Episode 47: Re: Vampires

It's our Halloween show!

With Victorian and Gothic influence in a number of the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Canon can be great fodder for the mysterious, occult and spooky elements of Halloween. Certainly The Hound of the Baskervilles, "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot," "The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier," or "The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place" have elements that can make a reader's hair stand on end.

But the most direct link with Halloween as we know it today (other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Lot No. 249" - the original mummy story) has to be "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire." Sherlock Holmes himself was a bit dismissive of the supernatural in this case, saying "Rubbish, Watson, rubbish! What have we to do with walking corpses who can only be held in their grave by stakes driven through their hearts? It's pure lunacy."

But our guest on this episode, Les Klinger (a guest on Episodes 31 and 32, when he spoke about the Guy Ritchie / Robert Downey, Jr. movies and his role as Warner Brothers' consultant on the set) is no stranger to Dracula. He has written The New Annotated Dracula and has been an influential in the Dracularian movement. As we discuss the intersection of Holmes and Dracula, Les helps us understand the evolution of vampire literature and Dracula-influenced media.

In the discussion, Les alludes to other influential fictional works in the movement such as I Am Legend, In the Shadow of Dracula, and Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, who is the Distinguished Speaker at the2013 Baker Street Irregulars Weekend. In addition to the popular work, Les noted that there is a scholarly vein of work (pardon the pun) in the field that brings more seriousness to the practice, albeit less fluid and constant than Sherlockian scholarship. But we kept coming back to the intersections of Holmes and Dracula, in all forms: written, film and stage, and how each have their cycles of popularity that are typically driven by a single piece of work each time.

We had a number of listener comments from you regarding Episode 46 ("Elementary, My Dear CBS) that included very visceral opinions about the Jonny Lee Miller / Lucy Liu show, as well as some traditional and fanciful ideas for Canonically-inspired Halloween costumes.

For our Gas-Lamp this episode, we welcome a very special guest for a chilling reading of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." We won't spoil it by telling you who it is; you'll have to tune in yourself to hear it.

Direct download: ihearofsherlock047.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:51am EDT

Episode 46:  Elementary, My Dear CBS

Joining the BBC's Sherlock on television this fall is another high-powered outing by the network CBS in the United States. If you haven't yet heard, the new show is Elementary and it stars Jonny Lee Miller as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes who is in New York after rehab, and Lucy Liu at Dr. Joan Watson, Holmes's "sober companion," whose responsibility it is to look after him an ensure he readjusts to society and doesn't relapse.


The creators were under pressure almost from the moment the project was announced, what with the success of another modern-day Sherlock Holmes enjoying popular acclaim. Rest assured, Elementary does not encroach on the territory of Sherlock.


But exactly how much of the Canon does it include or reference? And how faithful are the characters to what we know? Or does that even matter? And how closely tread is the fine line that exists between an established character and updating it to a modern setting? Join us as we debate and discuss the relative merits and attributes of the latest addition of Holmes to the small screen.


During the episode, we share some listener comments of late, read the Editor's Gas-Lamp from Vol. 6, No. 1 (March 1956) from the Baker Street Journal, and prepare for our Halloween Show. As part of that, we'd like to know what Canonical or Sherlockian Halloween costume you might wear. Tell us in a comment below.

Direct download: ihearofsherlock046.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:52pm EDT