Main Inkstain Adaptation Discussion

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10:36:02 AM Oct 7th 2013
I pulled the Sherlock Holmes section:

  • The Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies of the '30s and '40s turned Watson—a capable physician, a front-line veteran, and a more well-rounded individual than his roommate—into a comical bumbler, which has coloured almost all subsequent portrayals to the point that showing him as at all competent is considered a Subversion. They also solidified the portrayal of Holmes and Watson as middle-aged. It's been observed that in the original "A Study in Scarlet", Watson had only served one term in Afghanistan after getting his M.D., and Holmes was taking classes at the university. He's a battle-hardened vet, home with a war wound! He's a flaky, substance-abusing grad student! They Fight Crime!
    • This is an overstatement; the idea that Watson was kind of stupid (or rather that he always came off as stupid) goes back at least to the early 20th century. The American humorist Finley Peter Dunne wrote in 1901 that Watson "don't know anything, and anything he knows is wrong. He has to look up his name in the parish register before he can speak to himself. He's a great friend of Sherlock Holmes and if Sherlock Holmes ever loses him, he'll find him in the nearest asylum for the feeble-minded." (Dunne's "humorous" phonetic spellings not reproduced).
    • Even Conan Doyle himself referred to Watson as Holmes's "rather stupid friend" in 1927.
      • Which is very odd indeed, considering it was Holmes, not Watson, who didn't know that the Earth revolved around the Sun in "A Study in Scarlet". Holmes was brilliant, but very narrow minded in his studies (at least in theory, detectives always seem to be full of information that they have no business knowing, except to move the plot along), which Watson found very peculiar early on.
        • There's a difference between ignorance (Holmes) and stupidity (Watson, at least in comparison).
        • Watson is not necessarily stupid in the original Conan Doyle tales, but rather average. Everyone except a small handful of villains looks dim-witted when compared to Holmes.
        • After all, the man is a doctor.
        • This might have finally come full circle however. Currently, there are no less than three concurrent versions of the Sherlock Holmes characters (the Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law movies, the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman BBC miniseries, and the Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu CBS series.) In all three series, Watson (be he John or Joan) comes across as intelligent and capable, even if he/she is perpetually a step or two behind Sherlock. The bumbling Watson sidekick might be discredited.
        • Although this portrayal has stained Dr. Watson's reputation, it actually raised popular interest in Holmes in general, and thus did not stain the franchise.
          • Perhaps it did, considering how many, if not most, of the theatrical Sherlock Holmes films in U.S. theaters played as spoof such as The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, the Dudley Moore and Peter Cook Hound of the Baskervilles, and 1988's Without a Clue, as well as, perhaps other than spoofs, the children's films Young Sherlock Holmes and The Great Mouse Detective.

First off, it's a natter-y mess (seriously, 5th-level bullet points?). Secondly, it's not an example. It's a much clearer example of Lost in Imitation. I could be convinced that the basic idea could be readded, but it would need a MASSIVE rewrite.
02:36:06 PM May 2nd 2013
Does the 80s TMNT belong on here when that version is kinda beloved?
08:31:28 PM Mar 26th 2013
  • China is very very big, with most of the parts being seen on TV being in the... er... Far East part of the country, near the Pacific Ocean. Quite a bit of it is far closer to Persia than Japan. According to The Other Wiki, there currently are estimated to be over 20,000,000 Chinese Muslims. Most of those would be of the Uyghur ethnic group who are a Turkish-speaking Muslim minority within China. They live in the far northwest, closer to Mongolia and Central Asia than Beijing.

This seems to refer to the autonomous republic of Xinjiang; the catch is that the reason it's so culturally far from China (and not really all that Persian, frankly) is that it wasn't even politically part of China from the eighth to eighteenth centuries (with a break in the middle on the technicality that ol' Temujin was running the show in both, but even then they wound up going to different sons), and was considered a protectorate even before then. It's unlikely to have been what is meant by "China," the same way someone referring to "Russia" would probably not mean, say, Tuva.
09:01:37 AM Aug 16th 2012
edited by DonaldthePotholer
I removed the Bane examples. Yes, there's a reason why the "s" is emphasized. This Trope implies that one adaptation has colored an element (i.e. a character) beyond further alteration. Granted, the two examples in question are contemporary between each other.

  • Batman & Robin, if it didn't cripple Bane as a character in comics, at least gave him recurrent back pain. While he still shows up as the intelligent, driven character who's been the subject of much Character Development since his first appearance, this doesn't stop some writers from using him as silent Dumb Muscle when they need a body to throw at a character.
    • Again averted... Bane also appears in The Dark Knight Rises, played by Tom Hardy. It seems Christopher Nolan has made it his mission to prove the legitimacy of the original creations, no matter how previous adaptations have handled them.
      • Only partially averted, since Bane DOES have a painful, debilitating injury, and as a result has to be fed painkillers constantly.

  • Despite being held as the patron saint of Adaptation Distillation, Batman: The Animated Series has also has also negatively colored Bane's other adaptations. In the comics, Bane is a Genius Bruiser who knew Bruce Wayne was Batman, was a huge guy with formidable strength even without the drug Venom, who could still keep going when the feed was cut, and ultimately kicked the habit of using Venom. B:TAS made him a hired thug who shrinks after he's deprived of venom, didn't know who Batman was, and was still hooked in his later appearances. Despite the circumstances for his defeat (he nearly OD'd after Batman jammed a Batarang into his pump module), and Superman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures fixing a few things by having Bane retain his big size and formidable strength when the feed is cut, this has colored every adaptation since then of him being a hired thug who doesn't know who Batman is, is still addicted to Venom, and goes down the minute the Venom tube is cut.
    • Young Justice attempted to fix this a bit by making sure to highlight how intelligent and cunning Bane is. However, his strategic mind apparently came at the cost of his impressive build, and he was very easily defeated in combat by Superboy and Miss Martian.
      • Bane losing a fight to Superboy isn't exactly embarrassing.
      • Getting played for a chump by Kobra and The Light certainly didn't help, either.
    • Looks to be redeemed in The Dark Knight Rises.

Once we determine which Bane is prevalent, we can reinsert that Bane's example, with suitable rewrites.
01:01:04 PM Mar 20th 2012
Because of 4Kids Entertainment and their infamous macekres

Is that meant to be massacre?
09:53:16 AM Mar 28th 2012
edited by SamMax
Unless I'm wrong...NO! Macekre is a Trope. Look at that page for more info if you need it.
02:35:41 PM Jan 14th 2012
edited by PomRania
This troper is taking a course on Greek mythology, and at the beginning of the first lecture the prof mentioned how the story of Herakles is much more interesting than the Disney movie. She didn't mention this trope by name, but that was pretty much what she was saying.
02:28:16 PM Jan 11th 2012

  • The failure of the 1984 Dune movie kept another adaptation away until 2001. This is an odd case since the fantastic visuals, music and bizarre Lynchian dialogue were enough to undergo Pop-Cultural Osmosis and become Fanon in the ensuing vacuum produced by its own failure at the box office.
    • But the film suffered anyway from being incomprehensible to those without prior knowledge, and blasphemy for fans of the book who didn't appreciate Lynch's style, additions and changes.
    • And the 2001 revival didn't quite vindicate the series.

The film didn't really change the way people think about Dune. The book series is still very popular all on its own. More importantly, subsequent adaptations have not followed the Lynch film's lead rather than the books.
02:34:56 PM May 2nd 2013
edited by
  • self-thump, I goofed,
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