Tuesday, January 6, 2015


For many involved in the study of Sherlockiana, today marks the anniversary of Sherlock Holmes' birth.  

One would think I should focus on the televersion of the Great Man himself on his birthday. But instead, I want to draw attention to an event in the life of Holmes' Boswell, Dr. John H. Watson, and how it can be theoretically connected to background events in another history mystery. 

"You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive."
Sherlock Holmes
"A Study In Scarlet"

Dr. Watson served as a battle surgeon during Britain's second Afghan war, from 1878 to 1880.  He was wounded at the Battle of Maiwand and was shipped back on the troopship Orontes. 

There had to be thousands of British troops in Afghanistan during that conflict, and the chances for Watson to have met one particular soldier would have been slim to none.  Yet in Toobworld the coincidence had a better chance of happening. 

Bat Masterson: [watching a belly-dancer] I don't think I've seen a dance quite like it. 
Inspector Thomas Brackenreid: Reminds me of Afghanistan. Never thought I'd see it here, but I can't say that I mind.
'The Murdoch Mysteries'
"Glory Days"

While he was still a resident of England (originally from Doncaster in the south of Yorkshire), Thomas Brackenreid served Queen and Country during that same war.  It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that his path crossed with that of Watson's. 

There is a Zonk to this theory but we have a splainin for that. 

In 'The Murdoch Mysteries', Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has been a visitor several times to Toronto's Constabulary station #4 where Thomas Brackenreid is the Inspector.  In the episode, indeed, in the real world in general, Conan Doyle is looked upon as the creator of Sherlock Holmes and as the writer of the stories, not Dr. Watson. 

But ardent believers in the world of Holmes and Watson consider Conan Doyle to have been the literary agent and editor for Dr. Watson. So when Conan Doyle gave serious consideration to Inspector Brackenreid's suggestion that "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" should climax on the moors rather than at the edge of a cliff, it could just as easily have been an example of Sir Arthur as an editor rather than as the writer. 

I'll take it a step further:  for Toobworld purposes, Conan Doyle was a founding member (with the approval of Holmes and Watson) of the shadowy world-wide organization which provides fictional versions of Toobworld citizens in order to provide plausible deniability for their actions.  

Anyhoo, that's my tip of the deerstalker to the Toobworld of Sherlock Holmes on his birthday. 


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