Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Excuse me, barmaid. I'm afraid you brought me the wrong offspring!"

 I've been wanting to do a post on this character for awhile. He's one of my favourites, and another of those misunderstood characters. 

 Dr. John Watson.

 Watson first appears in A Study in Scarlet. He is narrating the story of how he came to meet the man who would later become his best friend, Sherlock Holmes. Over the next, many, years, Watson will appear in all of the Homes' stories but two - I believe. He is Sherlock's companion and joins him on many cases. And often in movies and TV shows he is eclipsed by this brilliant man and pushed into the shadows.

 During the Basil Rathbone years, Watson is portrayed as a rounded fellow lacking in brains. This imagine stuck for a long time. (Even in my favourite of the old shows, staring Ronald Howard, Watson hasn't lost this image.)

 Later, in the Robert Downey Jr. movies Watson changes into a strong, confident military man who likes to bicker with Sherlock. And this image sticks and seems to show up from time to time in BBC's Sherlock and even in Elementary - where Watson is portrayed as a girl. And while I like the movies portrayal and the BBC one better than the Watson in the Basil Rathbone shows, I still don't think they completely got Watson right.

 First off, Watson wasn't dumb. He might not have had Sherlock's brilliant mind, but he was far from dumb. In the books he helps Sherlock on his cases, and when he learns his methods he even contributes. 

 Also, Watson wasn't constantly getting annoyed with Sherlock for withholding information from him. In the books, Sherlock would tell him to go off and do something before rushing off himself. Watson would do as his friend asked without complaint even though he had no clue what was going on. Sherlock would purposely keep things from him until the very end of the case, and Watson never got upset about it. Anyone else would find this very annoying, but Watson doesn't seem the least bit bothered, knowing Sherlock will tell him when he feels the time is right. 

 Having a friend like Sherlock could not have been easy. His violin playing early in the morning, his habit of not keeping things clean, and his instance of shooting the wall when board. But it is very rare for Watson to get upset with him. He accepts his friend's quirks and doesn't try and change who he is - though over the course of the stories I think they both change each other without realizing it.

 I think theirs is one of the best friendships in book history. A friendship it is hard for many to understand because, let's face it, most of us would end up punching Sherlock after a week of living with him. 

 (P.S. I am not saying I dislike any of the afore mentioned TV shows and movies. I really enjoy BBC's Sherlock and I liked Elementary, and I watch the movies quite a bit. And while I think they did a really good job with Watson, I still think they left out quite a few things which were in the books.)
 And, before I go, I have a tag which was passed on to me from Amy! Thank you!

 First, I am supposed to post 11 random facts about myself.

 1. I have certain playlists that I listen to during different seasons.
 Winter is Josh Groban.
 Summer is Owl City
 Spring is Enya
 And fall is a mix of them all (depending on the weather) and Celtic music. However, when I'm writing something midevil or especially sad I listen to Loreena Mckennitt

 2. I'm enjoying the Star Wars books WAY more than I thought I would.

 3. As soon as Philip Reeve publishes the book he is writing about the 4th Doctor I'm buying it.

 4. I don't like it when the Call Me Maybe song plays at work, because then it gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day

 5. John has been trying to find ways to make me to go bed at midnight. I am worried he's going to get out a frying pan

 6. I always wonder how many people actually read all the way through another person's tag

 7. I think my biggest fear, next to spiders, is getting a "normal" job and spending the rest of my life working 8 - 6 five days a week

 8. If I get a job like that, someone please send the Doctor to blow it up and take me on an adventure in the TARDIS

 9. Some fellows at work were talking about Iron Man 3 at the other end of the store and I heard them. I almost ran over to join in.

 10. Kitty has decided I'm her heated blanket. She tells me when to go to bed and warm it up for her

 11. When my characters do something sweet or romantic related I bat my eyes at them and coo just to watch them blush. 

 Now I answer Amy's questions.

 1. Would you rather have a talking cat or be able to speak dog?
 Since I already know what Kitty is saying all the time, mostly it is about how far below her I am - In Loki's Voice: "You are beneath me!" - I think I'll go with dog.

 2. Are you a sucker for period drama or action/ adventure films?
 I like North and South, but aside from that I'm not much into the drama thing. I love action and adventure movies though - shocker, I know.

 3. Do you like to wear makeup?
 Sometimes. When I feel like dressing all up and pretending I'm going somewhere really fancy.

 4. Do you prefer tall guys or short?
 Well....I know both and both are nice. One is so much taller than me though we have trouble talking to each other because his voice goes over me and mine goes under him. We say huh a lot and pretend we've heard each other and smile sheepishly because we're both too shy to ask the other to repeat it. So, short guys are easier for me to talk to, but I don't mind one over the other.

 6. Would you rather be a spy during WWII or the American Revolution?
 The Revolution. Although...if I was one during WWII I might be able to commandeer a plane...

 7. Are you the sort of person that prefers long hikes up the mountains or a dress-up tea party with some of your friends?
 Both. Both, both, both is good. 

 8. If you had to choose one person from a TV show to go on a date with, who would it be? It HAS to be a TV show character, and yes, you HAVE to pretend you'd get the chance to date.
 OH! So, the character, not the actor? I think that makes it harder for me actually...
 Okay, so he's like, WAY older than me...but I'd pick Coulson because then I could go around going, "HA! TOLD you he's still alive!" And we could run into some bad guys and beat them up and then go watch Captain America and he'd be all geeky with me. 

 9. Would you rather live in the city or out in the country?
 Country, but near a city so I could visit the library often

 10. Would you rather sing in front of a large audience or give a speech?
 Speech. I don't think my singing voice is too bad, though I sing off key unless I have music to go with me, but I am terrified of singing in front of anyone. I don't even sing in front of my family. I only sing at church because I'm not the only one singing. 

 11. Would you rather take a dance lesson or learn how to fence?

 For my questions...I am going to post 11 movie quotes and whoever I tag will have to guess what movie they are from. Double points if you get who said it to whom. *Grin*

 1. "Whew! I thought you were dead!"

 2. "Look! I've found a place where you can put things! It's called a cupboard!"

 3. "Helloooo! I can hear you!"

 4. "If you had killed Watson you would not have left this room alive."

 5. "You're saying I look like a toad?" "Yes. Maybe you will be magically turned into a handsome prince. But since magic is banned it probably won't happen."

 6. "I told you, it will keep and keep and keep and keep!"

 7. "Here's your pan, here's your frog."

 8. "Dishonour on you! Dishonour on your cow!"

 9. "Should we be hysterical?!" "YES!" "NO!" "Maybe!"

 10. "Your mother was a computer and your father an encyclopedia!"

 11. "They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes."

 Now, I tag everyone, because I'm curious to see how many everyone gets.

 P. S.
 If everything goes as planned I will have something up for all of you tomorrow. 

 Title quote is from How to Train Your Dragon.

 Allons-y! Kitty has ordered me to bed!


  1. Watson is wonderful. I love Watson. As Holmes puts it, "You are the conductor of light. Though you aren't that bright yourself, you make the light in other people." Or something like that....
    Anyway, I think Watson is supposed to be Holmes' foil. Watson is supposed to portray the audience reading the books. He's just a normal guy and Holmes is a brilliant person...
    I feel like I was just saying this to someone whom I think was you. Hee hee, sorry if I'm repeating myself.

    Oooo I can't wait to do your tag. I probably won't get many of them... But I do know a few. Mwahaha.

    I liked Elementary's Irene almost best as well. Almost best because I feel like there was another Adler that I saw somewhere that I liked better.... But I don't remember. Oh! I think it was the Jeremy Brett version.

    Speaking of Holmes adaptions... Did I tell you I watched The Great Mouse Detective for the first time? I really enjoyed it. It was very cute. =) And I loved how they had the actual Holmes and Watson in it too - at least their shadows.

  2. I read all the way through people's tags :-)

    I was actually thinking of that introduction when I wrote the comment about growing back into Narnia. I remember rolling my eyse over that bit, when I read the books the first time - I was quite young, you must forgive me - but I know exactly what he means by it now. Some things, we grow out of, and that is the end of it. Fairy tales, however, are one of the few things that people never *really* get too old for (though some people like to say that they do) because a proper fairy tale always has a bit of truth wrapped up in it, and that draws you back to them.

    It is really cool that you come from a family of soldiers. I have a couple cousins in the military, and pipe bands tend to attract a lot of military and former military folk. I have a really, really soft spot for soldiers. And I completely agree about Memorial Day. It is overlooked. Or rather, it is treated like a summer kick-off party, and it oughtn't to be. It is a very fine, serious holiday, and I think it should be treated as such.

    I have finally seen one of the Clara episodes, and I liked it. It was the one about the WiFi sucking people into it. I work in a library which, amongst its other services, has computers available for use, and free WiFi as well... And, let's just say that that episode of Dr. Who sure explains a lot about some of our patrons :-D

  3. Love that quote from How To Train Your Dragon! I hate Call Me Maybe too and sometimes my girls sing it and I'm like "WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT SONG!!!???" And I did read through all your tags and answers. :) And I loved that you'd pick Coulson for a date. You know, I might have to fight you for him.

  4. Ugh. Call me maybe is the worst song ever. I have NO idea how it got so popular.And I suck at movie quotes. My daughter could probably name all of these. I did know number eight though. MUSHU! I love that line. haha. My son likes the video game "DISHONOR" and he has a T-shirt with the game logo. Everytime he wears it my brain says, "Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your cow!" haha...

    Glad you found the new blog. Nice to see you again, Jack!

  5. I love Sherlock Holmes and Watson! This is another book series I've been wanting to read. So I've only seen BBC's Sherlock, and even then not all of it. I really like Watson's character. A bit like Mycroft said, he becomes very loyal rather fast; and yet he can decide to dislike a person as equally fast. He's good-natured, not dull-witted; he's got plenty of common sense. And he has good aim. You've got to love a character who has good aim. Even though he seems so calm (perhaps it's because he's always beside Sherlock), he loves adventure and has to be doing something. But I really like his and Sherlock's friendship. Like you said, they don't set out to change each other. They accept each other for who they are, and yet their friendship is on edge all the time. Sherlock doesn't like to think he needs anybody, especially friends. But he needs Watson, more than Watson needs him. And Watson knows that. Even though Sherlock shows him little appreciation and - it was so nasty of him to freak Watson out in the Baskerville episode, he enjoyed it far too much- but Watson is still faithful to him. I hope I'm as faithful a friend as Watson.

    Movie quotes? I'm terrible at those. But I do know that Mulan one! Mushu speaking to Mulan, "Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your cow!" He's hilarious. "I'm travel size. For your convenience."

  6. While my absolute favorite incarnation of Holmes is from the Rathbone/Bruce films, I was never that thrilled with Watson's portrayal as a bumbler.

    The books, as you mentioned, always proved him more than capable...especially after he started using methods taught to him by Holmes, himself.

    I've yet to watch "Elementary" and think I'll just stick to the BBC's version, for now.

  7. I am not reading other people's responses... no cheating!

    (I really feel like I ought to know more of these...)

    2. Arthur to Merlin in "Merlin" (one of my favorite quotes of all time)
    4. Obviously Sherlock to some bad guy, I'm going to guess Moriarty in the BBC "Sherlock" because I feel like I recognize the quote and I haven't seen "Elementary"
    5. Arthur to Merlin and then Merlin back to Arthur in "Merlin"
    7. Flynn Rider to Rapunzel in "Tangled"
    8. Mulan? The dragon to Mulan?
    9. hmmm, I feel like this was a Toy Story... but I can't remember which one or who was involved....

    Loved your dissection of Watson. I love him - particularly the way he is played by Jude Law and also Martin Freeman (though I find Jude Law's depiction of him to be closer to an equal with Sherlock... they're more like brothers than friends in the movies)

  8. Ummm ... 10 is from Star Trek where Kirk is trying to get Spock angry with him after everyone (except Kirk) gets subdued by spores. I haven't seen that episode, but I've read the Blish novelization of it, and my sis and I have talked about it a lot. It's one of the few episodes where Spock gets a girl!

    But I'm not recognizing any of the others ...

    I'm sorry, but when I try to memorize movie quotes, Clara get's mad at me, and she gives me bad enough trouble with her book as it is!

  9. While I haven't read a lot of Sherlock stories, I am a fan of any adaptation. At first I thought making Watson a women would be a bad idea in Elementary, but she was surprisingly good. She was one of the most capable Watsons and actually helped solve the mystery. However, my favorite is the BBC Watson, but Jude Law was great as well. Any of the Sherlock adaptations are quite good.

    Also, thank you for following my blog and answering my questions about the blog party thing!


  10. I need a friend like Watson. I may not be a genius like Sherlock, but I am pretty odd and probably difficult to live with. I know for a fact I am right now as I am so sick and miserable and lying on the sofa demanding cups of tea and the like. My poor boyfriend!


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