Friday, January 22, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

By the way, saw the new Sherlock Holmes the Wednesday (did I mention I've been watching a lot of films lately), and it was pretty good. I mean, I'll never really think of Holmes as the "action hero" portrayed in the film, and Robert Downey Jr.'s English accent DID wander all about the various regions of the UK (ugh!), but it was well written and well-paced.

Plus I love the subject matter...I've always been a Holmes fan and love all that Victorian-era, steam punk stuff. It reminded me a bit of Young Sherlock Holmes, a film I really liked as a youngster; I should probably try to rent and re-watch that one. Charles Dickens + guns + Aleister Crowley/secret societies + up-tight sexually-repressed heroes/heroines = great fun in my book.

Though it IS a fine line. I did recently acquire Castle Falkenstein and though I've tried to read it a couple times, I find it a bit tedious...I mean it feels a bit too much like Shadowrun in the 19th century for my taste and that is NOT what I'm looking for in an RPG.

Doesn't mean Holmes doesn't make good fodder for an RPG. Coming out of the movie my wife, who loved it, exclaimed "I wish I could watch that every week...with a new mystery every time!" There we go, all the networks need to do is hatch CSI: Dickens England and they've got a sure-fire homerun least in JB's household.

But IF a film makes you want to keep watching it, or keep following the characters, especially in episodic vein...well, history has shown there's usually a properly licensed RPG on its way to press. Regardless of whether or not the RPG is any good or not. Of course, I don't think anyone could LICENSE Sherlock Holmes (perhaps the images from the film) as it's probably a matter of public domain by now. So perhaps we'll have several on their way to market? For my money, I'd want the Pelgrane Press, GUMSHOE version (if one is forthcoming) as that's about the only system I could see working for a Holmes-style RPG.

Of course, I have become infatuated with the 64-page RPG myself these days (I've got two already in the hopper...I'm starting to think it's the perfect medium for the role-playing GAME book). Maybe I should do my own version of Holmes?

Well, maybe not. Holmes by himself is a tad one-dimensional...but something steam-punk that pastiches Holmes (and maybe allows him to be an action-hero, etc., etc.) might be worth a pass at the drafting table.

Wow...all these ideas. Maybe I DO need to hire some staff artists!


  1. MY wife and I saw Sherlock Holmes a couple of weeks ago, and we both agreed that Sherlock Holmes did what Angels and Demons failed to do.

  2. Mmm...that's one we have NOT seen. After Dave Brown's simplistic take on the excellent Woman With the Alabaster Jar (AKA "The DaVinci Code"), I was not enthused about Tom Hanks's latest floppy-haired entry into commercial cinema.

  3. I saw Sherlock Holmes two weeks ago with my wife and we both really liked it is well. It wasn't the Holmes I was used to seeing, with the hat and overcoat, but it was really enjoyable and fun to watch. I would like to see this become a franchise.

  4. Well of course his accent wandered. In the original stories it is noted that Holmes had traveled the length and breadth of Great Britain familiarizing himself with the mud in each locale.
    Worthy work that; as it allowed him to identify the dried mud on boots on more than one occasion, and hence solving the unsolvable!