Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom

Essays on the BBC Series

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About the Book

The critically-acclaimed BBC television series Sherlock (2010– ) re-envisions Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective for the digital age, joining participants in the active traditions of Sherlockians/Holmesians and fans from other communities, including science fiction, media, and anime. This collection explores the cultural intersections and fan traditions that converge in Sherlock and its fandoms. Essays focus on the industrial and cultural contexts of Sherlock’s release, on the text of Sherlock as adaptation and transformative work, and on Sherlock’s critical and popular reception. The volume’s multiple perspectives examine Sherlock Holmes as an international transmedia figure with continued cultural impact, offering insight into not only the BBC series itself, but also into its literary source, and with it, the international resonance of the Victorian detective and his sidekick.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Louisa Ellen Stein is an assistant professor of film and media culture at Middlebury College in Vermont. She has written previously on contemporary media culture, including film, television, the Internet and videogames.
Kristina Busse teaches at the University of South Alabama and has published a variety of essays on fan fiction and fan culture. She is the founding coeditor of Transformative Works and Cultures.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Louisa Ellen Stein and Kristina Busse
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 251
Bibliographic Info: references, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6818-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9068-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Abbreviations      x

Prologue: Why Sherlock? Narrator Investment in the BBC Series

LYNDSAY FAYE      1

Introduction: The Literary, Televisual and Digital Adventures of the Beloved Detective

LOUISA ELLEN STEIN and KRISTINA BUSSE      9

Part One: Transmedia and Collective Intelligence

Sherlock’s Epistemological Economy and the Value of “Fan” Knowledge: How Producer-Fans Play the (Great) Game of Fandom

MATT HILLS      27

Winning “The Grand Game”: Sherlock and the Fragmentation of Fan Discourse

ASHLEY D. POLASEK      41

Part Two: Sherlock Then and Now

“But It’s the Solar System!” Reconciling Science and Faith Through Astronomy

ARIANA SCOTT-ZECHLIN      56

Terror, Nostalgia, and the Pursuit of Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock

ELLEN BURTON HARRINGTON      70

Decoding the Industrial and Digital City: Visions of Security in Holmes’ and Sherlock’s London

ANNE KUSTRITZ and MELANIE E.S. KOHNEN      85

Part Three: Adaptations and Intertextuality

Shaping Sherlocks: Institutional Practice and the Adaptation of Character

ELIZABETH JANE EVANS      102

Sherlock’s Webs: What the Detective Remembered from the Doctor About Transmediality

CB HARVEY      118

Holmes in the Small Screen: The Television Contexts of Sherlock

TOM STEWARD      133

Part Four: Interpreting Sherlock

“Good Old Index”; or, The Mystery of the Infinite Archive

ROBERTA PEARSON      150

Sherlock: Critical Reception by the Media

PAUL RIXON      165

Holmes Abroad: Dutch Fans Interpret the Famous Detective

NICOLLE LAMERICHS      179

Part Five: Postmodern Sherlock

Sherlock and the (Re)Invention of Modernity

BALAKA BASU      196

Sherlock as Cyborg: Bridging Mind and Body

FRANCESCA COPPA      210

Conclusion: Transmedia Sherlock and Beyond

KRISTINA BUSSE and LOUISA ELLEN STEIN      224

About the Contributors      232

Index      235

Book Reviews

“essays examines the cultural intersections and fan traditions that have developed around the immensely successful BBC series Sherlock”—Reference & Research Book News.