I’ve spent the last fortnight doing two things I didn’t realise were closely linked until just last night, at which point I smacked my forehead and called myself a dunce.
The first? Reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.
The second? Watching the whole of House season one.
I kept putting the fact that I was mixing them up down to being tired. The way that Dr Gregory House often diagnoses somebody’s illness with one glance, or susses out their entire life with another (such as informing one woman that her husband is a transvestite simply by spotting a smear of food on her jacket), seemed remarkably similar to how Holmes can sum up somebody’s life history just by looking at their hat. Or the fact that House’s best friend is named Dr Wilson and Holmes’s best friend is named Dr Watson. Or, once I’d started thinking about it, the fact that House and Holmes are both drug addicts, and House lives in flat number 221B just like Holmes.
And then I did some reading into the show and discovered it’s deliberately based on Sherlock Holmes, and so the fact they seemed similar wasn’t a coincidence.
What are the odds that I should delve into these two worlds, over a hundred years apart, at the same time without knowing they were linked? How mad is that? AND HOW AMAZING ARE THEY BOTH?
Speaking of travels in time, I’ve just finished watching the latest episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (episode five, “Queen’s Gambit”) and it’s officially my new favourite show (even besting Ashes To Ashes, much to my surprise, because I’m loving that). There are so many layers to Sarah Connor: nods to the previous films, a wink at the franchise’s background (characters called Cameron, after James, and Ellison, after Harlan) and even an upcoming episode named “The Demon Hand” after Ellison’s original story, “Demon With A Glass Hand”. Either that kind of thing drives you nuts or you love it.
Well, I love it. Almost as much as I love the whole Wizard Of Oz subtext they’ve got going on, too, with cyborg Cameron (the “Tin Miss”, as Sarah calls her) being given the surname “Baum” and Sarah telling the school counsellor that she’s “traumatised after a tornado”. Anyone who thinks The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a cheap, ill-thought-out cash-in on the movie franchise should go boil their head; this is a richly textured, dramatic and bloody compelling series that deserves to do well.
I fully expect it to be cancelled by the end of May, then.