The Web was only really taking off as a public tool around the mid 1990s. So when forums started springing up around Sherlock Holmes they were very much dealing with the past. They revolved around the Canon and shows whose initial broadcasts had taken place months or years previously. To the best of my knowledge, for example, there was nothing even approaching live commentary about the Granada Holmes series.
These sites carried on with the occasional trips into the present. The BBC's new(ish) version of Hound with Richard Roxburgh and The Case of the Silk Stocking with Rupert Everett got some Web coverage but, again, this was usually post-broadcast (even if only by a few minutes) as the tools that would enable live-commentary didn't exist. This remained the case up until relatively recently.
This meant that opinions tended to be less impulsive and slightly more considered as people had the time to compose their thoughts. There was neither the need or desire for the immediacy that we often see expressed through (and perhaps because of) modern social media.
|This rather than this|
Now if this lights your candle then you are probably unconcerned but for those who prefer their Sherlockian "fix" to be an unadulterated one it can be frustrating when a site you followed for that very reason starts running off at a tangent. Some sites need to do this of course. For them it can be about market share. If they stop updating their site when nothing is going on there is a danger of their audience moving on. To combat this they ensure that they update constantly with the result that what they put out is increasingly less connected to the world of Sherlock Holmes. Benedict Cumberbatch is followed into Star Trek and The Hobbit, Martin Freeman into The Hobbit and Fargo, Robert Downey Jr into The Avengers/Iron Man and so on.
|It's Benedict so it is Sherlockian.....it is!!|
There is, however, no easy way back from this. If you start out as a Sherlockian site and then deviate it becomes hard for you to revert. It could be your decision to deviate that brings in readers who actually don't care for Sherlock Holmes. These users could then be lost if the site does not maintain its broader outlook. Most sites measure their success (and are measured) by their hits so the natural temptation is to preserve that hit count (possibly for advertising revenue or perhaps simply popularity).
What I am seeking with this post is recommendations for Sherlockian sites (show based, Canon based) that have stuck to the subject. For the benefit of those of us who can go the odd week without something new to digest I will then compile a list and add it to my links page.
Off you go.
Written by Alistair DuncanBuy my books here