Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sherlock Holmes And The Time Patrol

Time Patrolman Manson Everard works to prevent the British agent Altamont from detecting the Time Patrol military studies group during the build up to World War I. Altamont is an alias for Sherlock Homes. Holmes must be prevented from learning about the Patrol because he is a public figure, his exploits recorded by John Watson. Many of Holmes' cases are reported in the Strand magazine and documentation of even more investigations, preserved in a bank vault, will be studied by posterity. Despite the Patrol's efforts, Watson does refer to one Patrol case, involving a barrow at Addleton.

However, during Holmes' long retirement, we are informed of only two investigations, into a German spy ring and the "Lion's Mane," respectively. Since most of this period of Holmes' life remains unrecorded, it would be possible for Patrol agents to interact with him for much of this time without any fear that their existence might become more widely known. Thus, they might consult or even recruit him, as suggested here.

(I reflect on Holmes and Watson because Ketlan, in hospital, reads about their successors, Poirot and Hastings.)


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I like the idea of the Time Patrol recruiting Holmes and becoming an agent himself! And why not Dr. Watson as well? They might both be still alive due to the Patrol's longevity treatments.

And I hope Ketlan is getting better. I'm glad he's well enough to read. I've read some of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot stories, but I don't recall this "Hastings."

I used to be a big mystery reader, but not anymore. It's mostly the Sherlock Holmes stories, plus John Dickson Carr's mysteries, and Robert van Gulik's Judge Dee novels, that I still have. And Chesterton's Fr. Brown and Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey.

Hmmm, I have more than I at first remembered!


S.M. Stirling said...

IIRC, Holmes was in the very first Time Patrol story; it's clear even though he's not mentioned by name. Poul was a lifelong fan of Doyle, of course -- it was his recommendation that got me reading the stories.

David Birr said...

Hastings is the (usual) narrator who is to Poirot as Watson was to Holmes. A few of the stories had someone else take that role.

David Birr said...

Checking Wikipedia AFTER my comment, I discovered that Hastings appears in only 8 out of 33 Poirot novels (he was also in some of the short stories), so "usual narrator" is stretching it.

He was narrator, though, for the first Poirot story, *The Mysterious Affair at Styles*, and for the chronologically last, *Curtain* (also set at the Styles manor), and he WAS, as Wikipedia agrees, very much like Watson in his character and relationship to the detective. I simply overestimated his percentage of appearances.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Yes, we see a VERY Holmes like "private inquiry agent" in Anderson's first story in that series, "Time Patrol." In fact, he has be Sherlock Holmes. All fans of Poul Anderson soon becomes aware of how much he liked Doyle's stories. And I really should reread some of the Holmes stories myself.

Sean M. Brooks

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

I can tell you are more of an Agatha Christie fan than I ever was. Or I simply never read enough of the Poirot stories to notice Hastings.

Truth to say, I liked John Dickson Carr and Dorothy L. Sayers' novels better.


David Birr said...

Actually, no; I DON'T much like Christie's writing and have read very little of it. In particular, I never read *The Mysterious Affair at Styles* and only skimmed a serialization of the last segment of *Curtain*. The only Poirot-with-Hastings story I fully read was a short story, "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim." Knowing that Hastings was in that tale AND both the first and last Poirot novels is what led me to misjudge how often he appeared.

Ketlan said...

"Actually, no; I DON'T much like Christie's writing and have read very little of it."

Uurrgghhh. I think I just had a mild heart attack. :-)

"I hope Ketlan is getting better."

He certainly is, thank you, Sean. Hopefully, I'll be home just in time for Christmas.

David Birr said...

Sorry about the heart attack, Ketlan. Paul said you were reading Christie, but I didn't realize you were a fan, or I'd have been more polite. Some of her values as expressed in the stories just rub me the wrong way. I'm thinking particularly of a non-Poirot story in which at the end, the "heroes" plan to suppress dissent worldwide via a mind-control drug — and this is presented as a good thing....

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Ketlan and DAVID!

Ketlan, I'm glad you are improving so much you hope to be home for Christmas. Good! Apologies if the mere mention of "Agatha Christie" gives you mild heart attacks! (Smiles) I too preferred other mystery writers, some of whom I listed above.

David, I never saw that Cristie story in which a mind controlling drug was presented as a GOOD thing. Yes, that too helps to disincline me from reading her books. Any totalitarian despot like the late, unlamented Fidel Castro would love such a drug!


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Ketlan!

Oops! I reread your comment to me, and I think I just realized you are a fan of Agatha Christie. Apologies!