January 17, 2014

Sherlock, Doctor Who and Trusted Companions

My new obsession is the BBC version of Sherlock staring Benedict Cumberbatch. I also had an obsession with the Granada Sherlock Holmes of the 80s, played by Jeremy Brett.

I have always loved the way Sherlock Holmes moves - the hand gestures, the very straight and deliberate fast walking, the fast talking once he has all the clues in place - I see a lot of my father in him. I see a lot of myself in him. I see him as very Autistic/Aspergian.
There's also the way he doesn't really sleep or eat while on a case. Whatever he's working on becomes his obsession and he becomes horribly bored without one. There's also his eye for detail and heightened sense of smell. Contrary to the BBC Sherlock considering himself a, "high-functioning sociopath" I don't actually think that's the case. He shows too much empathy (his protectiveness over Mrs. Hudson is a good example) to be a sociopath. He lacks social graces, is all, which brings me to the concept of companions.

Doctor Who is half-alien/half-human and doesn't always understand human emotion. I'm no expert on Doctor Who, but Hubby is. Depending on the Doctor, some show more emotions than others. Doctor Who and Sherlock have some interesting things in common:

-Both become very bored without their work
-They enjoy solving mysteries and fighting evil
-They take companions along for the ride, who often make them look more heroic

sherlock holmes black shadow icon on onequartermama.ca

In both cases, the companion often asks a lot of questions and Sherlock/The Doctor has all the answers. Why anyone wants to spend loads of time not having a clue what is going on and relying on someone else for answers is kind of lost on me. Companions are not forced to be there. They choose to be there and can leave at any time. What do the companions get out of it? Well, it seems they really enjoy helping. Both Sherlock and Doctor Who lack a certain understanding of humans and the human world. They both sometimes need some explanations when it comes to human nature, and the companions fulfill that role. Dr. Watson keeps Sherlock in check when he's going overboard on the arrogant side and also tells him what to say in certain situations, but it doesn't come across as too paternalistic. It seems he genuinely respects Sherlock and even if he may find Sherlock's manner annoying in some ways, he accepts that's just part of the package. He doesn't try to change Sherlock, but rather guide him. In return, Dr. Watson gets the excitement he so needs in his life, and a loyal friend.

That is what everyone needs in life - a trusted companion. Someone who will help you with your faults without trying to change you. I have fond memories of a boss I used to have who tempered me. He was someone who could talk me down from my quick-temper outbursts and able to translate my scattered thoughts into diplomacy. I still hear him in my head sometimes saying what he used to whisper in my ear when I blurted out too much, "inner monologue, Kelly, INNER monologue."

I think that's part of my success at work. If you have someone in your court, it helps immeasurably. For my home life, Hubby is my trusted companion. He explains situations to me that I don't understand (and there are a lot of human interactions I just don't get).

It's interesting to note that these characters with brilliant minds and who save lives need help. They aren't helpless, but they can't do it alone. So if they need help and it's ok, what does it say about us mere mortals?

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