I got into reading mystery stories at an early age. I recall borrowing Sherlock Holmes books from my elementary school library and devouring them in an afternoon. Over the summer, I would read Agatha Christie novels and then (for my library’s summer reading program) create chain links of construction paper for every hour that I had read. My best friend and I even formed a detective team during our after-school extended day program, solving one notable case of a message written underneath the auditorium stage.
For Hallowe’en one year I dressed up as Sherlock Holmes (cape, improvised deerstalker cap, pipe made out of papier-mache, and large magnifying glass), and the next year I dressed as Hercule Poirot (bowler hat, large luxuriant moustache, vaguely French/Belgian accent, possibly a suit with white gloves — it was a long time ago, I don’t remember all the details). Nobody recognized me as Poirot; in fact, many thought I was Charlie Chaplin even though my moustache was clearly too large! At one point, I was reading so many British mysteries that I lost my school’s spelling bee by spelling the word ‘honorable’ as its British cousin ‘honourable’.
In any case, while I am a fan in general of mysteries and the Mystery series, I’ve particularly liked the three Sherlock episodes aired this fall. It is set in modern times (for example, Watson publishes his tales of Sherlock’s adventures on his blog) but much of the show’s character remains true to the original stories. There are some nice tie-ins for those familiar with the Conan-Doyle books, including Watson’s having recently returned from the war in Afghanistan — equally apt in those times and today.
After watching the first episode, A Study in Pink (loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s first Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet), I returned and read the original to refresh my memory and see what had been kept versus what plot elements were entirely changed. It had been at least ten years (and maybe fifteen) since I last read that novel, and I enjoyed reading it again in a new light. To summarize, the crime’s commission was quite similar in nature, but the motive completely different.
Just having watched the third episode (the final for this season), The Great Game, I plan on rereading both The Five Orange Pips and The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans, referenced therein. Other Holmesian fans: were there additional stories referred to or taken from in that episode that I missed?