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January 23, 2015 3:09 pm  #1


Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

I always thought that when Moftiss decided for Sherlock to shoot CAM, they were basing this decision on the old theory circulating around Holmesians: that CAM disturbed Sherlock while he was opening his safe during burglary, that he brandished a gun on him and that Sherlock or John had to shoot the blackmailer in self-defence, in order to not be shot themselves. The story kind of enables this reading.
 
But this week I read the interview of Moftiss where they spoke about their real motivation – and I couldn´t believe it:
 
Moffat: Also, if you read [The Adventure Of] Charles Augustus Milverton, Dr. Watson in the opening paragraph tells you that he’s about to tell you a porkie. He says, ‘I even now must be very reticent.’ I think what Doyle is hinting at is that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson sat in Baker Street and said, ‘Right, we’re going to have to go and kill him, aren’t we? That’s the only way we can do this.’ So they break in, kill him, and then Dr. Watson writes up a version of the story that puts the murder [on someone else].
 
Gatiss: They’re hiding in their burglar masks behind the curtain, and this random woman comes and shoots Milverton in the face and then grinds her heel into his face. It’s odd, isn’t it? So I mean really, it’s just an extrapolation of saying, ‘Well, he probably did it, I think.’
 
(Empire Interview)
 
I find their claim to be quite ludicrous, to be honest. I once again wonder how fans of ACD´s Sherlock Holmes can speak such things. Because:
 
Sherlock and John in ACD stories aren´t the most rigid protectors of the law, they break it from time to time, but they would never put up with cold-blooded murder. This characterisation of theirs is constant in all ACD´s stories and the idea that they would break their moral standards „just because“ goes stronly against the way they were established.
 
Sherlock was written as a brainy character exactly so that he can solve his problems in a different way than through violence.
 
But even if Sherlock was OK with murdering people who stand in his way, he would never do it in this sloppy, neanderthal manner. He is cunning for a reason, certainly he would be able to plan it better beforehand?
 
John Watson is much more proper and mindful of the law than Sherlock and he is not a sheep. He would never follow another guy and help him if he thought his goal is the murder of another human being. Even if the said man was his best friend.
 
And if he would be forced to witness such a thing, he is not so stupid as to later write stories about it, making these things go public.
 
Random woman who shoots a blackmailer, motivated by her wish for a vengeance, because he was the cause of her husbands death, is unbelievable and odd to Moftiss. Let´s replace her by a random woman who shoots the hero of the story – without reason, without motive, without any gain for herself.
 
Moftiss remind me of the boy from the fable, who was asked: „Guess what it is? It´s white on the outside and yellow and white on the inside, it has solid surface and a liquid content and it´s seen mostly around chickens.“ And the boy replies: „It must be some kind of a pastry.“
 
They know the very minutiae of Arthur Conan Doyle´s work and yet their interview here made them seem strangely disconnected from the essence, „the heart“ of his stories, if you know what I mean.
 


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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January 23, 2015 3:33 pm  #2


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

That theory, that Holmes and Watson meant to kill Milverton, is nothing new in the wonderful world of Sherlockianism--I've seen it a number of times before. (Before the BBC series was even a gleam in Moftiss's eye, that is.)


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January 23, 2015 3:41 pm  #3


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

I always thought that in HLV they mixed several characters from the original story. Mary Morstan and the Lady who killed him in the end and who is rather mirrored in Lady Smallwood. Then the Lady who kills him and Sherlock. And for me, when I read that bit about grinding her heel is a bit mirrored in Mary's knocking CAM out with the gun...


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January 23, 2015 3:46 pm  #4


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

Sure, Mofftiss do love to play with Sherlockians' knowledge of the stories. They know readers of "Charles Augustus Milverton" will expect Mrs. Smallwood to kill CAM, so they have Sherlock think the same by having her and Mary wear the same perfume, for example--just as, in ASiP, "RACHE" was German for revenge (and not a woman's name) in the ACD story, and the exact opposite in the show!


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January 23, 2015 6:53 pm  #5


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

In the end they don't make their "own" Sherlock plot with John to kill Magnussen.  He seems to come to that decision at Appledore, and John seems to have been genuinely surprised.   So they don't follow what they say Doyle intended.

Although I suppose it's different in the Doyle story - Moftiss are seeing it as a clever, little "read between the lines" aside.   So as well as it being a hint that Holmes murdered Milverton, it's also a little reminder that the Holmes we know is the one Watson chooses to portray.                                                                                                                                                        

 

January 23, 2015 8:56 pm  #6


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

Still, their comment seems to indicate that they see Sherlock and John from the canon as characters who have no problems with committing murder if this suits their plans. And I am surprised why Moftiss see them that way. As I explained above, this is in very harsh contrast with the manner in which they are characterised in Doyle´s stories.


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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January 23, 2015 9:31 pm  #7


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

Actually, no--ACD's Holmes was indifferent to and even approving of some murders. He cared about whether killings (or illegal acts) were justified by his own standards or not far more than the idea of a person committing murder or other crimes per se--we see this a number of times in the canon.


____________________

"Oh, you meant 'spectacularly ignorant' in a NICE way."
 

January 23, 2015 9:37 pm  #8


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

But there´s a difference between not caring if the criminal is caught because the victim was an awful human being (as for example, in the case of "Devil´s Foot") and planning and performing cold-blooded murders yourself.

Sherlock Holmes was not an "avenger", but also not Batman or Dexter. And this sounds very OOC for him.


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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January 23, 2015 9:48 pm  #9


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

No, he wasn't generally a vigilante--he cared more about solving the puzzle than about righting wrongs in general. But in the Milverton story (as Moftiss picked up straight from the story in HLV), Holmes WAS personally disgusted and unusually outraged, and it's plausible in the context of that story that he would have murdered CAM if that was the only way he could stop him. It's an unusually heated story in the canon, so you could possibly say Holmes was OOC in the ACD story--but I suspect a specific reason for hating blackmailers somewhere in Sherlock Holmes's past--either version!

Last edited by REReader (January 23, 2015 9:49 pm)


____________________

"Oh, you meant 'spectacularly ignorant' in a NICE way."
 

January 23, 2015 10:11 pm  #10


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

Well, as I said in the first paragraph of the post that started this thread, there were many theories that Sherlock could have killed Milverton, but in self-defence. He already found a way to burgle Milverton´s safe and without the compromising letters (which were a real bane in Victorian society), the blackmailer would be helpless to do any actual damage. So there was no genuine need for Sherlock to shoot Milverton in the canon (unlike in BBC version, where he was pressed to do it by the threat to John and his family).

In "Sign of Four" we read this confession of an accomplice to murder:

My heart softened to him, but again the thought of his treasure turned me hard and bitter. I cast my firelock between his legs as he raced past, and he rolled twice over like a shot rabbit. Ere he could stagger to his feet the Sikh was upon him, and buried his knife twice in his side. The man never uttered moan nor moved muscle, but lay were he had fallen. I think myself that he may have broken his neck with the fall. You see, gentlemen, that I am keeping my promise. I am telling you every work of the business just exactly as it happened, whether it is in my favor or not.

And this is John´s reaction to what he had heard:

He stopped, and held out his manacled hands for the whiskey-and-water which Holmes had brewed for him. For myself, I confess that I had now conceived the utmost horror of the man, not only for this cold-blooded business in which he had been concerned, but even more for the somewhat flippant and careless way in which he narrated it. Whatever punishment was in store for him, I felt that he might expect no sympathy from me. Sherlock Holmes and Jones sat with their hands upon their knees, deeply interested in the story, but with the same disgust written upon their faces.

And those men, so disgusted with the story about how the person cold-bloodedly helped to murder something, should be all "Right, we are goint to have to go and kill him, aren´t we?" as Moftiss put it? I doubt it.
 


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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January 24, 2015 7:45 am  #11


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

Yes, to base an interpretation of Holmes and Watson as murderers on the simple words "i have to be very reticent" seems a bit.. thin to me. And it's also connected to your other topic, about painting Sherlock in a pretty dark light.. But then they just pick up on the subtext like everyone else does, too. I usually pick up on the hints that he cares about right and wrong and has a strong moral codex (though a bit different from most people) and wouldn't just pick up a gun and plan a murder.. Based on things like the quotes you posted. But then who knows, this is their fan-fiction and they can interpret and spin headcanons as much as they like. I admit i pretty often thought "What have you done to my Sherlock??" while watching S3.. But to "assassinate" a character takes a bit more, there will always be new adaptions and interpretations.. And hopefully also some that don't interpret mood-swings as manchild and being rude and cerebral as being a ruthless machine (who has tears in its eyes more than once..)
Sorry, random thoughts on both of your threads at once..

 

January 26, 2015 9:53 pm  #12


Re: Ludicrous claim by Moftiss

But wouldn´t damage canonical Watson´s outlook on his friend if he witnessed him killing somebody in a murder planned beforehand? Would he be still able to write such gushing praises of him? It seems unlikely to me...


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
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