So that whole ‘The Indian Sherlock’ thing got me brooding over the shitfit some parts of fandom tend to throw at the prospect of a Holmes and/or Watson that aren’t British - and how by ‘British’, they in fact mean ‘a very narrow idea of ~Britishness~ that includes the following attributes: white, English, and coded as upper to upper-middle class’.
And how, if you don’t think that’s true, you should try to imagine fandom’s reaction if the next big Holmes adaptation to come along had Holmes and Watson as British, yeah - young black British men, living case to case on a council estate in a dodgy area of London. How fandom would react if Sherlock Holmes didn’t employ street kids and homeless people like trained animals to do his bidding, but instead was part of that invisible underclass; if instead of having his eccentricities tolerated~ by Scotland Yard on account of being the Great White Genius, Sherlock Holmes, BME, school dropout, and sometime addict, was regarded by the police as practically a criminal already, one more thug, one more junkie, one more dealer in the making. If he had to choose between buying the week’s groceries or palming a twenty to a bored constable for the chance to spend five minutes on a crime scene, in the hope that whoever’s under enough pressure to deal with crime rates in the neighbourhood will pay him enough for a perp to feed himself and Watson for a month or two. If the greatest threat to his safety were police brutality, or the prospect of being done for a snitch; if his arch enemy weren’t Moriarty, but the systemic poverty and inequality that has him helping out his oppressors just to get by, and that makes the other side of the law look more tempting to someone with his skills every day.
And then I realised that I want this adaptation LIKE BURNING, that I have already headcast Holmes and Watson as John Boyega and Leeon Jones, and that from now on whenever I watch Sherlock I will be imagining this instead and crying softly deep within my soul.
John Boyega as Holmes might actually kill me.
He’d still spout deductions at a mile a minute when he needs to, but in that amazing voice, and when threatened he’s be utterly, terrifyingly silent. And if you’re being stupid he just looks at you.
And he’s a legend on the block, feared by criminals and adored by families who want to be left well enough alone (except when Holmes drops in unannounced asking if they’ve seen so-and-so this week and grabs a biscuit and disappears), and they (in the form of Mrs. Hudson, one of the neighbors) sort of adopt the pair and patch them up when they can and give them places to hide when a more by-the-books DI catches up to them.
That would be awesome.