readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
No spoilers here. Have seen all of S2. Like it very much: not perfect but certainly moving, challenging, often hilarious, sometimes devastating.

But apparently there's some brou-ha going on between BBC and CBS. According to this story, CBS approached the BBC about doing an American re-make of Steven Moffat's Sherlock and was turned down. Soon after that, CBS announced their intention of doing their own modernized Sherlock Holmes. Whereon Sue Vertue exec producer, implied the BBC might take legal action if CBS infringes upon the BBC's program.

Whew.

I love the current BBC show. I liked the Conan Doyle canon: wasn't passionate about it, but I enjoyed it. I love Laurie King's Holmes/Russell novel series. Haven't read much in the way of Holmes fanfic, but I'll be there's some amazing stuff out there (along with Sturgeon's requisite 90% crap).

The thing is -- Holmes is in the public domain. Anyone can write, film, televise Sherlock Holmes stores and a good many someones have. Some of them are marvelous. Some of them stink. Some of them are ridiculous. Some are professionally produced. Many are amateur transformative works, done for nothing but love and hijinks.

Could CBS rip off the current Moffat program? Certainly. Could they do it successfully -- in other words, steal viewers (and thereby advertising dollars) from the BBC program? I have a hard time believing they could. I can't think of a single filmed or televised story adapted by an American company from a British original which I've liked better than the original. When I encounter the American version first, it usually leads me to seek out the British version. Doesn't mean American filmmakers aren't very good at telling some stories. But I've never found them better at telling stories which I particularly like, in part, for their Britishness. (The Dark is Rising? Run away!!)

And the Holmes story is probably one of the oldest examples, bar Shakespeare, of massively adapted English-language works. It's been around over a hundred years. People were writing "pastiches" about Holmes and his adventures before most of the world had heard of fanfiction.

I think it's good for there to be many versions. Victorian versions, contemporary versions, heck, let's have Holmes in Space.

In my opinion, the best thing the BBC could do would be to tell CBS, "have at it!" I can't imagine the comparison could ever hurt the gem which is the Moffat-Vertue-Cumberbatch-Freeman story. If the CBS show was imaginative, clever, heroic and heartwarming we'd all cheer. And if it was a cheap ripoff, we'd all point and laugh.

No storyteller should ever shy from comparison when his effort is already the standard by which all similar efforts will be judged.

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readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
readerjane

May 2014

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