Sherlock: The Casebook Hardcover – 25 Oct 2012
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"A splendid tribute to the Great Detective and his re-imagining for the BBC in the 21st Century and the perfect stocking-filler for fans old and new...this is a treat." (Mike Ripley ShotsMag.co.uk)
The ultimate - and official - guide to the BBC hit series SherlockSee all Product description
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The casebook is basically split in to three main categories: sections talking about the creation of the different episodes, their adaption from the original stories, and the illusions and references to original canon contained in them; sections talking about the casting and creation of the characters; and finally, John's own hand-written casebook, or 'scrapbook', as Sherlock scathingly calls it - punctuated with (often rather amusing) sticky-note conversations between Sherlock and John - detailing the cases he and Sherlock have covered over the course of the two series.
The main reason this casebook is so brilliant is because, like with John's website, rather than simply re-writing the events that occur on screen and within the actual TV series, it instead builds on them. Namely in that it answers some of the niggling little questions that never had the time or opportunity to be answered within the actual episodes, and provides us with a little more insight in to the (not so blissfull) domestic lives of Sherlock and John. Ever wondered exactly what it was that Sherlock said to the judge during Moriarty's trial that got him thrown out for contempt? Why he has a human skull on his mantelpiece? What's with the antelope skull stuck to the wall, and why on earth is it wearing headphones? What did John have to eat at Angelo's? How do I contact 'Jim from IT'? Is John aware of his fanbase? How old are the characters? What story inspired Moriarty's ringtone?
In addition to providing us with some answers for some of the niggling little questions that never quite got answered in the actual episodes, the casebook also examines these cases from all angles, including newspaper cuttings published at the time of the crimes, police reports (stolen by John, an impressed Sherlock notes), autopsy reports, photos of the crime scenes and bodies, diagrams and floor plans, print outs of emails and phone call transcripts, and snippets of press releases linked to Sherlock and John (including one published at the time of Sherlock and John going on the run following Sherlock's arrest). It also includes additional fun and interesting touches such as a look at 'Richard Brook''s CV, photos of Little Kirsty and Bluebell ('The Magical Glow in the Dark Rabbit' from Hounds of Baskerville), and even, amusingly, apparent facebook pictures tagged by John Watson at one point.
My favourite section has got to be one which talks about the interior of 221B, mainly the rather bizarre collection of items the clutter it. Another really interesting part was a section talking about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's life, which seemed surprisingly sad and difficult. The first section also talks about the shows conception, and how Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss came to create it.
All in all, this really is a truly brilliant tie-in guide, that I am extremely glad I brought, and would really recommend to any member of this fandom. Gorgeously illustrated, cleverly presented, funny, informative and interesting, this book is a brilliant accompianment to the BBC series, and one that I really would recommend fans check out.
The Sherlock Casebook also features interviews with the actors and writers and also has sections on Arthur Conan Doyle, the original Sherlock Holmes stories and the best Sherlock Holmes films and television series - the Basil Rathbone films, "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes", the Hammer version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and the Jeremy Brett ITV series.
Without spoiling its contents, I can tell you that Sherlock: The Casebook is definitely worth a read. It's filled with new, quirky little facts about the show and what goes on behind its scenes; it includes quotes from the show's directors and writers, Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss, as well as lead actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; it provides an in-depth exploration of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's life and the publication of his original short stories; and last but not least, it includes the much anticipated notes of John Watson and his verging on psychopathic flatmate, Sherlock Holmes.
Even though I've watched both seasons of the show time and time again, the ending never fails to utterly crush me. And the casebook does just that, as well. Reading John's last entry was like reliving the first time I watched The Reichenbach Fall. I am not ashamed to admit than many tears were shed that night. Though the book itself is a light read, the notes that Sherlock and John wrote to each other throughout the book really bring a new perspective to their friendship and make them seem so much more real. Additionally, the facts and quotes by the producers are nowhere near redundant. Everything in this book brings clarity to specific aspects of the show, it characters, and its storylines.
I definitely recommend this book for any fan. Curl up in bed, have a nice hot cup of tea, and try not to cry into your mug when you reach the end. And lastly, I would like to conclude with the fandom's powerful, ringing motto: BELIEVE IN SHERLOCK.
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My fault, I should have checked its publication date before purchasing it!
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