I don’t want to put in balance Conan Doyle’s qualities as a writer. How could I do ? I, who has sung his praises since years and who, a few days ago was telling you how much I have loved his Tales of Unease. But, I have the right to direct some fair reproaches, I think, and this reproaches concern “The final problem” and “The Empty House”.
Sherlock Holmes is a heroes who, 125 years after is first adventures in the pages of the Stand magazine, still is so much alive that he’s back in the last years in three TV series (British, American and Russian soon), the same among of Cinema movies (yes, not only the Guy Richie’s but also the small ufo produce by The Asylium and directed by Rachel Goldenberg in 2010. This small budget movie has its merits, don’t be stopped by the words “B movie”), theatre plys, numerous pastiches and certainly others works which have escaped me (from comics to fanart!), So what is the purpose of my recriminations ??
Sherlock Holmes… I met him in The Hound of the Baskervilles. This fantastic beast offered me delicious shivers as I followed Watson and Holmes on the desolated moor of Dartmoor…
But in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, there is a poor relation, a character just only sketched who would have deserved a better fate… The professor James Moriary!
Because the “Napoléon » of crime is, all in all, just an excuse invented in a rush by Conan Doyle, tired of his character, and who has to created a boogeyman able to get rid of him. Before “the last problem”, there is no Moriarty, and the last I could say, he’s quickly finished off. Indeed, the talking between the two characters is brilliant (and much be knows by some):
“- All that I have to say has already crossed your mind,’ said he.
– Then possibly my answer has crossed yours,’ I replied.”
But, don’t you think Holmes’ escape through all Europe doesn’t look like our courageous detective, who faces otherwise all perils without batting an eyelid? What’s happen with his deduction habilities? How could he not try to fight back?
Is the boogeyman so terrible?
It’s why I take my hat off to Messrs Gatiss and Moffat (and Steve Thompson, third scripwriter of the 2 first series… Redde Caesari…), who have known how to give the fairytales villain all his power of anguish and terror. At last, Moriarty shows his worth, as the shadow of Nemesis, he hangs over Sherlock Holmes’ existence from the Study in Scarlet… sorry, in pink.
The professor loses his title but wins a substance. He is really the Napoléon of crime. He is the spider who spins his web. He is really a match for Holmes, and not anymore a puppet who permits Doyle to put an end (at least, he believes it in 1893) to the life of his annoying heroes who has, as Doyle feared it, by his unique genius crushed his creator’s others works… We always come back to the Myth of Frankenstein: the monster get a life and he is not under control anymore!
And, like all good serial:
To be continued