Sherlock Holmes

"So this is the deceased detective who's going to save civilization as we know it?"
Chief Inspector Greyson, FALL
 
"....the best and wisest man I have ever known."
Dr. John H. Watson, "The Final Problem"
 
Many pics of Holmes
 
    Sherlock Holmes was the world's first consulting detective. Since the day-to-day work of a police or private detective did not provide his talents with enough of a challenge, he helped these detectives when they were stumped and collected a healthy fee for it. Occasionally he took on a member of the public as a client, but only when the matter was interesting to him. Holmes also was responsible for inventing and publicizing many advances in the forensic sciences. We know of his activities primarily through his friend Dr. John H. Watson, whose articles made Holmes famous.
    Holmes was revived in the 22nd century in order to help Inspector Beth Lestrade find and catch Moriarty -- another consultation! He is currently being retained by New Scotland Yard as a consultant, and apparently is making a good amount of credits that way.
  Standing Holmes from the poster Holmes looking sardonic

Despite much research, Holmes' background is largely a mystery to us. He never spoke about his family. We know that Holmes had a brother, Mycroft, only because Holmes was forced to call upon his aid during a case. Mycroft worked for the British government in a high but mysterious position. Holmes told Watson that Mycroft was more intelligent than himself, but did not like to do the legwork of investigation. Holmes also had a cousin named Verner, who at point purchased Watson's practice from him. We know that his family lived in Sussex and that one side was descended from the French painter Vernet. That's it. Perhaps Inspector Lestrade may know more, given that she owns Watson's journals, but if she does, she hasn't said anything about it.

In the 22nd century, Holmes is apparently a very minor celebrity. His existence is known to the public (as witness Miss Morstan's consultation with him), but perhaps the vagaries of News On Demand have prevented people from getting properly excited about the life of a famous detective returned from the dead. Nevertheless, Holmes' status was still high enough to allow Lestrade to get him back into his old rooms on Baker Street (preserved as the alternate universe version of the Sherlock Holmes Museum).

Holmes still has a lot of catching up to do, but he has embraced the use of computers, hololearners, and video communication over the net. His Stradivarius does not seem to be in evidence (and heck! Did you think a Strad was going to be allowed to rot in a museum? And did you think that anyone, even Lestrade, could persuade a violinist to give one up?) but Holmes has adopted an electronic instrument which combines frets with a keyboard (EMPT2) and seems to be happy with it -- except that by TWIS2, he was still having trouble playing the rather simple melody of "Ode to Joy".

Holmes is of course an expert boxer and singlestick player and knows baritsu, but his primary martial art in the 22nd century is cane fighting. La canne really was practiced back in Victorian times as part of the French martial art Savate, which was folded into Bartitsu (and hence, very likely, into baritsu). Here are some links:

 

Happily, Holmes seems to be kept busy enough by his cases and studies that he has not suffered from any of the frequent bouts of depression and lethargy which often afflicted him in previous years. Well, except  at Christmastime. And when he got bored and frustrated with his new instrument during the long stretch of fog (TWIS2). Argumentativeness and smugness are his major vices.

Holmes owns or leases a gold and purple coachcraft, which Watson generally drives. However, Holmes had learned how to drive it (well, sorta) by TWIS2.
Holmes habitually carries on his person:
  • a retractable/extendable cane (FALL)
  • a magnifying glass (DERA)
  • a futuristic flashlight (DERA) 

Here's what Fox's press releases had to say about Holmes:

Sherlock Holmes: The most striking feature of this great detective is his ability to focus on the task as hand; he becomes completely self-absorbed by solving crimes with his brain, not his physical strength. If he makes a mistake, he will admit he's wrong, and he will ask for help if he needs to.

He wears his signature Victorian cape and deerstalker hat, although he gave up his pipe because smoking is forbidden in the 22nd Century. Holmes is very traditional; he loves music and will always hold a door for a lady, no matter how politically incorrect it might be.

Sherlock Holmes is not just the world's greatest detective - he is a true Renaissance Man.

*******

The world's greatest detective is back ­ and this time, he's battling crime in the brave new world of the 22nd Century. Thanks to Inspector Beth Lestrade of New Scotland Yard, Sherlock Holmes is brought back rejuvenated to that of a 25-year-old to help Lestrade battle an unprecedented crime wave wreaking havoc on this peaceful future.

*******

From the Teacher's Guide:
When Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest detective, is involved in a case, he tunes out everything else around him. If he's self-absorbed, it's because he's always thinking, solving mysteries and fighting crime with his brain, not his brawn. He admits his rare mistakes and will ask for help when he needs it. Holmes is a gentleman with a keen sense of tradition and a wry wit. He still wears his trademark cape and deerstalker hat, but the pipe is gone because people no longer smoke in the 22nd century.

Well, that's all well and good...but Holmes really is no bastion of traditional values. In his own time, he was a rebel, loving to break conventions and challenge authority. (Which is one reason he ended up having adversarial relationships with his police detective clients.) He often acted highhandedly to achieve a higher justice than what the law could provide, he championed people whom society looked down upon, he was always in the forefront of investigative techniques --  and let's not even talk about the advanced state of mess that 221B was usually in. His love of being different and of things which are bizarre and unusual is probably the major reason Holmes has been able to adjust so well to a time so different from his own.

 


Other essays:

Whatever Remains: a page suggesting that if you eliminate the impossible, you'll see the improbable truth about Holmes and Lestrade.