Saturday, December 11, 2010

Conversations With My Brother: Sherlock Walk

Intro: One of the many cool things about my brother is he tends to notice interesting details, more so than me. As you've seen sometimes I take his random wonderings and run with them. This is another example involving an observation he had about the BBC show "Sherlock."

Him: If you watch the last scene in Study in Pink. Sherlock's walk is more one foot after another than John's.

Me: I'll check it out. By the way do you have any Primus (n.1)?

A later reply from me.

Me: He looks like he's doing a sort of model walk in that last scene. One foot directly in front of the other. If you watch him walk in the scene where they go back to their flat after all that running he doesn't walk foot directly in front of the other, it's a more natural gait. I read a blurb about model walks and putting one foot in front of the other (having to land first on the balls of your feet) is supposed to make your walk more elegant, kind of like a ballerina walking on her tip-toes. At the same time you're supposed to lift your leg a little more. Both actions combined are supposed to make your walk longer and more commanding. And it gives you that characteristic model swing of the hips.

Why would he do that when he's already tall and commanding esp. when compared to our Martin (n.2)? Because it makes his coat swing and swish (n.3) while at the same time giving him a more commanding presence. Because he's wearing his coat we can't tell that he's swishing his hips a bit more so he doesn't look like he's doing a "model walk." With his coat swishing and swinging, he looks more heroic in the same way that running while wearing a long coat with volume also makes you look heroic. Since this is the last shot of the first episode it creates a compelling image that they want viewers to remember.

I tried it with one of my own long coats and it does indeed swing more when doing a model walk, even in my socks.

There! How's that for an explanation? I'll bet if we watch Benedict's walk in other scenes in the series, I'm certain he isn't walking with one foot in front of the other most of the time.

Him: It brings to mind a comment by Neil G. (n.4) about Paterson Joseph (n.5) not being that tall but "acting" tall.

Subsequent In-Person Conversation: My brother pointed out the other night that Martin's stride in this last scene seemed to have him walking with slightly wider steps. He mused this could be because his character John is a military man and would be used to carrying something on his back thus the wider steps.


(n.1) My brother has a music server. Not a music hard drive, a server with something like 500 CDs loaded onto it. Yes, he bought them all.

(n.2) We have our own conversational conventions. He tends to refer to the actors in "Sherlock" by their character names whereas I refer to them by their real names. I also have a convention of putting "our" in front of certain actors' names as in "our Martin" (for Martin Freeman who plays Dr. John Watson), or using the more generic "our boy." My brother and I sometimes discover shows and movies which aren't in the mainstream (or haven't appeared in the mainstream yet) and I have a tendency to think of them as belonging to us, hence the "our." I use this convention most often while discussing Korean actors with him.

(n.3) We're quite taken with Sherlock's fashion and his clothes seem to be popular in the U.K. Here's a U.K. GQ article if you want to see Benedict in his lovely coat.

(n.4) My brother, not surprising, is a huge Neil Gaiman fan and we are big fans of Gaiman's series "Neverwhere" which aired on the BBC in 1996.

(n.5) Paterson Joseph played the Marquis de Carabas in Neverwhere. He's quite dashing and has a lovely long coat as well. You can see an introduction to the character here. Gaiman has said on the DVD extras for Neverwhere that Puss in Boots was the inspiration for the Marquis.

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