One of the arguments occasionally bandied about is that Sherlock Holmes pastiches, fan fiction, screen adaptations etc. can, if not done well, damage Sherlock Holmes as a character. I believe an argument on these lines has been put forward by the Conan Doyle estate in its battle over copyright in the US.
So let’s clear this up once and for all (fingers crossed). It is not possible for any third-party version of Sherlock Holmes to damage the “brand” it can only damage itself.
|Pretty poor - but Holmes continues|
There are some truly awful pastiches (or more commonly homages) and fan fiction out there - I've waded through quite a lot of them. There are also some pretty dire screen outings. However, it all finds an audience to some extent and the fact is that the only person who was ever capable of ruining Sherlock Holmes was Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s his creation (and remains his creation) and was his to damage. Some might argue that some of his later Holmes stories risked exactly that but, as the author, that was his risk and his alone.
If Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat take leave of their good senses and mess up the new series of Sherlock (and no I'm not suggesting they will – this is merely an example) or the writers of Elementary do likewise (and some clearly think they have) it will only ruin their version of Sherlock Holmes. The original will endure as he has done through countless adaptations on page, stage and screen. History is littered with plenty of awful Holmeses and if you have a bad experience and allow it to put you off the original I would venture to suggest you were never a serious fan in the first place.
|Need I go on?|
Holmes has endured worse and will do so again but he always comes through it intact.
Written by Alistair DuncanBuy my books here