Mad Men wasn’t the only drama that aired this week that went Star Trek. The PBS series Sherlock (featuring Star Trek sequel’s Benedict Cumberbatch) also had what appeared to be an homage to a key scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. You can watch that below, and also get an the exclusive reaction for Star Trek II writer/director Nicholas Meyer.
Sherlock’s Trek homage + Nick Meyer’s reaction
Before we start with Sunday’s season finale of Sherlock, let’s remember our report on the previous week’s episode, when it aired in the UK earlier in the year. In "The Hound of the Baskervilles." Watson calls Holmes "Spock." Watch that clip.
While some may think that Star Trek reference may have been due to Cumberbatch’s new connection to the franchise, the show was produced well before he was cast in JJ Abrams sequel. It has more to do with Sherlock show-runner Steven Moffat, who is best known for rebooting Doctor Who and is also known to be a fan of sci-fi and Trek.
In the follow-up episode ("The Reichenbach Fall") which aired Sunday on PBS (earlier this year on BBC), the new Sherlock did their version of the classic Holmes story "The Final Problem." SPOILER ALERT, in both the original story and the TV episode Sherlock Holmes (appears) to die. In the original, Arthur Conan Doyle ends the story with Watson talking about his friend Holmes, calling him "the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known." For the modern Sherlock version written by Moffat we have the episode ending with Watson talking to Holmes’ grave and this time the dialog gets a twist that appears to be an homage to Kirk’s Eulogy of Spock in Star Trek II, with Watson saying "you were the best man, the most human human being I have ever known." Watch it and the clip from TWOK below.
I asked Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan writer director Nicholas Meyer for his thoughts on the little homage. Meyer is also a long-time Conan Doyle fan and his first big break was his Holmes pastiche novel "The Seven Percent Solution." Meyer also adapted his novel for the a film version in 1976. Anyway, Meyer’s reaction to the Sherlock homage, was…
"I love new Sherlock; it’s nice to know they return the favor!"
Great scene in Sherlock – love the show
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” was amazingly bad, but the “Fall” made up for it mostly. Moffat is generally a great writer, it’s a shame Season 6 of Doctor Who wasn’t as great as Season 5.
Wow… slow news day? This is barely news.
What the hell are you talking about David.
The Hound of the Baskervilles was brilliant!
I’ve to agree with #3. Besides, this was covered back when “The Hounds of Baskerville” aired on BBC One back in January. Sure, it has 12 extra words from Nick Meyer… but yeah. Slow news day.
Have to agree with #2 about “Baskerville”. This one was a bit of a mess. “A Scandal in Belgravia” was my favourite episode of S2. S6 of Doctor Who was somewhat messy too.
@3 Gawd, there’s that tired old “slow news day?” It may not be huge news but I didn’t know about it until I just read it here.
Sherlock is awesome…I love his erratic acting style and look forward to whatever character he is playing in TREK… he’s hardly Spock…I’d say Sheldon Cooper would be an apt comparrison…smug, rude, quirky, know it all…but that is Sherlock’s nature.
Just a little correction: Nicholas Meyer did indeed adapt his own book for the screenplay of “The Seven Per-Cent Solution,” but it was directed by the late Herbert Ross.
Just saw it last night and I was so into the episode that I didn’t even realize that it was a reference! Kind of makes sense though, as Nicholas Meyer (“The Seven Percent Solution”) is a huge Holmes fan. He even worked in a Holmes’ line in “The Undiscovered Country” (‘If you eliminate the impossible…”).
Sherlock is an absolutely brilliant show…. ;-)
Contrast that with Wilson at House’s funeral: “House was an ass!”
I have the same feeling as in #2. “The Hounds…” was a quite weak episode (but not bad). Episodes 1 and 3 on the other hand were fantastic!
Kirstey Alley was so cute!!! Why did we end up w/ Robin Curtis in lll? What a letdown.
Shatners reaction to Spock’s death was truly great acting.
Got to say I am really looking forward to Cumberkhans (just kidding!) performance in the sequel…
Agreed, I thought it was good too. Shatner was always better when he reigned it in.
I think you will find that Kirstie Alley became a bit big headed after TWOK and wanted more than the Star Trek III production people thought she was worth.
Well, that’s what I heard…
#12 – I think Kirstie Alley wanted too much $$$?
#13 – Absolutely. And when he had to “re-live” it through the mind-meld with Sarek in III.
#12– that is because Kirstie Alley did not want to return for III.
#9–A line which carried over to JJ’s reboot too.
@Anthony Thompson: After “Wrath of Khan” Kristie Alley was on a trajectory to stardom and seemingly wanted to distance herself from “Star Trek”.
I don’t know the reason for why she didn’t return for “Star Trek 3”, but from what Nick Meyer has said he wanted to bring Kristie Alley back as Saavik in “Star Trek 6”. By that time she was on “Cheers” and a genuine television star and wanted more money than they wanted to pay her, so they relpaced ‘Saavik” with the Kim Catrell’s Valeris character.
Series 6 had some absolutely brilliant stuff in it (Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, The Doctor’s Wife, The God Complex, The Girl Who Waited), it’s just that it got a bit convoluted toward the end, as Moff tends to overcomplicate things at times. Then again, i think it’s tough to beat Series 5, I think it’s probably my favorite among the revived series.
Just found this on “Memory Alpha” concerning why Kirstie Alley didn’t continue as Saavik:
“She was offered the chance to reprise the role in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, but according to Alley, she was offered less money for that film than she was paid for Star Trek II and thus declined to return. According to Leonard Nimoy, Alley’s talent agent demanded a salary that was higher than DeForest Kelley’s after learning that Saavik was to have a large role in the film. Nimoy opted instead to recast the role of Saavik, which was ultimately given to Robin Curtis.”
After viewing “hounds” i wondered if Cumberhunk had been cast yet. Thanks for the follow up. Doesn’t Spock(ZQ) have a line in ST09 about “eliminate the impossible” only paraphrased? Just love these connections. Get Steven Moffat to write ST3!!!!!!!!! just sayin’
Data also quotes the same Holmes line that Spock cites in both ST VI and ST 2009 in one of the TNG episodes–I believe it is in “Data’s Day”.
I thought The Hounds of Baskerville was great. I loved the whole season!
I agree with you. Shatner’s acting was great in that scene. The emotion of that eulogy had brought tears to my ears when I first saw the movie… and to this day, it is still a very emotional scene.
That was Shat’s finest acting hour at Spocks funeral…He can be so campy that we forget he is a pretty damn ggod actor… saw Nightmare at 20000 Feet last night on Twilight Zone, and he was awesome!…
Just got my DVD copy of Series 2 of Sherlock in the mail today (we watched them on the DVR earlier); now I can still frame the hell out of the fall and analyze how the hell they switched bodies so fast…. ;-P
**** POSSIBLE SPOILER SPECULATION ****
My wife also had a nice theory about Moriarty; she thinks that Moriarty is NOT the real Moriarty after all. That the ‘actor dossier’ was, in fact, TRUE. His suicide was also based on pressure from the real Moriarty as well (who is probably also holding members of his family hostage). If you rewatch “The Reichenbach Fall” (based on “The Final Problem”), the theory actually fits very well indeed…
I would be glad to think that the ‘real’ (as yet unseen) Moriarty is still out there as well, as I never quite agreed with the casting of ‘the master criminal’ in this particular version. He’s a good actor, but his image just isn’t my mind’s eye Moriarty. He seemed a bit too “Alan Cummings” where he should’ve been a bit more “Alan Rickman”, IMO…
#25, I totally agree! I loved the entire 2nd season of Sherlock and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next season. Haha, I almost posted a few weeks ago to point out John calling Sherlock “Spock”, glad you guys put it in an article!
Kirstie was sick of you-know-who grabbing her ass. So she asked for a ridiculous amount of money to return, knowing they wouldn’t pay it.
The irony isn’t lost on me, that Sherlock and Spock are both characters who were killed off, by the creative driving forces behind them… frustrated and keen to move on. And then subsequently brought back, through public demand.
And Nicholas Meyer by his own admission, was the one who doesn’t do resurrection!
Oh dear, some real spoilers here, I see – not about Star Trek though.
The third episode of the second Sherlock series screens tonight here (Friday, 25 May) for the first time. I had to skip over that post where Moriarty got mentioned… Also, the final season of House is being screened here on Saturday nights. So House dies? I did not really need to know that.
Meyer did an awesome job on “The Seven Percent Solution,” and “The West End Horror.” I read those books when they first came out and recently found a used copy of “Seven Percent.” Alas,
“West End” still eludes me. Also unable to find a copy of the “Seven Percent” film, which was a great movie.
Bring them all back, I say!
I’ve been waiting for a Sherlock thread, to talk about that eulogy!
I suspect “Sherlock” writers wittingly draw off what made Trek successful; that it’s no accident Watson’s descriptions of Holmes often mimic Kirk & McCoy’s depictions of Spock (not only in instances mentioned in the article) and that “Sherlock” is a ‘bromance’ to the enth. I think some writers realize that such relationships are intriguing to women and men.
I don’t think there’s been a better show on TV. I was a little disappointed with “Hounds,” but BC’s incredible and Andrew Scott as Moriarty is the most interesting villain I’ve seen on screen. Scott’s every bit Cumby’s equal and any scene with the two is remarkable–but esp. the final scene on the rooftop! Maybe Moriarty also paralleled Holmes in faking his own death.
SPOILERS ABOVE–Sorry, Keachick; thought by now it was safe to discuss…:[
@27. Dog Chow:
I don’t know who…?
“Sherlock” is a great show. It’s too bad that both seasons are so short. Three episodes aren’t enough. At least each is an hour and a half.
Also, I finished watching “Hell On Wheels” recently. Great show. Colm Meaney (O’Brien from TNG/DS9) is one of the main actors.
#29 Watch House anyway , you wont regret it.
I meant watch the final episode of House .
There are a lot of Guest Stars and MORE!
“The Hounds of Baskerville” was the least good of the bunch, but much closer to the quality of the other two than “The Blind Banker” was in the previous season. Hardly a mess.
If you’re going to pay homage to anything in “Trek” it might as well be “The Wrath of Khan”.
# 30 P Technobabble
I’ve seen “Seven Percent Solution” on Amazon.com, but last time I saw it was prohibitively expensive; somewhere in the area of $40-60. A bit much for one DVD, IMO. And it was full frame.
I’ll wait patiently for a newer reissue someday. I’ve seen the movie, and it was pretty good. Not the best Holmes story, but far from the worst.
# 28 Christopher
But truthfully, Nick Meyer didn’t do the resurrection of Holmes, because technically Holmes never died at Reichenbach falls; he (and his brother Mycroft) faked his death to throw his many enemies off his scent.
I suspect the same with the new BBC Sherlock’s Moriarty; in fact, my wife thinks that the Moriarty Holmes confronted on the rooftop was NOT Moriarty at all, and that he was in fact REALLY an actor contracted (and blackmailed) by the real (as yet unseen) Moriarty. That actor’s dossier we saw earlier in the episode was, in fact, real. That would fit the story better, IMO. And it leaves the door open for future Moriarty episodes as well.
I like that theory a lot better (kudos to my wife for coming up with it). ;-)
It is now Saturday and I did see the Sherlock episode with Moriarty last night. I guess the obvious question may get answered in the next series. Will there be another series? I hope so – just getting started really.
# 39 Keachick~
I read somewhere that the show is definitely on for a third series. Good news for all of us fans! Next to the Jeremy Brett series (the purest), this is my favorite Sherlock Holmes adaptation.
I just wonder how expensive this show will be to produce further down the road, with the rising stars of both of it’s cast members (in addition to Star Trek, Cumberbatch is in just about everything these days; and Martin Freeman’s career will probably explode once “The Hobbit” is released).
# 30. Technobabble~
I just checked Amazon.com again; they now have “The Seven Percent Solution” available from Universal’s Archive Series (made to order DVDs). It was going for $15.98.
Needless to say, I ordered one tonight…. ;-)
Good question about the cost of doing more Sherlock series if the two main actors’ careers go into high gear. Of course, this is assuming that the British television and movie industry operate in a similar to Hollywood.
Sherlock is a BBC television production. The BBC is owned by the British people via the government which is largely paid for by people’s taxes. I suspect that these actors will continue to work at a fair rate that the studio and broadcasters can afford to pay. There is a notion that the more money you earn somehow makes you better. It can certainly encourage a good effort, but ultimately good acting takes *soul*. Some things are valued differently.
I have to be honest and say I much prefer the Robert Downey Jnr version.
The BBC Sherlock is right up it’s own arse.
Yes, true. But once that “Hollywood money” starts to flow in? They might jump ship. Here’s hoping that they don’t. ;-)
Funny; that is exactly my polar opposite reaction.
I absolutely despised the Robert Downey Jr movies. IMO, they were typical, empty, dumbed-down, action movie crap (with Victorian window dressing). They seem more aimed at the popcorn crowd.
Hopefully, the BBC series will become so popular soon that they might inspire their own feature film versions someday (that would seem to solve the problem of the actor’s increasing costs, too).
I tend to see a schism in the fanbase as modern movie fans (especially those aren’t familiar with Sherlock Holmes) tend to like the RDJ versions whereas fans of the SH books and previous incarnations tend to love the BBC series. Not saying that this is always the case, but from what I’ve seen in my own circle of friends, it tends to be so.
Nah, I think you have your own head up your ass.
“Sherlock” is great. I enjoy Robert Downey Jr.’s version as well. But “Sherlock” is probably the more accurate version despite not being set in the Victorian Era.
There is room for multiple interpretations. Except for the horrible American version, with Lucy Liu as “Joan Watson” taking place in New York.
@Red Dead Ryan: 42 should be allowed to express his opinion without your completely uncalled for and vulgar response. Trolls like you really lower the value of discussion on this site.
POSSIBLE SPOILER??? WATCH REICHENBACH FALLS B4 READING!!!
Okay this is what I read on the Sherlock comment page on PBS. Someone thinks that this is how Sherlock survived:
He jumps, lands on something that breaks his fall but allows him to survive. John is purposely knocked to the ground so that he can’t see a second already dead body fall. Sherlock goes inside the ambulance as other people (probably paid by Mycroft) stage the dead body. Molly made the cadaver physically look like Sherlock the night before in order to fool everyone, including John.
The reason we know this is staged is because you don’t move a DEAD body from the scene! John who says “I’m a doctor!” feels the pulse of the dead body and recognizes it’s condition, so there was no need to put it on a stretcher and wheel it away before the police can investigate!
The only thing I would disagree with (this is someone else’s opinion) is the second body being dropped from the roof after Sherlock jumps. Even though John wouldn’t have seen it, the sharp shooter would’ve and would’ve known that Sherlock didn’t die. I think that the dead body was waiting inside the ambulance, and when Sherlock fell, everyone kicked it into high gear to switch the two.
Does that sound about right? Hopefully if we get a 3rd season they will go into more detail about this. But considering that Martin and Benedict will otherwise be occupied with other work, it could be a while before we see Sherlock BBC season3.
Let me say this for Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.).
I really liked the first movie but the second one not as much. The zooming in zooming out, rewinding, fast-fording, slow-moting– not just on the characters, but on small insignificant things…got old. If some of that was cut out, and the action was kept in real time, I would’ve enjoyed that movie a lot more.
I think Robert Downey Jr. makes a great Sherlock the same way Johnny Depp makes a great pirate. They’re flashy and fun to watch but not very close to accurate. Benedict’s portrayal feel more authentic. I appreciate both: one for the entertainment factor, the other for making my brain work for its supper. If there’s another RD Jr. Sherlock movie on the horizon, I will go see it and hopefully enjoy it. But Sherlock BBC, hands and feet down the best out of the two!
@LizardGirl: They have renewed “Sherlock” for a third season and apparently have already filmed the resolution explaining how Sherlock survived the fall as part of season two.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about season three (check out the actual page for the references embedded within):
Series 3 (TBC)
The second series’ final episode, “The Reichenbach Fall”, was based upon “The Final Problem”, in which Sherlock plunges to his death (later, “The Adventure of the Empty House” reveals that Holmes faked his death, though Conan Doyle had meant to kill him off), but Steven Moffat felt that he and co-creator Mark Gatiss had outdone Conan Doyle in their version of Holmes’ fall and Moffat added that, in that much-discussed sequence, there was still “a clue everybody’s missed.” After the end of the final episode of the second series, Moffat and Gatiss both announced on Twitter that a third series was commissioned at the same time as series two. A part of the resolution to “The Reichenbach Fall” was filmed alongside series two.
Executive producer Beryl Vertue confirmed, in March 2012, that the third series is expected to start production in ‘early 2013’, although it was too soon to relate any transmission details. Moffat aspires to tackle the fact that eventually Watson will be living apart from Holmes, though he’s uncertain whether he’ll have Watson get married in this adaptation. Moffat also wants to use other villains and adversaries from Conan Doyle’s original stories. Without revealing whether Moriarty faked his own death at the end of series two, Moffat has suggested that Moriarty will not feature heavily in future series of Sherlock.
Where can I find the resolution or will that be part of season 3? Hopefully they are able to stick with their schedule!