Archive for May, 2014

News Bulletin 212

“I think that I should prefer to stay here a little and go into one or two questions of detail”*


Martin Clunes to play Conan Doyle

ITV has green-lit a new television drama, an adaptation of Booker Prize winning author Julian Barnes’ novel Arthur and George. The story so far  is here and here.

Here’s an older and very moving article about Martin Clunes which gives a fascinating insight into the Doc Martin actor’s  background.  It also mentions his cousin, the late Jeremy Brett.

Jack Nicholson for SH3?

Robert Downey Jnr. and Guy Ritchie are said to be wooing Nicholson for a part in the next instalment of the Warner Bros. Sherlock Holmes franchise.

BBC Sherlock 4: Coming sooner?

Might it be not as far away as we had been led to believe? Read the latest news here.

The Reinvention of Sherlock Holmes continues

A Slight Trick of the Mind, starring Ian McKellen as an elderly Sherlock Holmes is based on a novel by Mitch Cullin. Roger Johnson tells us that the book (published by Cannongate Books, priced £14.99) will be launched on 28 May, the first time it’s been available in the UK. Read about it here and here.

Ideal Holmes

Take a browse at this Sherlock Holmes room in miniature. And when you’ve finished the tour, here’s a full-scale model to explore.


Six of the Best?

Sherlock Holmes cartoons

Would you buy a book from this man?

Sherlock: World Record Attempt

Sherlock Holmes sucks at deduction

Dance Mob…in St. Petersburg

Basil’s Seaside Shuffle


‘Disappearance of a Well Known Builder’

Members intending to board on Sunday 25 May are reminded that our next Study is The Adventure of the Norwood Builder.’

Which gives us an excuse to mention Brick City, at Titanic Belfast from 17 May to 13 July. It’s part of a UK tour.

Nothing to do with SH, as far as we know, but this Lego link (it’s one we featured previously) is.



Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival 24-26 May 2014



News Bulletin 211

“But what end?”*

Alan Phelan Exhibition

8 May – 14 June 2014 

Opening Thursday 8 May 6-8pm

Golden Thread Gallery

84 -94 Great Patrick Street, Belfast , BT1 2LU.

Admission free. All welcome, however parental guidance is advised.   

Car Parking


“What is the meaning of it, Watson?” said Holmes solemnly as he laid down the paper. “What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end? There is the great standing perennial problem to which human reason is as far from an answer as ever.”

This quote, from ‘The Adventure of the Cardboard Box,’ opens Alan Phelan’s exhibition of new, recent and re-configured work, centred around an adaptation of this story in a new film titled “Edwart & Arlette”. With characters, dialogue and settings all reworked, this stylish whodunit hands over the detective work to the audience, since Sherlock himself has been removed from the narrative. With the central characters modelled on a photograph of a French art critic and museum curator, the film shifts into a different range of references, stemming from a collection of hand photographs which the artist used to determine the shot design and dialogue. The words and sentence fragments found on the images were developed into dialogue and remain in the order they were found, forcing the narrative to take some unexpected turns.

Re-configuring works, his own and other artists, has become an important element in Phelan’s practice. Works are not just re-contextualised, but re-named, spun, and connected to different ideas. All together the show explores through various objects and installations “a circle of misery, violence and fear” as with Sherlock’s plea above but thankfully negotiated through humour and inventiveness.+


“Belfast would be the first place”*

‘The Adventure of the Cardboard Box’ is the only story in the Canon to mention “Belfast” or “the north of Ireland.”  As all members of The Crew will know, or should know, we owe our Society’s name to this tale. It is also a story which has aroused a degree of controversy. Indeed Conan Doyle insisted that it was not included in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the second collection of the short stories to be published in book form, because, he would later admit, of the “sex element” in it. It may all seem fairly ridiculous to us now, in the modern era, but we have to acknowledge Victorian sensitivities surrounding anything that involved adultery, whether implied or stated.  Conan Doyle would later relent and the story was subsequently included in His Last Bow (collection). Some editions have restored it to its rightful place in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

*Card      +This Bulletin includes content from the Golden Thread Gallery website.







News Bulletin 210

“A bicycle, certainly, but not the bicycle,” said he. “I am familiar with forty-two different impressions left by tyres. This, as you perceive, is a Dunlop, with a patch upon the outer cover.”*


Giro d’Italia 9 – 11 May 2014

The Giro d’Italia is one of the cycling world’s elite and iconic events; commanding a huge worldwide audience of 775 million. This year Northern Ireland has been chosen to hold the ‘Big Start’ – a four day celebration of elite professional cycling, with three competition stages, visiting Belfast, the Causeway Coast Coastal route and Armagh, before moving on to Dublin.

There are two adventures in the Canon in which cycling plays a significant role. Coincidently (?) one story followed the other one in publishing sequence (110 years ago). ‘The Solitary Cyclist’ was first published in The Strand Magazine in January 1904 (it had appeared in Collier’s Weekly magazine in the U.S.A. the previous month). ‘The Priory School’ appeared in The Strand Magazine in February 1904 (Collier’s Weekly magazine in the U.S.A. in January 1904).

What is perhaps of particular significance to those of here in Belfast is the strong local connection (we always like one of those!) to the Dunlop tyre mentioned in the latter story. There is an official Blue Plaque commemorating its inventor, John Boyd Dunlop, in May Street, Belfast. We’ll be investigating both these stories as part of our ongoing studies in The Return of Sherlock Holmes series later in 2014.

We’ve also noted a reference in ‘The Valley of Fear’ (Ted Baldwin’s machine was a Rudge-Whitworth) but were left wondering if there are nods to cycling in any of the other stories. ‘The Valley of Fear’ commenced serialisation in The Strand Magazine in September 1914. We will, of course, be marking the occasion of this publication centenary at our RSS in September 2014 (the first Sailing of the new Season).

For those who want to delve deeper into the background of ‘The Solitary Cyclist’, this article is worth reading. 

Outside of the Canon, it has been suggested that a cyclist played a part in ensuring Sherlock’s survival in the finale of BBC Sherlock Series 2.

And for those who think every picture tells a story, here’s one of Conan Doyle on his bike and another of Jeremy Brett along with his bike.


BBC Sherlock

Gatiss confirms there’ll no more Sherlock for two years. Happy? Sad?


Elementary matters

On 13 March 2014, CBS announced that they would be renewing Elementary for another season.

The following links include references to episodes not shown in the UK/Ireland yet so there will, inevitably, be spoilers.

Shipping quietly goes mainstream

Sherlock Holmes Communities do Elementary

Elementary Fansite

Meet the cast

Power of observation

The official Sky Living Site


“Ineffable twaddle” Spot

Could Conan Doyle sell his Sherlock Holmes today? Is this a sheer waste of words? Agree? Disagree?


Six of the Best?

The Canon on Twitter

Greedy Holmesians revisited

Discussing Sign & Norw

221b Baker Street, Reading, Pennsylvania

The game is afoot….print

Locations! Locations!


Off course

We’re sorry to learn that The Ideal of Holmes: The Many Representations of Sherlock, a 5 week course which was due to start on 12 May at Queen’s University Belfast, has been withdrawn.

Talking of QUB, the Data Analytics Group there has embraced one of Holmes’ best known quotes.


Also Noted

BAFTA Audience Award 2014

Six candidates to choose from but no Sherlock in this year’s Awards. Voting closes on 15 March in the only BAFTA category in which the public can have a say. Vote here.

Viacom to buy Channel 5

Viacom, the US media company, whose interests include MTV, is buying Channel 5. Channel 5 premiered Sherlock: The First CSI in the UK (an edited version of a documentary which originally aired on the National Geographic channel) in February 2014.


And Not Forgetting

I hear of Sherlock everywhere on Flipboard