Friday, August 16, 2013

200th Post Special! Loveable Freak Reviews Sherlock: The Unaired Pilot

  Oh hey, I've gotten to 200 posts! And so soon after the 2nd Anniversary of the blog! *squee* If only I could've had both the same day...

  Anyway, I wanted to do something special. Last year, I did my first MST of a Sherlock Holmes Trollfic. I thought that maybe this time, I could do a review of something. But it would have to be something special...

  ..I'm going to review the unaired pilot version of "A Study In Pink"!

  Yes, back in the distant year of 2009, when David Tennant was The Doctor and every celebrity ever was dying, Moffat and Co. shot the pilot episode for his an Gatiss's fanboy brainchild, Sherlock. The original pilot, while still the same story, is different than the finished product, a big difference being it's 60 minutes as opposed to 90 (BBC requested they change the format. And bless them for it!). So, how does it compare to the final product we know and love? Come along, readers!

  Just in case... Erm...

  Like I said, the story is pretty much the same. Ex-Soldier meets Man. Ex-Soldier finds out Man is a Consulting Detective. Consulting Detective drags Ex-Soldier along to solve a case of serial suicides. Ex-Soldier and Consulting Detective start World's Greatest Bromance. Pretty simple. The difference is the execution.

  Since it is 60 minutes long, there are notable things missing in the story. For example, we never see John's Afghanistan dreams, or flashbacks to the "suicides" of the victims (here it's 5 instead of 4. Yes, Moffat actually resisted killing an extra person... I'm shocked too, Wholockians...), and there's no fake drugs bust. But a big exception has to be that the entire Mycroft subplot and the mention of Moriarty are absent from the first episode. AND PILOTLOCK (as I'm calling it) HAS NO DEDUCTION SUBTITLES! D: THOSE ARE CUMBERLOCK'S THING! It's really weird.

  In fact, a lot of things in this pilot are really weird. It all feels so... off from what I'm used to. The actors are delivering the same lines, but they feel different. Mostly the delivery. For example, take the whole "What happened to the lipstick...Your mouth's too small now..."/"Okay." exchange between Sherlock and Molly became sadder with how Loo Brealey delivered it here. I mean, it was already kinda sad but a little funny in the original, since to me her tone kinda sounded like she was going to put the lipstick back on again. Here, she sounds just sad. And in need of a hug.

  Plus, on the technical side, the sets are different and feel weird too. The mortuary is so dark and feels so dreary and the flat feels so claustrophobic (and the paint is gaudy). The video quality is not as polished, too (though maybe that's just lighting... :/). Even the freaking soundtrack feels off! THE FREAKING SOUNDTRACK! I know it's just the pilot they used to get the show picked up, and they most likely didn't have the same budget they have the actual show, but it's almost into "uncanny valley" territory for me. Or at least, weird AU.

 Also, Donavan is played by a different actress (she must be a Time Lady!) and Anderson has a beard. He shaved it, but it doesn't matter. It'll still be there... waiting.

  But, there still are additions to this original version of "A Study In Pink" that aren't in the final product. For example, we actually see Lestrade at the crime scene of one of the murders (before the one Sherlock stepped in).Mrs. Hudson apparently was originally supposed to own Speedy's in this strange alternate world (the sign read "Mrs. Hudson's Snax and Sarnies" in Comic Sans. Bless her heart... (Also, before my fellow non-Brits Google it, a "Sarny" is just another word for "sandwich". See, this educational!) The way Sherlock runs into the serial killer and the most of the third act is different, too. Plus, Sherlock gets to be Batman! :D

 Also, there are some nice Easter Eggs in this scene where Sherlock sends emails. He sends one to Mycroft (with the famous "when you've eliminated the impossible" line, one to Gregson (yes, further confirmation he exists in this world), and one to a Jones (don't know which Jones, but hey! Another Canon inspector exists! *Insert character development joke at Elementary's expense here*). Another thing I caught while pausing was the article on Lestrade in the newspaper John was reading. From the visible snippet, you can kinda get some insight into Lestrade's situation from his perspective. Apparently he was facing "mounting pressure under the watchful eye of the new police commissioner and Mayor of London" to solve the case. My poor, sweet, silver-haired, probably-in-his-late-forties-when-they-shot-this baby. In fact, that whole thing makes me realize I'd love to see the whole series from Lestrade's perspective... I CALL FANFIC DIBS!

  And, as much as I complained about line delivery feeling off, some of the lines and scene changes I preferred here. Special mention goes to the way the "and I said "dangerous"" and "either way, you're wasted as a cabbie" are delivered.

 Anyway, let's get to Final Thoughts:
  • Favorite parts are the new third act, "Drunk"!Sherlock, and when Sherlock has his Batman moment. (Honorable mention goes to the dinner conversation, which is somehow even more awkward...)
  • Wait, so Sherlock had a man named "Davies" arrested? I see now how Moffat came to be in-charge of Doctor Who...
  • So Cumberlock just splashes it into his face, Millerlock can't/won't drink... Is Downeylock the only one with no problems with alcohol?
  • I swear, Benedict's voice sounds higher here... and that Cumberlock had an extra shot of sass in his coffee...
  • Also, what was up with Stamford's accent here? Sounded different... I couldn't place it, it was throwing me off...
  • "Halfway Decent Murders" is so my new band name... Or my Tumblr's name if I ever break down and get one...
  • "We're searching for a psychopath?" "So we're having another psychopath help out?" Hey, it worked for Silence of the Lambs, Anderson! (Also, apparently Anderson is a doctor... This is news to me...)
  • "Feed you up"? Is that what they called it in 2009? Either way, I'm using that euphemism now...
  • John, do you go to nice restaurants with all your male companions... See, this is why the "Defensively Heterosexual John Watson" meme exists... (Sorry, I couldn't resist the joke...)
  ...So, that's my two cents on the pilot. Yeah, it's bizarre, seeing how the show is now, but it wasn't so bad. Still wouldn't trade the final "A Study in Pink" for this one, though. You can find the pilot either on the Season 1 DVD/Blu-Ray or on the Internet somewhere.

  Thanks for sticking around for the 200th post, here's to 200 more!

  Next post, I want to try that MST/Review thing I've been wanting to experiment with...

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