Sunday, 27 April 2014

Elementary Mistakes

We have just finished catching up with the rest of the world by watching season one of Elementary.  A show that has a lot to offer the viewer, but some of the mistakes made by the writers bring the show down in comparison to Sherlock.

One thing that threw me out of one of the episodes occurred in the opening set up of One Way to Get Off where the perpetrator of a crime uses a Mauser C96.  Probably the more common 9mm version, but all the same not a pistol one is likely to find being used in a crime, because it's a historic collectors piece that costs a small fortune to own.

In the episode Details Sherlock describes a pistol as a Colt 9mm.  No, really not, a 45 ACP yes, but as the pistol was clearly a Beretta 9mm; note the distinctive manufacturer logo in the picture I linked to, which I'm sure Sherlock would pick up on.  That, and the name being engraved on the side of the frame too would be a clincher I think.  From the same episode Sherlock says Detective Bell was shot at while driving his car by someone using an MP5 semi-automatic converted to fire fully automatic.  Again no, not really, the MP5, is an automatic sub-machine gun (1).  It comes out the box as an automatic.  I kind of expect an American show that features guns to get the nomenclature correct, call me fussy like that.  In a British show this could be forgiven, because we're British and clearly know nothing about guns.

In the episode Possibility Two they talk about the "Warrior" gene that makes sociopaths.  Yet genes, while present, are not always expressed.  Even when they are socio-cultural mores are a far greater indicator of the likelihood of a person becoming a sociopath.  Dr. Watson would have known this, even if Sherlock doesn't.  It's the whole nature versus nurture argument, and the answer remains that both have equal influence on a persons behaviours.

In the episode The Deductionist, "Profiling" is derided, but for the wrong reasons.  It's a descriptive process, not a prescriptive one, but it does have some actuarial evidence base.  Also, in the scene when Dr. Watson is talking to her therapist I tend to gag at the cliches, and some of the dialogue the therapist demonstrates poor boundary keeping while accusing Dr. Watson of not being professional with Sherlock.

However, Lucy Lui is excellent, and I will keep watching the show as it is addictive.

My partner has been off for the last two weeks and as a result I've been slacking off too.  So I only did one days worth of editing, so the novel stands at 91,600, with 1,716 words revised and 179 new ones added, which doesn't really mean a lot, but I did one days work.  Back to reality next week.

Finally, if Scotland secedes from the Union, given that Cornwall is now its own thing, perhaps we will see a new Union Jack with red, white and black.

OTOH the Welsh will probably want a say in a new Union Jack, but green with red, yuck.  Black for the win as they say on the internets.

(1) FYI...

The MP5SFA2 (SF – single-fire) was developed in 1986 in response to the American FBI solicitation for a "9mm Single-fire Carbine." It is the same as the MP5A2 but is fitted with an ambidextrous semi-automatic only trigger group. The MP5SFA3 is similar except it has a retractable metal stock like the MP5A3.

However, as the single fire version was solicited for the FBI I rest my case.


  1. I get the feeling that Elementary is written by a group of Hollywood ostriches who are not only willfully ignorant of firearms, but perversely proud of that fact. Unfortunately, when you're writing a show about the greatest fictional detective of all time -- one who could tell you the brand and national origin of a cigar by the ash it left behind (prior to the invention of mass spectroscopy) -- the net effect is to make him look like a simpleton. Recently, Watson was dumbfounded to learn that ammunition is actually reloadable, while Sherlock used this clue to zero in on one of a "small number" of people who reload their own ammo. Millions of people reload their own ammo. This continued ignorance, plus the persistent meme that corporations are responsible for the majority of society's evils, makes the show less and less entertaining as time drags on.

    1. You could be right. I think that people don't know what they don't know, and writers forget that they need to get things right, because they fall into the bad habit of assuming something is right, because they read or saw it in another story.

      My big bugbear is shots being fired in a room or enclosed space and everyone still talking like nothing has happened. It's just plain lazy story telling.

      The I remind myself it's not a documentary, and try and calm down; have a cup of tea or something, because life's too short to be worrying about what others do or say or write etc.