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Considering that in Tolkien's symbolic universe, the Shire represented England....


I have always loved the way JRRT chose "Belladonna" for the image of Bilbo's Took mother, and source of all his unshakeable restlessness: a middling sized, common, unassuming little weed plant, used as an ornamental for its pretty berries, used by Roman women for its cosmetic and mildly hallucinogenic properties.. and by the wives of emperors Claudius and Augustus as a poison to murder rivals...

...all the while remaining closely related to the humble potato.

El Jefe


That was spot on but, more importantly, inspired. And Tolkien knew enough about an eccentrically English range of stuff, from how to embed codes in statistics (he was a good back-of-a-napkin mathematician) to herbology that you may be exactly right.


If you'd added why Freeman was also born to play Ponder Stibbons, especially his blossoming in Unseen Academicals, this essay would cover a pretty remarkable run among my favorite things.

What we see in Freeman's Watson (thanks for the observation from Best. [Character name redacted to prevent spoiling the surprise.] Ever. in there) pretty quickly is the awakened Took in the hobbit.

Holmes: You've been in danger? Seen terrible things?

Watson: Yes, more than you can imagine. Enough for a lifetime.

Holmes: Want to see some more?

Watson: Oh, God, yes.

Yup. There's a huge chunk of the relationship's emotional core in a couple of lines. Steven Moffat is everything Aaron Sorkin would wish he was if he wasn't so monomaniacally self-involved.

El Jefe


Fair enough, boss. Wasn't thinking through the fact that the official reveal comes pretty late in the game.

Lance Mannion

El Jefe, just want to give other folks the fun of being as thoroughly fooled as I was, although the pose should have given the game away. And you're right. Best you know who ever. But the casting of you know who in the next Downey-Law movie is pretty darn good and I can't wait to see what he does with the part.

El Jefe

I shall have to look that up; thanks for the hot tip. And yes, you know who had me at the Saville-Row-with-furled-umbrella. Hard to mistake that even 125 years on.

El Jefe

Just read the Downey-Law 2 blurbs re casting. Oh, as the youngsters say, snap. That will be a run for the money.

Claire Helene

Hey Lance - I'm so glad to see you watched and enjoyed it as I did. Did you ever watch any of Moffat's Doctor Who? This episode reminded me a lot of one of the Doctor's adventures. I never realized how similar he and Sherlock are. Anyway, good fun and I can't wait to see the rest of the episodes.

Lance Mannion


Thanks again for reminding me it was coming up. Did you see the interviews with Mark Gatiss and Moffat at the PBS website. Moffat says there's a reason for the similarities between Holmes and the Doctor beyond his having written for both.

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