[…] try to imagine fandom’s reaction if the next big Holmes adaptation to come along had Holmes and Watson as British, yeah - young black British men, living case to case on a council estate in a dodgy area of London. How fandom would react if Sherlock Holmes didn’t employ street kids and homeless people like trained animals to do his bidding, but instead was part of that invisible underclass; if instead of having his eccentricities tolerated~ by Scotland Yard on account of being the Great White Genius, Sherlock Holmes, BME, school dropout, and sometime addict, was regarded by the police as practically a criminal already, one more thug, one more junkie, one more dealer in the making. If he had to choose between buying the week’s groceries or palming a twenty to a bored constable for the chance to spend five minutes on a crime scene, in the hope that whoever’s under enough pressure to deal with crime rates in the neighbourhood will pay him enough for a perp to feed himself and Watson for a month or two. If the greatest threat to his safety were police brutality, or the prospect of being done for a snitch; if his arch enemy weren’t Moriarty, but the systemic poverty and inequality that has him helping out his oppressors just to get by, and that makes the other side of the law look more tempting to someone with his skills every day.
Totally fascinated by this idea.
Predicatibly, as much as I’m interested in the socioeconomic dynamics, I’m even more interested in what it would be like to have a Sherlock Holmes who sounds like a kid from a council estate.
I talk a lot about the tyranny of images— the way that television and movies create a kind of simplified world, a language of limited visual types, so that we come to believe in certain truths of association that don’t exist in reality. But there’s equally a tyranny of sound. When was the last time you heard a TV genius speak with a Southern (U.S.) accent?
One of the very interesting things about the last 25 years of British TV is the very gradual generalization of regional accents, a breaking-up of the stereotypical associations that used to dominate. However, accents that are less strongly associated with geographical regions and more strongly associated with stigmatized social classes still seem linked to the “untouchable” to a certain extent, just as country or hillbilly accents in the U.S. remain signifiers of poverty and lack of education.
Imagine seeing an intelligent and powerful character who spoke with this kind of voice. It would be revolutionary.
This is fucking fascinating, and something I hadn’t even thought about. I can’t even express how awed and in love I am with all the amazing ways people are talking about this idea.