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…umm…bacon!

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The Doclopedia #1,347

Alt. TV: The Mysterious Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

On Earth 2-B, the television series “The Wild Wild West” was even more popular than it was on our Earth. It also ran 3 years longer, from 1965 to 1972. During that time, the writers and producers turned up the steampunk elements and had Agents West & Gordon encounter several well known characters from late 19th and early 20th century fiction. Fu Manchu made three appearances, and Count Dracula made two. Jekyll & Hyde, Frankenstein’s Monster (who was portrayed as a decent fellow) and Captain Nemo all got episodes.

But the biggest ratings went to the five episodes featuring Sherlock Holmes as a young man. Played by a young British actor named Steven Drake, this Holmes was still learning and not quite the man he would become. He also had a keen interest in the supernatural. After his first 3 appearances on the show hit ratings gold, the producers decided to make a backdoor pilot for a Holmes series. They did this via the only two part episode in The Wild Wild West’s run. Titled “The Night Of The Howling Horror” and “The Night Of The Hunting Wolf”, the episodes found West, Gordon, Holmes and Holmes friend Ian Winters investigating a series of murders in Denver. Sure enough, a werewolf was the culprit and at the end of episode one, West kills him with a silver bullet…just before another werewolf causes all of their horses to bolt, leaving them in the woods on foot. The next episode was pretty much survival horror, albeit tamed way down for television. In the end, the second werewolf turned out to be the wife of the first one.

The ratings were huge, so CBS commissioned a series, which premiered in 1971. Each episode featured a beginning in which an older Holmes, played by Vincent Price, related a story from his younger days to either Dr. Watson, Inspector Lestrade or Mycroft Holmes, although in one episode he told the story to Mrs. Hudson. At the end of each episode, the person who heard the story would often accuse Holmes of having them on.

The stories followed Homes and Winters around the British Isles, Europe, North America and, in three episodes, India. They encountered real supernatural events, from a family of fairies to the Loch Ness Monster, and a few hoaxes. The strangeness was not limited to the supernatural, either. One episode featured aliens, another had a clockwork robot, and a third was about a young woman with strange dietary needs (fresh human hearts). Almost all of the episodes featured a good bit of action and a few steampunk gadgets.

The series was a big hit and ran for 5 years and 150 episodes, ending in May of 1976. Thirty years later, a series of four feature length motion pictures would be made based upon the series most popular episodes.

 

 

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Chapter 457: In Which Our Hero, Armed Only With A Sharp Stick And A Bottle Of Port, Uses A Clever Disguise To Defeat A French Patrol

…oh, those easily confused Frenchies!

 

LOOK! Right down there! TWO Doclopedia entries! I’M BAAAACK!

 

The Doclopedia #1,099

The Alphabet: I is for…

Ig The Pig

…was the nickname given to Ignacio Perez, a young mutant who lived in Ciudad Juarez. His mutation made him look quite piggish, but it also made him very tough and an excellent problem solver. Life in his neighborhood was not easy for most mutants. There was teasing and beatings and the well known oppression of the Catholic Church to deal with. Ig survived all of it and helped other mutants when he could.

Eventually, his problem solving skills, toughness and compassion for the less fortunate lead him to become a private eye. He was quite successful and eventually hired other mutants with useful abilities. Naturally, the police and organized crime (pretty much one and the same) came to hate and fear him. Several attempts were made on his life, with the explosion of his office building finally killing him. Well, everyone assumes he is dead. Very few body parts were found, since the explosion was powerful and the resulting fire was very intense.

But just a few months later, cops and mobsters started turning up dead. Most looked like they had been scared to death. A few had committed suicide. There were never any witnesses. A small plastic pig was found on each body. Soon, rumors of “The Ghost Pig” began to circulate.

Crime in Ciudad Juarez is now at an all time low. The killings continue.

Invisible Armor

…is what you want, daughters. It’s tough as troll hide, much lighter than plate mail and nobody but you can see it! The look on some big dumb barbarians face when his sword bounces off your apparently bikini clad body is priceless. Oh my, I remember the time we fought those Red Forest raiders…you recall that, don’t you, Kaareen?…and they came at us with lust in their eyes and only light clubs in their hands. They thought to beat us down and have their way with us. Oh, what a surprise they got! Later, as they pulled our wagon the 100 miles to Ekarris, we laughed and laughed.

Now, you won’t have an easy time getting such armor, but if you’re willing to kill a few trolls, gather up some red Ice Moss from atop Deathspire Peak, then look up the wizard Gabriella in her castle deep in the Western Wastes, you can have a full suit of it in a few months. It shouldn’t cost more than a few thousand gold rounds.

Believe me, it will be the best money you’ve ever spent.

The Doclopedia #1,100

The Alphabet: J is for…

Jewels Of The Night
…are not, as one might think, actual gems. They are instead a group of young female thieves who operate out of Madrid, Spain, and have been the source of two of Sherlock Holmes more colorful cases. Unfortunately, as per my friend’s wishes, I cannot yet recount the tale of the Sleeping Countess or that of the Barnwell Ghost. I can, however, give a brief description of the Jewels Of The Night.

They are comprised of anywhere from 9 to 15 young ladies, many from old and respected families, who have fallen under the sway of that Mistress of Crime, Andromeda Andropolis. She and her cohorts have fashioned these girls into a company of thieves of the highest skill.

They target only the most valuable and supposedly theft proof items, often stealing them when many people are about. The police are left dumbfounded, something that my friend notes is not a noteworthy accomplishment. Few clues are left behind, although in the two cases mentioned above, they did leave notes for Holmes. While he finds the Jewels Of The Night to be excellent foes, he has vowed to bring them to justice sooner or later.

Junkmaster

…runs Junktown, don’t he? Not a bad bloke, if ya stay on his good side. If ya cross him, well, it don’t go well at all, ya know?

So, when ya get to Junktown, ya goes straight on up the hill to see him. He takes a look at what junk ya brought, then he offers ya a fair price. Sometimes, if ya got something he really likes, he’ll offer ya a lot more. That happened with me an’ Reg a few months back when we brought in a bit of some old computer stuff. Junkmaster looked at it and told us he’d give fifty silvers. Fifty! We thanked him an’ took it, we did. Helped our village out right sweet, it did.

Junkmaster is a big bloke, maybe seven feet tall. Dark skinned, maybe half blackfella. Looks like he might be about 40. He’s got muscles an’ is right dangerous in a scrap. Most of the time, he’s smilin’ an’ friendly. If he ain’t smilin’, ya might want to come back another day.

Wanted: Dancing Elks

…must have own tap shoes

Book Reviews: Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders andSherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery both by Larry Millett

These two books are, respectively, numbers 2&3 in a five part series by Larry Millett that tells the story of Holmes and Watson’s adventures in America, primarily in Minnesota around the St. Paul area.

In Ice Palace Murders, set in 1896, the Great Detective is called to St. Paul to look into the disappearance, then murder of a wealthy young man from one of the cities most powerful families. This book introduces Shadwell Rafferty, an Irish saloon keeper and part time detective who proves to be Holmes mental equal. It’s great fun to watch these two men, so different in most other ways, one up each other in the mystery busting game. Although I had the murderer figured out by about the 2/3 mark, this book was still an excellent read.

Rune Stone Mystery is set in 1899 and once again, Holmes and Watson are off to Minnesota. This time, however, it is at the behest of King Oskar II of Sweden, who wants proof that a recently discovered slab of stone covered in runes is really of Viking origin. Naturally, there is a murder…several in fact…and then the game is afoot. Aided once again by Shadwell Rafferty, Holmes unravels a twisted mass of clues to solve the case. There are some really great characters introduced in this story and I didn’t figure out who the killer actually was until he got what was coming to him.

Millett does Holmes & Watson proud and I highly recommend these books. I can hardly wait to read the rest of the series.

It’s All Fun & Games Until Vegetable Oil Goes Sticky

…don’t ask

Last night, I took My Sweet Little Chocolate Frog Of Love to see Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince. We both enjoyed it, despite the fact that they had to compress and cut parts of the original story in order to avoid a 5 hour movie. They did capture most of the feel of the book and the alternating between ominous and funny worked pretty well. Not my favorite of the movies, but still quite worth seeing.

We saw several trailers before the movie. The best of all was the one for the new Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr as the Great Detective. Looks very interesting and action packed. I told Grace that it should be titled Sherlock Homes, Consulting Asskicker due to the fight scenes.

There was also a trailer for 2012, the new end of the world flick from the same guy who directed The Day After Tomorrow. It lost me when it began, talking about the Mayans as the “world’s first great civilization”. Yeah, cos the Chinese, the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians and about 100 others just didn’t do anything great. Also, I’m pretty much done with end of the world movies, especially those based on mystic shit.

Now, Uncle Doc must be hitting the road for several mystery shopping adventures. More blogging later.