Monday, July 26, 2010

The Sleaze is Afoot

OK, let's get the admin stuff out of the way first. I've finally got a new story up over at The Sleaze. This is a reconstruction, (based on a surviving rough draft and memory), of the incomplete story which is currently trapped on the inoperative hard drive of my old laptop. I think that the published version is an improvement over the original. I certainly hope that it is, having spent a significant part of my weekend putting it together and posting it. That, and burning the various back-up and system recovery discs this new laptop seems to need. Whilst waiting for them to complete, it occurred to me that if we were just supplied the Windows install disc, as we always used to be when buying a new PC, we wouldn't have to waste so much time burning new discs. After all, a large part of the cost of a new PC or laptop derives from the operating system (if it's Windows or Mac OS), and the expense of having it installed. Believe me, Microsoft and Apple don't just give away their products. Operating systems aside, I still don't have this laptop set up the way I want it - I just haven't had time to install all the software I usually use, what with burning recovery discs and writing new stories. Maybe by the end of the week I'll have it sorted. If I'm lucky.

Obviously, I didn't spend my entire weekend with my laptop. I did find time to catch up with the BBC's new-fangled modern day take on Sherlock Holmes. As I've mentioned before, there's nothing really new about the idea of updating Holmes. It's only since World War Two that we seem to have had an obsession with filming Conan Doyle stories in period. Before then, most Holmes' films had a contemporary setting, (with the notable exception of the first two Basil Rathbone pictures, which were made for Twentieth Century Fox and had Victorian settings, the subsequent Universal-produced Rathbone series all had 1940s settings). The BBC version wasn't a bad attempt at placing Holmes and Watson in the Twenty First Century. Although the absence of that old London smog shrouding everything, and the lack of a background of Victorian grime and poverty, did take way some of the menace which I always remember as being inherent in the stories. Whilst I enjoyed it, I think I still preferred my version of an up to date Holmes story, with a sports car driving Watson trying to capitalise on the notoriety of his association with Holmes by moonlighting as a TV celebrity doctor, and Mrs Hudson appearing on Ready, Steady, Cook, and publishing her 'Baker Street Cook Book' (fifty recipes inspired by the sleuth's most celebrated cases). Holmes himself could look highly uncomfortable appearing on Crimewatch, or being interviewed by Graham Norton, (cue lots of double-entendres about 'pipe smoking' and 'lemon entries'). Who knows, maybe all that will feature in future episodes of Sherlock. In which case, I'm suing!

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