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Dr. Watson–– The Time Epitome Essay

1937 words - 8 pages

Dr. Watson–– The Time Epitome
As the years progressed, more acclaimed plays and classic literatures have been reinterpreted and reproduced into films and network shows. The mix of visual impacts, powerful throwing, and cinematography makes an encounter that cannot be matched by other media; consequently, arousing a new round of explorations for twenty-one-century aesthetic needs and infusing vitality into these classics. The incredible Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are not special cases joining the trend. A convention of the relationship between the detective and the sidekick has supported Doyle’s stories for over one century, in which Dr. Watson has been an iconic ...view middle of the document...

In addition, the relationship between Holmes and Watson becomes a cure of Watson’s mental distresses. Another TV adaptation of CBS, Elementary, transforms Mr. John into Miss. Joan, a female former surgeon who has strong self-esteem, with which she has impacted and rewritten the relationship between Watson and Holmes. Among modern Holmesian adaptations, Watson is still a representative of ordinary people but endued with new zeitgeist and adapts more modern values to accurately image the 21st century; also, his relationship with Holmes has been reinterpreted into a new form, such as the new reversed parent-child in Elementary, to fit contemporary viewing requirements.

Modern Watson in Sherlock still plays the role of reflecting issues faced within the social context. According to Panek, when Doyle created Watson as narrator, he is fully considered the new class of readers who were “brought into being by universal education and the urge to self-improvement”(“Beginning” 9). Thus, Panek points out that “Holmes takes a high hand with the nabobs and robber barons…and concentrates on the problems of the modest middle-class”(“Doyle” 76). To catch the main audience, modern texts also considered the problems that can make resonance with current viewers. According to “Watson Effect,” Toadvine precisely notes: “…whereas Sherlock’s John is as professionally skilled as his literary predecessor, he is nondescript” (54). As a doctor, he still has problems on obtaining jobs and adapting into civic life. Toadvine points out that Watson is a representative of modern concerns, including unemployment and social identity for returning soldiers, those of social problems that are familiar to the modern viewers (55). Also, Sherlock’s Watson haunted by PTSD manifests current concerns about psychological health, which were not drawn much attention in Victorian era. In the episode 1, “A Study in Pink,” the story begins with Dr. Watson’s nightmare in which he flashbacks to the battlefield in Afghanistan, and he is suddenly awakened in a cold sweat. The director uses bird-view angle combined with medium shot to depict Watson’s panic and horror in his eyes. With low-key lighting, audience barely can picture his appearance, and the effect heightens the sense of pain and depression. During the therapy session, his psychiatrist suggests him to write his daily life into blogs to help him step out of the post-war trauma. Within the scene, the director makes use of an unusual composition to create some extent of aesthetic discomfort by framing main characters incline closely to the one side, and the frame emphasizes Watson’s inner torment, standing at the edge of the mainstream civic life. The adaptation begins with a modern broken man who needs regeneration to seek for life purpose by setting up the modern injured person both mentally and physically. Sherlock’s Watson attracts more audiences to experience a rehabilitative journey shared with the common audiences.


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