Sherlock Special - a question about cocaine.

Back in 2013 I raised the issue of Sherlock Holmes's drug use.

In that post (which can be read here) I theorised that it might be easier to depict Holmes's cocaine use in a Victorian setting rather than a contemporary one.

I recalled being challenged about an even earlier post (which I cannot presently locate) in which I expressed the notion that the modern BBC series had ducked the issue by using nicotine patches and wink wink references to stronger substances.

People, not entirely unreasonably, suggested that vulnerable viewers might be sent the lesson that drug use was okay if it was depicted in the new series (and used by the hero). I chose not to argue the point at the time (and am still disinclined to do so).

But now we have a Victorian set special programme. There are no nicotine patches to substitute with now. So will the issue be tackled or completely ignored?

It could be raised and tackled in a way that doesn't glamorise it. Countless Victorian set adaptations have managed to do so (Roxborough's Hound, Everett's Stocking, the Granada series - the former two both BBC programmes). The Warner Bros. films with Robert Downey Jr. ducked the issue however, choosing instead to give Holmes a bit of an alcohol issue.

...or the needle?

Watson! The needle!?

Written by Alistair Duncan
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