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Elementary, My Dear Sci-Fi

Hide, Holmes!The Sci-Fi Channel presents … Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of the Banshee

The prospects of the Sci-Fi Channel doing a Sherlock Holmes movie is something I just have a hard time swallowing. Yeah, I remember that dopey Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century cartoon with a cryogenically frozen Sherlock Holmes being thawed out in a futuristic setting to battle criminals alongside an android with Dr. Watson’s adorning it, but this is still a Sci-Fi Channel original movie we’re talking about. Sci-Fi’s bread and butter when it comes to their original movies have been goofy b-movie scenarios (such as this weekend’s premiering Supergator) and even then they’ve proven more often than not to be quite inept at making halfway decent ones. And now they’re moving into the realm of classical literature?

I mean did you see their Beowulf adaptation, Grendel, from earlier this year; the one where Beowulf battled his legendary monstrous foe using a tricked out crossbow with a sniper scope, twin blade bayonettes, and that fired explosive arrows? I can only imagine now what the Sci-Fi Channel is planning to trick out their version of Sherlock Holmes. Will his pipe turn into a flamethrower? Will they make Dr. Watson a Kato-style kung fu master? Have him ride around in a TARDIS?

Sci-Fi’s Sherlock Holmes opus is currently in pre-production with Terrence Gross (the 2001 remake of The Day the World Ended) set to direct. That Tim Cox (Mammoth) penned the original story gives me a little glimmer of hope, but then he also was in-part responsible for writing Gryphon, another Sci-Fi snoozefest from earlier this year. Actual scripting duties fall to Brooke Durham and Jacob Eskendar, a pair also writing two more in-the-works Sci-Fi originals based on classic works of mythology: Arthur & the Order of the Dragon and Odysseus & the Isle of Mists. I just have a serious time imagining the Sci-Fi Channel brass having the willingness to allow filmmakers to do justice to a Sherlock Holmes movie, even one with supernatural overtones.

Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of the Banshee pits the world’s greatest detective against a Banshee, an evil monster of Irish folklore said to be an otherworldly female phantasm with a thing for loud wailing and soul sucking.

Loud wailing and soul sucking ’85 Sounds like an apt description of most of my experiences watching and reviewing Sci-Fi’s original movies.

“Set in London, England, circa 1888, premise has the city plagued by a series of puzzling crimes, as numerous male victims suddenly die of heart attacks, with postmortems revealing their hearts missing. The only clues to the mystery are scattered eyewitness accounts regarding a ‘Lady in White’ leaving the scene of each homicide.

Authorities believe the murders are being perpetrated by ‘Miss Emily Watson’, niece of ‘Dr. John Watson’, partner to young detective ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Watson convinces Holmes to take the case in the hopes of proving her innocence.

Holmes applies his skills of deduction to the investigation, discovering clues leading to an inhuman entity, while delving into the supernatural and uncovering an 18th century legend that depicts the same occurrence over one hundred years ago by a creature known as the ‘Banshee’.

In the end, the only way for Holmes to stop the creature, is to die and be reborn.”

As is typically the case with Sci-Fi, the movie will be shot in Eastern Europe. In this case, scenic Lithuania will replace merry old England. No casting of the lead roles yet, though given this is a Sci-Fi Channel original, I’m hoping for Adrian Paul as Sherlock Holmes and Kevin Sorbo Dr. Watson. With any luck we’ll also get a cameo by Casper Van Dien as the evil Moriarty.

The Foywonder

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Jon Condit