The Sherlockian year was a busy one in 2013, and Sherlock Holmes was in the news and in the zeitgeist. Elementary, with Lucy Liu as its gender-swapped Watson, played out its first season and offered those who know their Canon many small presents. Sherlock filmed its eagerly awaited third series, partially placating the armies of Cumberbatch fans. Robert Downey, Jr., appears to be making a third appearance as Holmes, but Hollywood rumor mills are notoriously unreliable. Sherlockian gatherings—both conferences and cons—were held everywhere, and all were well attended.
It was also a year of extreme partisan excitement and unpleasantness. Attacks were made on "new Sherlockians." As the Sherlockian world exists solely as a monument to one of the great friendships of literature, this was particularly unsettling. To become a Sherlockian is not to subscribe to a creed or to swear allegiance to a nation. It matters little how one reaches Baker Street so long as we all play the same game.
The year may prove also to be one of liberation. As of this writing, a judge has yet to rule on the U.S. copyright status of the character of Sherlock Holmes. This ruling will affect everyone, non-Sherlockian and Sherlockian alike, who enjoys Holmes in any medium, by deciding how frequently and easily Holmes is allowed to appear in new guises. If the experience in the U.K.—where the Canon has been in the public domain since 31 December 2000 (70 years after the death of the author)—is any guide, quality and quantity will not suffer. As the year draws to a close, let us hope that feelings of friendship and mutual respect draw our—let's face it—very small world together once more.
The Editor's Gas-Lamp, Winter 2013, Vol. 63, No. 4.