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Sherlock Holmes — Is He SteamPunk Or Just Nostalgia?

I recently bought what I consider to be the best bargain ever I have ever encountered in nostalgia DVDs of old TV shows. I’d link to it here, but they don’t have it on Amazon.

How much do you think a DVD box set of 39 episodes of the 1954 Sherlock Holmes TV show should cost? Including four Sherlock Holmes movies that are even older? $19.95? Lower. $10? Lower. How about five bucks at WalMart?

Each of three DVDs has 13 episodes, and the fourth two-sided DVD has four movies. It is obviously the combination of two existing products, TV and movies, in the same case, because of the lack of similarity in presentation and labeling, but that’s probably why this is such a deal. It works out to less than twelve cents for each of the movies and TV shows. Compare that to the price of going to a movie these days!

The best part of watching a Sherlock Holmes TV show or movie is seeing if you recognize the story upon which it is based, and then — if you can — recalling the story as the plot develops. I recognized one story as soon as a moat was mentioned. Another, The Red Headed League, I knew by name.

I watched one of the four old movies, which didn’t really hold my attention. Murder at the Baskervilles was a cheap attempt to capitalize on the well-known Sherlock Holmes tale, Hound of the Baskervilles, in the US market. The original title, used in England, was the same as the original story, Silver Blaze. Most disappointing is that it was a long version of a story I’ve seen at least twice before on TV shows, about a race horse disguised with dye to perpetrate a fraud.

With his both unconventional and scientific methods, plus his innovative disguises — set in the Victorian era — how long will it be before Sherlock Holmes is re-branded as SteamPunk? Googling today, Sherlock Holmes SteamPunk brings 743,000 results. As Fats Waller famously said, “One never knows, do one?”

So, in answer to my question, “Is Sherlock Holmes SteamPunk Or Just Nostalgia?” I would say, both. You decide. If you aren’t familiar with Holmes, the SteamPunk craze is a good excuse to jump in while he is trendy. You can even download Sherlock Holmes stories from many fan sites. Enjoy reading them and let them inspire you to write.

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