“It is useless for us to pretend that we do not know you, Dr. Watson” [HOUN]
|Sketch of Dr. Watson by Peter Cushing|
We've been seeing lots of posts around the internet about Watson's birthday today, and we thought we'd add some perspective here to bring it all together.
We were tipped off by a post from David Marcum's A Seventeen Step Program blog, from August of 2016. There he did a good job of noting that August 7 was a widely-accepted date, first claimed by William S. Baring-Gould in his groundbreaking biography Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. (However, as Marcum notes, there are no reasons given for that date.)
Watson's presence was a necessity to Sherlock Holmes. The detective encouraged his participation in their adventures, once remarking, "I am lost without my Boswell."
And so too would we be.
For without Watson's stalwart nature and descriptive prose, we'd miss so much about Sherlock Holmes. From his very cases to his moods and activities throughout, Watson's observations of Holmes gave us just about everything we know about the world's first consulting detective.
Holmes once chided Watson's abilities, saying, "You see but you do not observe," but that's really not the case, is it? After all, Watson's keen observations gave us all of the tone and color of the Canon. He is the heart and soul of The Hound of the Baskervilles, while Holmes is offstage for the majority of the book.
When a journalist once called Watson "underdeveloped" and "boring and slow and lifeless," we jumped at the opportunity to defend the good doctor. Because he is worthy of our respect and love.
Edward Hardwicke famously portrayed Watson in the Granada series, and our remembrance of him spanned visual and audio media.
Over the course of some 136 episodes of Trifles (so far), we talked about Watson and various aspects of his life. From his time in the city after returning from war to his marriage, his medical capabilities, and a wonderful two-part series on his youth with Bob Katz, we've given Watson his due.
Here's a playlist of Dr. Watson-related episodes:
And here's the link to all of the show notes for those episodes (or simply click on the "Watson" label on the site).
"You have a grand gift" [TWIS]If you'd like to celebrate Watson by getting a gift for a fellow Sherlockian (or yourself!), we're offering mugs and t-shirts in the style of the Fab 4, with various things related to Watson (click on the link, or simply search for Watson at ihearofsherlock.shopify.com). Our store is only for U.S. customers for now; we're hoping to expand soon. (Now offering 25% off for the month of Watson's birthday)
Four things associated with Watson:
|The Essential Dr. Watson|
Watson's stand-ins when he skipped off with Holmes:
Watson's medical kit:
|Watson's Medical Kit|
John Watson, crime fighter:
|Baker Street Justice League|
There's so much that can be said about Dr. Watson.
What's your favorite way to remember him?