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"more to me than the twitter" [ILLU]

Last night marked the U.S. premiere of "Sherlock" on PBS's Masterpiece MYSTERY! and it was marked by a first for the Sherlockian community: a live Twitter chat during which online followers would watch and participate in commentary about the show.

We were honored to have been asked by PBS to act as one of the hosts for the evening. We used our Twitter handle @BakerStreetBlog [Editor's note: now @IHearofSherlock] and employed the #sherlock_pbs "hashtag" so that people who are not following certain Twitter accounts have a single phrase to follow. This allows for a broader distribution of the conversation.

Other hosts for the evening included PBS's staff as @masterpiecepbs and Andrew Giulli as @strandmag, and we addressed questions, made observations, and kept the pace going for everyone involved.

And there was plenty of conversation to go around! Here's a quick graphic of the volume of conversation (over 1,500 tweets in less than 90 minutes):

If you're interested in seeing a transcript of the entire chat, you can pull it up from http://wthashtag.com/sherlock_pbs by following this link. For us, part of the allure was how the updated version tied to the original stories. There were not only clear homages, but almost literal lifts as well. Here are but a few.
When Holmes showed he was wearing nicotine patches, he remarked "It is quite a three-patch problem."
After seeing Holmes and Watson chasing down a cab by taking short-cuts through alleys, this original quote came to mind:
And when the suspect showed Holmes how he gave his victims a choice of pills to consume:
In addition to the quotes and other obvious tie-ins ("A Study in Pink" vs. A Study in Scarlet), there were other elements that we thought were particularly clever and spot on for a 21st century Sherlock Holmes:

  • The use of texting as a modern proxy for Holmes's proclivity for telegrams ("he has never been known to write when a telegram would serve" [DEVI]).
  • Using Watson's phone rather than his pocket watch to deduce things about his life.
  • The way Holmes's thought process was superscripted on the screen as he made his quick observations. It gave the audience as sense as to what the observations were, which made the later explanations more context.
  • The relationship between Holmes and Watson begins to blossom - from standoffish at first, to more friend-like toward the end of the episode.
  • Mycroft's appearance and position within the government (although this Mycroft has lost a significant bit of weight - which the character references in the episode).

The evening was a fast-paced one (and we were glad that we were able to screen the episode prior to the airdate, in order to prepare for the session). At this point, we're not sure if we'll be repeating this on October 31, but stay tuned. But we're certainly looking forward to seeing the series unfold and at the same time, we're hoping that we introduced a few new people to The Baker Street Journal, the Sherlock Holmes Social Network, the podcast I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, and our own blog.

And if you'd like to pick up a copy of the DVD on Amazon as a holiday gift for the Sherlock Holmes fan in your life, we'd appreciate it if you order through us. Just use the links in this post or the Amazon links in the sidebar on the blog here.

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