This is a summer rerun because I just received season 3 for my birthday and it reminded me how great this show is and how amazing the characters are. Oh, and the importance of deductions, of course.
I would like to thank my sister for getting me hooked on the BBC's Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as
Dr. Watson. It all started when she gave me a 3-episode DVD for
Christmas, recognizing that some things are just good for people,
whether they know it or not. The stories are tightly written, smart and
compelling. The characters are well-developed and complex. And the
villain is...well, a madman. Both soft and vicious at the same time, which makes
you squirm whenever he enters a scene. A fitting nemesis to the
self-proclaimed 'high-functioning sociopath.' There are only 9 episodes so far. Total.
I also love about the series is Sherlock's deductions, which appear
briefly in writing over a person or situation stating a fact that he has
ascertained by keen observation. A piece of lint, an impression in
cloth, a subtle change in gait reveals clues that are so obvious to him
that he remarks to Dr. Watson, "You see, but you do not observe."
Commonplace objects and conditions tell the story for him. How amazing
it would be to have his keen eye to help me to flesh out characters and
scenes. It has challenged me to sharpen my own powers of observation.
fact, I've put it into practice. Not really snooping, just watching.
Last week I covertly peeked into the shopping cart of a 50-something man
in the grocery aisle and deduced from the copious amounts of
single-serving frozen dinner entrees and boxed macaroni and cheese that
he would be dining alone, and for quite a while. Possibly he was newly single judging from the
men's body wash, men's shampoo, jug of mouthwash and new toothbrush.
People don't usually run out of everything all at once. But it could
happen, and it could be an interesting twist if his actions were
misinterpreted. Perhaps he just got released from prison, or his home burnt to the ground. Maybe he was running from something...or someone.
course, physical clues are only part of the story. Intent and
motivation are not easy to deduce or to show. The truth is, I 'see but
don't observe' much of the time. It takes practice to read a person's
body language and the clues they unwittingly give. Some good news is
that I think that just getting older has helped to make me more
observant. Maybe because I've seen a lot. And I bet you have, too.
So be the 'hat' detective. Slip on the deerstalker cap (interesting name) and use your powers of observation to really 'see' something you might otherwise have missed. Look for the intent or motivation behind it, and share it with us, unless you're saving it for your next novel, of course.