Anyone else excited for the return of the bee assassins this thursday UvU
Really nice analysis here by thenorwoodbuilder
Sherlock Holmes’ clients - Or: The demography of Canon
Ok, so apparently my obsession with canonical statistics great and small has not yet run its course, and this time I found myself trying to get a bird’s eye view of Sherlock Holmes’ canonical clients, with a particular regard to their demographic representativeness - or lack of it.
I’ve been working on this post for ages, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I decided to finish and get rid of it before answering all the questions which are currently waiting in my askbox: I promise I’ll reply to them all as soon as possible. ;-)
Before beginning the analysis of
this deliriumthese data, however, two warnings are in order:
- By “canonical Sherlock Holmes’ clients" I mean, quite literally, all, and ONLY, the people who, in the original ACD’s stories, called Holmes on a case - be they victims, other investigators, concerned relatives or friends, or even, in some cases, the cuprit himself (or anyhow a morally questionable actor in the case at hand). This means, also, that I’ve NOT counted in this analysis all the possible clients just mentioned in passing in the Canon, including in relation to the (in)famous ‘untold cases'
DoyleWatson kept dropping tantalizing references about every now and then…
- This is, again quite literally, a “demography of Canon”, and NOT, necessarily, also of ALL Sherlock Holmes’ clients. What I mean, is that here I provide an overview of the typologies of clients who appear in those of Holmes’ cases which
DoyleWatson chose to publish - which could as well NOT match the typologies of clients dominating in Holmes’ actual work. As everyone who ever worked with empirical data in human sciences knows well, SELECTION is always a relevant (and troubling) issue, as it might affect the representativeness of the sample and, thus, invalidate the very inferences one tries to draw from the data. Therefore, in relation to the topic at hand, all we can ACTUALLY deduce is information about Watson’s criteria in selecting a story as worth publishing. Any further inference about the ACTUAL composition of Holmes’ clientele would (and will) be hazardous at best…
So, once stated these premises, let’s start with our “demographic” analysis of the Canon.
First of all, it could be interesting to assess the proportion between, respectively, private and ‘institutional’ clients of canonical Holmes: not surprisingly for a private consulting detective, the formers represent the vast majority of Holmes’ clients - 70% of all the people who call for Holmes’ help in the Canon. It’s worth noticing, however, that some of them were addressed to Holmes by the police itself (such as in NORW), and in other cases the appeal to Holmes’ skills came contemporary from both a private citizen and the Yarders (such as in SILV).
Amongst the remaining cases, 23% of all canonical investigations is brought to Holmes by institutional agents, and, more precisely, mainly by police officers (16% of all canonical stories), with only an overall 7% of requests coming from a government (and ALWAYS the British Government, in the published stories, even if, through the Canon, there are plenty of references to cases solved on behalf of other governments, such as the Scandinavian Royal Family, the French Government, or even the Pope in Vatican).
Finally, there is another 7% of cases which don’t fit in any of the previous categories: they are mainly cases in which Holmes acted primarily as his own man (even if serving also larger interests), without waiting for anybody’s summon to investigate - that is, in FINA, EMPT, and LION - as well as one case (DYIN) in which it’s not clear whether Holmes was consulted by the police, or by the deceased’s relatives, or by both.
So, what inferences might we draw from these first data?
Well, I’d assume that, first of all, we might reasonably assume that the majority of Holmes’ clients were actually private citizens, considering how great is their prevalence in the published stories - even if the proportion was probably NOT so imbalanced as it would appear from Watson’s selection.
I’m actually under the impression - to which the many aforementioned tantalizing references to untold cases contribute heavily - that reasons of confidentiality prevented Watson from picking many of the most interesting cases involving public authorities - and particularly governments - for publication. Secrecy and delicacy were important in relation to private cases, too, of course; but imagine how much more so when dealing with delicate State secrets, or even just with the reputation of the official police forces.
Another interesting object of analysis might be the proportion between male and female Holmes’ private clients in Canon.
We can see that men largely exceed women - 73% against 27% - even if female clients still represent over than a quarter of all Holmes’ clients in published stories. Also worth noticing is that in one story - CREE - Holmes’ help is requested jointly by a woman and a man (actually, a betrothed couple), and that in another case (VEIL) Holmes was called on as a confidant, as well as a sort of confessor, instead than in his proper professional capacity. Not always, however, the woman requesting Holmes’ help was also the victim of the crime object of his investigation.
As for the inferences we might reasonably draw from these data, I’d dare say that probably even on the whole of Holmes’ activity men represented the majority of his private clients, given the traditional patriarchal nature of Victorian society: family businesses were generally dealt with by men; women usually had little access to substantial funds to autonomously pay for the services of professionals; more generally, women were taught to rely on male relatives for the solution of any problem they might incur, so that, generally, only (or almost only) the more desperate, ore the ones without friends and relations of note, would thought to personally go and consult a ‘mercenary’ helper. HOWEVER, even in this case, my educated guess is that the proportion was probably a little less imbalanced than what appears from Watson’s accounts - I’d dare say more near to a 65% against 35%. Again, resons of confidentiality suggest that, as a woman’s reputation was by far more vulnerable than a man’s one, at the time, Watson might have chosen to suppress a significantly large number of stories involving female clients.
And now it comes to the most complicate part: the analysis of the social status of Holmes’ (private) clients as portrayed by
DoyleWatson in the published stories.
At a first glance, upper- and middle-classes seem to dominate the narrative landscape, thus apparently proving right those literary critics who accuse Sherlock Holmes of being an inherently ‘elitist’ detective.
The 29% of Holmes canonical private clients could be defined ‘upper-class’, encompassing aristocrats (15,5% of all Holmes’ private clients, including one King of Bohemia and, possibly, one Crown Prince/King of England and United Kingdom…) and a more heterogeneous bundle of gentry, army officers, and high bourgeoisie (another 13,5% of the total).
The largest part (a little more than 69%) of Holmes’ clientele appears, however, to belong to various shades of middle-class: it encompasses professionals (13% of the total), businesspeople (9%), employes (16%, and a good portion of Holmes’ female clients), rentiers (16%), and another 16% circa of undefined middle-class people, from wives/daughters living on their husbands’/fathers’ incomes, to people Watson felt not the need to give us many information about, but whose manners, speech and clothing denounced their social status.
Only one, single canonical story - BLUE - sees a member of the working class as Holmes’ client (commissionaire Peterson, who asks Holmes to look into the business of the lost goose…), for a total amount of 2% of all Holmes’ published cases.
AND YET… Since STUD we are told, both by Watson and by Holmes himself, that the detective’s clientele included all sorts of persons, from “young girls fashionably dressed” to “gray-headed, seedy visitors, looking like Jew peddlers”, from “slipshod elderly women” to “old white-haired gentlemen” and “railway porters in their velveteen uniform”. And even later in his career, Holmes still remarks (NOBL) that “his correspondence has the charm of variety”, including, for instance, besides “very fashionable epistles” with “huge crests and monograms”, also letters from “fish-mongers and tide-waiters”, and that “the humbler are usually the more interesting”.
Also, more than once Holmes states that he often “remits his professional charges altogether” (THOR), so much so that, at the time of PRIO, he still claims to be “poor” - presumably because a large share of his cases he takes on pro bono, and these probably included not only the investigations he helped Lestrade or other police officers through, but also all those cases brought to him by people too poor to be able to afford to pay him (at least cash: he certainly earned gratitude and their availability to do him favours, when needed, including to provide him information, I’d bet).
Thus, my assumptin is that, in Canon, the amount of Holmes’ working-class clients got severely under-represented BY WATSON, in his selection of the cases he deemed fit for publication.
Perhaps not surprisingly, considering the mentality of the period and the average composition of the reading public at the time, Watson decided that cases involving people more akin to his target of readers (hence the predominance of middle-class clients in his stories), or ‘vip’ and the like, would earn him a wider public and a larger popularity. The Victorian Era was, after all, the age of triumphing bourgeoisie in England (and not only), and it’s for this rising social class that
DoyleWatson mainly wrote.
Ok, end of this too long rambling…!
The Norwood Builder wins again.
Elementary’s costume designer Rebecca Hoffher: “When I first started the show, Lucy and I talked about the character, and we both decided we should make her accessible so that real people could shop for her clothes, and also so that it makes her look like a New Yorker We wanted her to be really realistic. Like most women, she wears a skirt one day, wears jeans one day… I wouldn’t call it professional, I would just call it casual, but stylish at the same time.”
Creator/Showrunner Rob Doherty, EP Craig Sweeney & Story Editor Jeff King
- JLM had right mix of everything. Look, humor, smarts, quirk. Had always been a fan & loved him in Eli Stone.
- [Sherlock’s disguises] Odds are slim. Loved that element in the original books, but it’s hard to pull off in our medium.
- Craig: She commands Holmes’ respect and tethers him to his human side.
- [Sharing Joseph Bell’s name, an homage?] I confess… no. Very happy coincidence.
FULL ELEMENTARY : Season 1 HD LOGO LESS Screencaps
- 31,005 screencaps
- GALLERY LINK: [x]Episode List Links:
- Ep1. Pilot : [x]
- Ep2. While You Were Sleeping : [x]
- Ep3. Child Predator : [x]
- Ep4. The Rat Race : [x]
- Ep5. Lesser Evils: [x]
- Ep6. Flight Risk: [x]
- Ep7. One Way to Get Off : [x]
- Ep8. The Long Fuse : [x]
- Ep9. You Do It to Yourself: [x]
- Ep10. The Leviathan : [x]
- Ep11. Dirty Laundry : [x]
- Ep12. M. : [x]
- Ep13. The Red Team : [x]
- Ep14. The Deductionist : [x]
- Ep15. A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs : [x]
- Ep16. Details: [x]
- Ep17. Possibility Two : [x]
- Ep18. Déjà Vu All Over Again : [x]
- Ep19. Snow Angels : [x]
- Ep20. Dead Man’s Switch : [x]
- Ep21: A Landmark Story : [x]
- Ep22. Risk Management: [x]
- Ep23. The Woman : [x]
- Ep24. Heroine : [x]
ELEMENTARY: The Brownstone
These are the brownstone floor plans up in the writers’ room. The set itself is all built on one level, and according to my source, “We’ve already mucked it up, because Joan Watson’s bedroom also doubles as the room with all of the TVs in it when we’re filming.”
However, in the fictional New York of Elementary, the brownstone is three levels (plus a roof). Watson’s bedroom is on the second floor, and Holmes’ is on the “garden floor,” seemingly below the first floor, which is where the kitchen is also located. Apparently, there’s one bathroom in the entire brownstone, and it’s by Watson’s bedroom. Sounds like a comedy in the making. (Ficcers, are you ready?)
A huge thank you to the writer I met with today for letting me take photos of the floor plan as a souvenir of my visit. I hope you guys enjoy them!
updated 12 june 2013
On May 16, the otherwise brilliant ElementaryWriters tweeted that “The Woman” was the first time we’d seen Sherlock’s bedroom. Nope, nope, nope; we’ve seen that room several times; they just moved a bed in for Irene. Here’s another explanation demonstrating that Sherlock’s room and the kitchen are on the floor below the main level. And one more.
* * *
Conflicting data on the floorplan front from 1x21, “A Landmark Story”: first, the good news is a view of a space not previously seen: the courtyard behind the brownstone! That this view comes from Watson’s window confirms that her room faces the back. And if Ms Hudson is to be believed regarding which is the north wall, it also faces west.
This geographical orientation would appear to be confirmed when an establishing shot shows early morning sun reflecting off the windows at the front of the brownstone. Unfortunately, this is immediately followed by Watson in her bed, reading Holmes’s note. And we see sunlight on the note. From the west-facing windows in her room (this is not the first time morning sunlight was shown through her windows but the first since strong confirmation of the location of her room in the house). ::pounds head gently against desk::
I have decided that the house facing Watson’s room across the courtyard must have mylar shades that reflect the sunlight into her windows. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. As long as I possibly can.
* * *
In 1x19, Ms Hudson helpfully indicates which is the north wall, which means we now know that the brownstone faces east.
According to @ElementaryStaff, the studio set is all one level with stairs going nowhere.
- ?? don’t know if there is a completely underground floor below the garden level
- back door,
presumably leading to some sort of backyard/garden/outdoor space, as yet unseen,leading to courtyard, also with some sort of street access.
- kitchen, with french doors opening to
- room where bee got loose, with french doors opening to*
- room where Rhys stayed*
*I assume one or both of these are Sherlock’s room; either he sleeps on a couch in the bee room (when not sleeping on couch or floor elsewhere) and uses the other room for guests (with or without his company), or he sleeps in the bed in the room where Rhys stayed. Or both.
- front door
- lock room
- library/front room/parlor, with fireplace where Angus sits
- computer room/office/wall of Moriarty, with media equipment closet
- [the pilot, which was shot on a different set, had a small galley kitchen on this level. There is a door in this set where that kitchen was, which has so far not been opened again.]
- Watson’s room*
- multi-screen viewing room [thanks to iquitelikeditactually]
In terms of layout, I believe the kitchen, the office, Watson’s room, and the tv room all face the back garden.
taras1 noted that in the show, they frequently have an exterior establishing shot of the front of the brownstone with a light on in an upstairs room, then transition to a shot in Joan’s room, thus implying that her room faces front. My reply: Yes! I hadn’t added that up before. Oh they vex me so!! ;-) I’m going to treat that inconsistency like I treat the galley kitchen from the pilot and the 6 weeks lasting from Sept to Dec: la la la I can’t hear you over the sound of Joan’s awesomeness and Sherlock’s socks. :-)
A few episodes have shown the number 319 for the house but I haven’t spotted a street name yet. Also seen: number 13 on the adjacent door.
corrections & additions welcome!
updated 9 may 2013
I’m trying to work out what happened when, based on the extremely limited temporal data provided so far. They have been so sparing with date references that I think it’s intentional, although there’s also one huge problem that I have to assume was a mistake.
This entry will be updated as new episodes & date references occur.
Biggest problem: the 6 weeks
The 6 weeks remain an unexplained mystery since yeahbeeswax pointed out (THANK YOU) that 1x05 opens on 19 September 2012, the day Trent Kelty was murdered:
Then, in 1x11, two dates are referenced.
1. “9 days, 12 hours, 46 minutes” until Watson leaves
2. the catalyst for the crime under investigation was the early decision letter received by the daughter that prompted the argument/accident with her mother-the-spy. In the U.S., those letters are sent out around December 15. [did the writers not know this?]
Therefore, Watson’s 6 weeks would have been something like early Nov - late Dec.
On the other hand, the baseball game they watched at the end of 1x01 couldn’t have happened later than the first week of October, unless she was watching an old recorded game. If it was the playoffs, it still wouldn’t have gone on as late as mid-November. Neither of those seem likely. Then, in 1x16, Holmes refers to a suit Bell wore in September.
Through some loophole in space and time the 6 weeks apparently occurred over about 12 weeks between September and December.
For sanity’s sake, I have resorted to saying it was “Fall 2012”
probablystarting in September. In 1x18, we learn that Holmes is scheduled to leave Hemdale on a Monday, perhaps September 4. That would give them 2 weeks for episodes 1-4, given that episode 5 starts on September 19.
working backward from start of show:
- Watson and Holmes meet, Fall 2012 (early Sept)
- Watson gets parking ticket near Carver Cemetery 2 weeks earlier; Sherlock deduces she was visiting grave of patient who died; she neither confirms nor denies, Fall 2012 (Aug or Sept?)
- Holmes relapses on his first day at Hemdale, Spring 2012 (March)
- Holmes entered Hemdale 6 months earlier, Spring 2012 (March)
- Two months before that, he shows up at Alistair’s high and incoherent, early 2012 (Jan?) 
- Rhys steals $2.2M, moves to Thailand, May 2011 
- Rhys visits Holmes in NY, undetermined 
- Irene is murdered 18 months, 22 days before Watson’s contract ends: Spring 2011 (Mar?)
- two months before Rhys’s visit: Holmes moves to NY, undetermined but guessing March 2011 
- last time Watson talked to Carrie Dwyer before 1x05, spring 2011 (Mar?) with implication that Watson’s patient died around this time
- Sebastian Moran arrested: January 9, 2011 
- Gotlieb contracted to kill Holmes & contract cancelled, 2010? 
- Alistair moves to NYC, 2006
- Holmes meets Drummond, 2002-ish, “ten years ago” 
- M starts killing in London & Holmes “was an integral part of the investigation” , 2002-ish, “ten years ago” 
- Holmes and Gregson meet, late 2001 (couple of months after 9/11)
working forward from 1x12:
Since “M”, episodes seem to be set a little farther apart.
- 1x13 occurred about a week after 1x12: he was awake for 5 days (although I assume that started during “M” when they came home close to midnight and found M’s note), then slept for 2. Watson’s therapist also refers to her contract expiring a week ago.
- In 1x16, Holmes refers to “several weeks” since Watson first lied and finding out about the lie “last week” (at the end of 1x15).
- In 1x17, when Holmes wakes up after creating the dinosaur molecule, you can see the room’s window is open, and there is morning birdsong audible in the background — possibly but unlikely to be appropriate for NYC at airdate of Feb 21.
- An online news article shown in 1x17 about a “recent” event has a date of January 3, 2013, so at least we know the show has entered the current year. I speculate a goal of reaching late spring in the show by the end of the season, thereby coinciding with the 2nd anniversary of Irene’s alleged murder. 
- 1x18 is set 6 months after Holmes leaves Hemdale, therefore 4.5 months after “M” and thus 3-4 months after the proposal. If the pilot was intended to take place in September, that would mean 1x18 takes place in March.
- The anniversary of Irene’s murder will be about 5 months, 10 days after “M” = 6.5 to 7 months after Holmes left Hemdale, or within a month from the events from 1x18. See a teeny bit more speculation about future S1 eps in a separate post. 
- The anniversary of Watson’s patient dying may also be around the same time as Irene’s murder, if it did happen as implied about 18 months before 1x05. 
- 1x20 occurs one year after Holmes entered Hemdale. Given that it’s been a little more than 6 months since he left — episodes 18 & 19 occurred after that mark — his stay there must have been a little less than 6 months.
- 1x21 opens on April 26, 2013 
 I put the timing of episode 1x06 in week
2 or3 given that we know at the start of 1x08 that Watson has 23 days left and that 1x05 starts 0n September 19, probably the beginning of week 3. Alistair says Holmes showed up at his home “nine months ago” which would then be 2-3 months before he entered rehab. I am also wondering whether this occasion was the anniversary of Irene’s murder. Not sure this fits any more.This would also put Watson’s learning about Irene close to the 18 month anniversary of her murder.
 I’m guessing that Rhys stopped in NY after stealing the money, on his way to Thailand, or that he executed the theft while staying with Holmes. Seems less likely he came to visit after going into hiding. In either case, that would put Holmes’s arrival in NY around March 2011.
(My theory is that Holmes believed M had gone to NY after killing Irene or would be there eventually and moved there in the effort to find him. With the reference to Holmes knowing what Bell wore in September in 1x16, the other dates imply that Holmes might have moved to NY *before* Irene was killed.)
 the date in the news article Holmes looked up to confirm Moran’s story read 1/09/11. Since it was a British news source, that date format could indicate Sept 1, 2011, instead. But that really doesn’t fit with the timeline of him being in prison at the time of Irene’s murder.
 Holmes and Drummond “worked together when an American serial killer came to London”; Watson notes that Drummond’s article “The Deductionist” was published 10 years ago and refers to the time they worked together. In “M” he refers to being involved with police when M first started killing “ten years ago”. HMMMMMM (see also separate post elaborating on this coincidence a bit.)
 in 1x21, Gotlieb says he was contracted to kill Holmes “a few years ago”; in the promo for 1x22, Holmes says it was three years ago. The promos are not always accurate reflections of what is shown in the episode, but I do wonder where he got “three” from: does he remember something about that time? Or did he clarify it with Gotlieb off-screen?
 It would seem that they are not going to include reference or observance of either Watson’s patient’s or Irene’s death, as those anniversaries — Irene’s certainly — have passed. If the 6 weeks started on Sept 4, it would end about Oct 15. If Holmes’s statement that Irene was killed 1 year, 6 months, and 22 days ago was made a few days before that, she would have died in late March 2011, and we know from Van Der Hoff’s obituary that the current date in-episode is late April.
She’s actually one of the only people that can tell him, ‘Listen, this is what’s happening and this is not cool!’ and he can come back at her and she’s not going to back down. She’s going to be going at it head-to-head with him.
But he’s not going to run away and he’s not going to attack her. And if he does, then she’s going to still stay strong.
I like that Joan has a voice and she’s not afraid to use it.
I remember one of the directors that came up to me and said, ‘Do you think it’s too strong that Joan is yelling or that she’s raising her voice to him?’
And I said, ‘No, because she is not afraid to lose him. They’re not going to lose each other because she says what she thinks. She’s so quiet most of the time and she’s sort of listening or in the background, participating but not participating, that it’s nice when she does have something to say that she’s not afraid to do it. So let’s not be afraid of Watson having a voice.’
And he’s like, ‘Okay, cool. I just wanted to know.’ It was nice that they kept that take in there." - Lucy Liu makes sure that Joan’s voice stands out (LA Times, June 4)