the-gherkin

I bought this poster at the Sherlocked con – not least because there’s the Gherkin right next to John, the building I’m a tiny little bit obsessed with since I read it as a symbol of Sherlock’s awakening sexuality and his love interest, John.
What I didn’t notice until steficek-knedlicek pointed it out to me: Sherlock is wearing a chequered shirt. 

He is, indeed. But since when does Sherlock wear chequered shirts?! As far as I remember, he never does throughout the whole series, but John does quite frequently – for example during their first meeting at St Bart’s. So now they’re wearing matching clothes in the promo posters? Lovely!

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London Illustrated Map - London Print - City Map Poster- British Art

Detailed illustrated map print of London, England. Featuring Big Ben, St Paul’s, The London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Shard, The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, The Olympic Park and of course, Buckingham Palace! All of these elements make this the perfect London poster / wall decor for you home.

High quality print of original illustration on thick paper.

A3 size 297 x 420 mm

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Protective cellophane and card packaging for posting.
A3 print is likely to be posted in poster tube.

The Gherkin revisited

Here are the gifs from the opening titles I promised in my last post, reblogging kinklock’s list of expected sexual innuendo. Just look at the Gherkin rising through John’s head.

Opening titles, season 2:

(note the newspaper headline: Sherlock & John)

Opening titles, season 3:

I find it hard to imagine a more blatant erection visual metaphor.

The Gherkin in the opening titles

As an addendum to my mini meta about the Gherkin in the opening titles of seasons two and three, here are some more remarks on the Gherkin’s appearance in the opening titles of all seasons. If you’re new to my Gherkin metas, maybe you’d like to start with older metas before reading on: Sherlock and the Gherkin; (TBB) The Gherkin revisited (mini meta); The Gherkin once more (TEH).

Season one:
There’s no Gherkin in the beginning, after the shot of Piccadilly Circus at night (it’s going to be there for Season three, that’s why I mention its non-appearance). It first appears after a shot showing a part of van Coon’s face (shot), quite large, but you only see the top part of it in the right half of the frame; the next shot shows the complete building in the middle of the frame, “Bomber” written across it. You then read “Connection”, as we get to see Sherlock’s perspective in TBB when he’s standing on the ledge outside Sir William Shad’s office and looking down the entire length of the building. Note the vertiginous camera movement.

Well, here are my associations: “Bomber” (menace/Moriarty) and “Connection” (synonym: relationship) are held together by a phallic symbol. Either we go with the rather general interpretation of “Bomber” as a menace, thus deducing that sexual relationships pose a threat to Sherlock (emphasised by the camera movement: they are something Sherlock doesn’t feel comfortable with). Or, if we prefer the more specific association of the bomber with Moriarty (who, after all, is the bomber in TGG), we get hints towards Moriarty’s sexual interest in Sherlock.

Season two:

Still no Gherkin in the beginning, but then you see a shot of John, first crossfading with the passport of the dead man in the boot, then with the Gherkin (rising through John’s head) and a newspaper article headed “Sherlock and J[ohn Watson] Blogger Detec[tives]. You get the dizzying camera movement from season one still crossfading with John’s face. It’s very hard to notice these details on screen, as it all happens in less than two seconds – you really have to look at it frame by frame, so here again are some screenshots:

(Look, Sherlock’s hand is holding John’s face!)

(Now the Gherkin is situatied between John and Sherlock’s thumb)

(I love this last frame, because it’s a perfect visual equivalent of a chiasmus – a rhetorical figure arranging words in the form of a cross to emphasise them. In this case the chiasmus consists of the words “Sherlock & John” from the newspaper heading, under which you can see pictures of John and Sherlock. The same persons, just in reverse order.)

As opposed to the opening titles of season one, the Gherkin is now clearly linked with John, as is by consequence the vertigo Sherlock may experience due to any romantic feelings towards him.

Season three:
Between the shot of Piccadilly Circus at night and London by day, there’s now a shot of a few buildings at dawn, including the statue of Justice on top of the Old Bailey and the Gherkin. It could be just another iconic view of modern London, but keep in mind that this is what Sherlock looks at when he returns to London in THE. It denotes work (the statue of Justice) and sex (the Gherkin) – Sherlock’s life so far and the future he may be hoping for when he prepares to meet John.

The crossfading of John’s face and the Gherkin is much clearer now, since the passport and the newspaper aren’t there any more (only the words “Sherlock Net Tec”). Immediately before, we see a shot of Sherlock running up the stairs towards John’s face – another beautiful visual combination of the two protagonists.

Note that the vertiginous camera movement is still there, so even though Sherlock was probably thinking about having sex with John before meeting him after his two years’ absence, the idea is still somewhat frightening.

I wonder what the opening titles of season four and five are going to look like. Maybe the camera movement looking down the length of the Gherkin is going to slow down or stop before you see the ground, not causing vertigo anymore? In any case, I expect the Gherkin to appear in prominent places in the opening titles again.

Let me resume my interpretation of the Gherkin in the opening titles:
Season one: Sexuality as a whole threatens Sherlock.
Season two: Sexual feelings towards John unsettle Sherlock.
Season three: Sherlock’s sexual feelings towards John become more obvious, but are still disconcerting.