Monday, April 9, 2012

Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Laurie: House’s legacy and the Sherlock archetype Gem Wheeler As we prepare to wave a final goodbye to House, Gem asks whether the series blazed a trail for the BBC's Sherlock...(DEN OF GEEK)

House is a particular kind of antihero: attractive – in a vaguely sociopathic sort of way – driven, obsessive, and awfully good at getting results. Sound familiar?

Those of you who’ve been lapping up the adventures of a certain consulting detective should be nodding in recognition at this point. And there’s a very specific reason for that.

The Sherlock Holmes reworked by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss is, unsurprisingly enough, an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary creation. He’s been tinkered with, of course. The Victorian sleuth’s non-existent sex life has been, ahem, probed, while his drug addiction, interestingly, has been pushed into the background, reflecting the changing concerns of a different age.

Rather than merely clothing the nineteenth-century icon in a swish coat and adding some complementary brooding, the character has been reworked to give a modern slant on the traits we’ve come to love. But the modern Sherlock, as written by pop-culture mavens such as Moffat and Gatiss, was never going to exist in a vacuum.

Sometimes, the series has acknowledged this. Watson’s even called him Spock after one too many bouts of cold logic, in a sly nod to the influence of Sherlock’s analytical nature on Star Trek’s ultra-cool Vulcan pin-up (sorry, Kirk fans, I’m with Dax on this one.)


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