
"So, dim sum, I can always predict the fortune cookies..."
"No, you can't"
"Almost can. You did get shot though?"
"In Afghanistan, there was an actual wound."
"Oh yeah, shoulder"
"Shoulder, the left one."
"I never guess"
"Yes, you do."
-And of course, this dialogue completely sums them up. Sherlock trying to impress John. John calling Sherlock on his bullshit, but in a happy amused manner. Mostly, it's John accepting the fact that Sherlock is NOT perfect...sometimes he just makes lucky guesses, but John's okay with that, because that's just being human. So, John treats Sherlock like a human, and really, despite Sherlock's insistence that he's superhuman, being treated like he's human is really all Sherlock has ever wanted in life...well, that, and to have a friend who is impressed by intelligence rather than intimidated by it.
And everything I just said is really summed up perfectly in my notes where I just wrote:
SMILES! IT'S LOVE!
The Commentary is by Moffatt, Gatiss, and Sue Vertue. I did not write down who said what when I took down quotes, so I'll only be noting the ones I remember. I think the S1 DVD was done before they started writing up S2 (I could be wrong), so I think it makes for a cool look into the creative process, because you can see some ideas forming just while they chat here. You can totally understand how these two could come up with the entire modernisation of Sherlock while just chatting on a train.
I should say that a lot of the commentary is about adapting the material. I didn't make notes on those aspects of the commentary, because I'm much more interested in interpreting this adaptation, rather than exploring how they do or do not differ from the source material or other adaptations. (Mainly because I don’t feel I have enough ACD knowledge to comment on the adapting success/failure.)
Mostly though, I just want to write it down when they say something funny...
Anyway, let's get to it:
When talking about the awkward cut-away shots of people's phone screens, they comment: "It always gives the impression that everyone in the show is midly illiterate", because the characters take so long to read a text.
-Though, I should point out, having met Sam's Winchester's hands, that such awkward cut-away shots keep hand-actors employed!
"[ACD] allows one - in the whole sixty story canon - he allows one moment of genuine affection between Holmes and Watson. You always know it's there..."
"If you've hurt my Watson"
"Yes, that's it. And I think...under the surface of the detective stories is the story of the greatest friendship ever. And because it's a male friendship, it's simply never talked about. They never sit down and say 'well I think we've become we've become friends now, how do you feel about that'"
"They don't have to"
-This is actually what I've always loved about friendship/love/humans. I love the things we say without speaking. I love the communication that occurs between words. I value being able to see and feel love over being able to hear it, I guess.
They talk about Sherlock adoring Mrs. Hudson: "[Sherlock]'s not cold because there's something wrong with him, he's cold because most of the time that's what he's like. If he happens to like you, that's not a problem."
Benedict was the first and only person who read for Sherlock Holmes.
"There isn't another person who can play this part."
The only thing Benedict and Sherlock have in common: "a gentle occupation of the alpha male role." (Moffatt)
Gatiss: "Yes, I made the mistake of calling Benedict to solve a crime. He was absolutely hopeless."
They talk about Martin Freeman as being the opposite of Benedict except for the amount of talent. Benedict "is a kind of a magnificent exotic person as an actor, he doesn't look like a normal person...he plays exceptional people" whereas "Martin finds a poetry in the ordinary man."
They talk about casting Martin - they needed to have the right dynamic. Rather than two commanding officers or a commander and a private officer. They wanted a Commander and Ship's Doctor who could overrule the Commander...basically, "Kirk and Bones."
Matt Smith auditioned for Watson, but was too much like Sherlock.
"The moment we put Martin with Benedict, it actually changed Benedict. He became more like Sherlock Holmes."
They say Lestrade admires Sherlock. Sherlock says that Lestrade is the best of Scotland Yard. The reason they went with Rupert was because he had the quality that made it feel like if Sherlock wasn't around, Rupert could have his own series where Inspector Lestrade solves the crime.
"What Rupert brings to it as well, he's very dashing, but he's very blokey..."
"I think it's that thing where he's a very handsome man...but no one's told him 'you're actually very good looking.'"
-Those are the best handsome men in my opinion.
They joke about Sherlock killing Mr. Hudson just so he could get cheaper rent.
During the scene with John and Mycroft: "Sherlock will see this at the end, but this is a powerful friend he's got."
"There are more references to him laughing than there ever is to him taking drugs. It fades out of the story quite quickly."
"The way it sits in the original stories is to make him exotic...in Victorian times. To say that he just sits there doing coke when he doesn't have a job makes him an idiot....when you modernize, this guy, when he was 18 would have been a mess."
-I have to say, I really like the way they've made Sherlock. I know during the PBS panel that Moffatt said that he didn't believe in backstories - and man, I LOVE backstories...but I like the fact that they have thought about it at least abstractly. They've recognized that Sherlock would have had a very difficult youth, just because of who he is and how his mind works.
"...[Sherlock]''s still got ragged edges, certainly, where we meet him. He's not functioning as a human being, until he meets the person who actually, gently, starts to say 'you shouldn't say that', but not in a preachy sort of way."
-Sherlock's not acting human, because he's not being TREATED like a human. This is partially Mycroft's fault, but I'll get to that in S2.
"[Sherlock] does actually want someone to notice he's clever. He's cleverer for having somebody to notice it. He's been making do with that skull for a while..." They go on to compare Sherlock to a cook with no one to cook for or a comedian with no one to laugh.
-Basically, John is the conductor of light. ;)
Sherlock's sexuality...shows no interest in women or men. They talk about The Woman a bit, which is interesting, because this was perhaps recorded before they wrote Scandal....but, I did not make any notes on it, so obviously it's not THAT interesting. :P
"I think our Sherlock is warmer than the ones in the story."
They talk about whether Sherlock is likeable, and that House is a good example of a "Sherlock" character who is not likeable, but still liked by the fans. "You hang on his every word to see if there's a crack in the facade."
"He's chosen the side of the angels because there are more rules. It's more difficult."
"He is not only on the side of the angels, he is, in the end, an angel. Maybe a slightly naughty one...but he is one of them. That's a brilliant progression, it's a great story to tell."
"...you need to see it through John Watson's eyes. We pick up the story from at the point where this unbarable man, becomes not just bareable, but lovable, the way we want him to be."
"He needs to humanize. You can't just keep him as that cold borderline psychopath that he might have become."
-Personally, I see this as where some other Sherlock-type adaptations have fallen down. There has to be character growth, even for Sherlock. Actually, this goes beyond Sherlock adaptations - it's just writing in general. I find a lot of the time when things have a unique and powerful character, they think that the uniqueness/powerfulness is enough to hold interest, that the character doesn't need to grow...when this just isn't the case. I don't have any examples off the top of my head of course, that would be too handy. Someone was accusing Merlin of this yesterday, but that's just because they aren’t a very astute watcher.
Gatiss does talk about how Watson's friendship doesn't magically cure Sherlock's "dark moods", but he does save him in a fundamental way.
-I like this distinction too. Mainly, because I see it a lot in Sherlock fanfic - the old healing-cock/power-of-love trope...where someone falls in love and suddenly they aren't bipolar anymore. Yeah, um, that doesn't happen in real-life, folks. People are broken, and when they fall in love, they are broken people who also happen to be in love. Love can only save you from loneliness, and that's exactly what Sherlock and John do for each other...and maybe John helps keep Sherlock from becoming an isolated psychopath, but the fact remains that Sherlock didn't WANT to be an isolated psychopath, so the odds of it happening were slim anyway...I mean, I ask you again: WHY did Sherlock need a flatmate? Why did he seem to care so much what John thought of the apartment? Sherlock WANTED a friend. He just never says it outright.
They talk about John Watson's gun and how they could get away with never saying how he got it.
"[It would be] different in America - this scene would end very differently, there would be a massive shoot-out. Everyone would have a gun. Sherlock's got ten."
They talk about the Deerstalker and basically come up with exactly how they end up doing it in S2 - with the paparazzi shot that gets him stuck with the image.
Finally, they weigh in on the "Idiot Watson" trope (Made fan-famous by Kate Beaton's multiple-Watson cartoon - yes, the "jam" one.) Both Gatiss and Moffatt state that John Watson brings A LOT to the partnership:
"John Watson is the most reliable man in the world."
"Only an idiot would surround himself with idiots."
I'm going to be very busy for the next couple of weeks, but hopefully I'll find time to watch The Blind Banker sometime in July.
Edit: Almost forgot to link the full rewatch on AO3 is available for those who want to download to portable readers (or those of you who just like AO3 a lot.)