Reviews

Episode 16 Follow-Up: A Perfectly Fine Review of Herlock

Episode 16 Follow-Up: A Perfectly Fine Review of Herlock

Who doesn’t love a great story? That’s why my discussion with Lee Shackleford in Episode 16 was one of my favorite episodes. The opportunity to receive insight into why someone thinks the way they do, and how that impacts their writing, words, or any type of creation is…well…amazing. This is especially true when you find the topic…that one topic…that reveals the spark.  We all have it.  It’s the spark that can be seen AND heard. That’s why I enjoyed my talk with Lee as much as I did.

Lee displays a passion for all things Sherlock Holmes. (Check out Episode 16.  It’s worth a listen!) So, after listening again to the episode myself, I reviewed old writings and found a piece I wrote in 2015 about Herlock.  That piece is shared below.

A Perfectly Fine Review of Herlock

I watched Herlock over the weekend. I’ll be honest. I had no idea what to expect when I began.  It was the pilot episode of the web series. To my surprise, I couldn’t stop watching. I was, in fact, mesmerized…captivated. This was an exceptional interpretation – an imaginative modern revision – of a classic tale.

The Original

Sherlock. Herlock. Sherlock. HERlock.A Perfectly Fine Review of Herlock

Most likely, should you be reading this, you already know about Sherlock Holmes.  However, if not, Sherlock Holmes is a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. The characters become public domain in the United Kingdom in 1980 and (for all stories involving the characters) in the United States in 2014. (Previously, only some were considered public domain.) The stories of Holmes and Watson have been retold countless times, most recently and most popularly by Steven Moffat and the BBC. So popular that the format was copied for American audiences with Elementary.

My favorite televised version would be the 1980s version starring Jeremy Brett.

Who (or What) is Herlock?

So, how is Herlock any different from these?

Well, for starters, the leads are women. (This makes the name make 100% sense.)

I was impressed with the thought given to the script. I felt like I was watching a pilot episode of any A Perfectly Fine Review of Herlockseries that made it to the proverbial promised land – broadcast. Was it perfection? Who am I to make that call? Anyone can critique anything. What amazed me?  The sheer brilliance of constructing a visual work with only two sets, but make the viewer never feel like it.

I found the audio track to be superb due to my questioning whether my headphones (bluetoothed at the time) had swapped back to my Macbook’s default speakers. The scenes with the two main characters were crisp, clear, and vibrant.

The Concept

Herlock is the creation of Lee Shackleford and Karen Lee-Shackleford. Lee attended a Sherlock Holmes convention in 2013. Upon his return home, he commented to his wife that the face of Holmes fandom had changed. Karen, who has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of MO-Columbia, began brainstorming. She put forth a challenge: “Why don’t you write a TV pilot in which Holmes and Watson are both women?” It was a challenge Lee could not resist.

“Think of all the positive things we could say to young women with such a series,” she said. “Imagine holding up some inspiring role models that aren’t male. Imagine showing the struggles of someone who is the smartest person in the room but is ignored because she’s female.”

The Cast, Crew and SocialMartha the Cat from Herlock

Let’s face it – no matter how great the acting might be – there is one true breakout star. Who might this be? A cat named Martha! Now, for all those whose acting was a mere secondary to the feline fame, I list them as follows:

Created and Written by Lee Shackleford

Directed by David E Duncan

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