Holmes did, according to Forsyth. He fitted everything into a pattern; he made sense of the nonsensical,
'This is why we remember Sherlock Holmes much more than we remember any particular crime that he solves. [...] Through Sherlock Holmes the Modern Condition of fragments and incomplete stories is vanquished. He is another way of looking at the city.So it is an interesting gloss (which I see one of the early commenters on Forsyth's post has noted) that the latest incarnation (or is "regeneration" the appropriate terminology given the incestuous relationships between the Sherlock and Dr Who franchises?) of Holmes is a supposedly super-cool modernist sleuth frankly lost in postmodern sea.
Sherlock Holmes is not a crime-solver, that is incidental. He is an idea. He is the Messiah who can save us all from Modernism.'
- The whole trick of his supposedly formidable powers of deduction is indeed based on a modernist premise that every puzzle has a single right answer/interpretation. For all its failings, postmodernism does get beyond this and indeed plays with mutliple significations.
- By this series, the supposedly tedious process of explaining (and thus rendering contestable) his "deductions" seems to have been dropped.
- Sherlock was totally out of his depth with Irene Adler. (OK, he always would have been, but A C-D was rather constrained by the standards of the day...)
- The last episode of season 2 was about crimes which weren't crimes.
- Much of this first episode of season 3 was taken up with alternative constructions and interpretations of his "fatal" fall from Bart's.
- ...and to cap it all the trick in the underground carriage of using the "off" switch on the bomb! "There's always an 'off' switch!" —is a line composed to be uttered by Matt Smith. But what if the labels are reversed?
I started composing this post while walking the dog (what a delight to say that after three years!); I had thought I would argue for Sherlock being a post-modern take on hoary old stories—but she persuaded me that he hadn't changed. The world had.
Perhaps that accounts for his miserable track record?
There's another take on Sherlock as superhero in THE here.