raisedplatform: (twisted lip)
out of character

Backtagging/Late tags: Yep!
Threadhopping/Threadjacking: Yep!
Fourthwalling/Canon-puncturing: Aw, sure, go ahead. He'll just go, "Eh?"
Offensive subjects: Try me. I never mind being asked, and probably don't mind just going for it either.

in character - mine

Hugging/Kissing/Flirting with this character: Definitely. ;-) This ain't 1880s Lestrade…
Punching this character: Totally. 'Course he will try to punch back.
Fighting with this character: I think so, yes ;-)
Torturing/Injuring this character: Let's talk it through, but I suspect so!
Killing this character: See above! I wonder how he'd handle being brought back from the dead… why do I have the feeling he'd manage to adjust…

in character - yours

Anything else? We-ell, without going too far outside canon, while he's no Sherlock Holmes, Lestrade is still a detective, and probably has some observational and deductive ability. (Shush, Sherlock.) Anything about you he can/should pick up on? (Again, not superhuman in this, but does have a bit of training.) I'll ask permissions as we go if it should arise! He may also have a tendency, once he sticks his teeth in something, to keep hold of it like a bulldog. If your character, or a situation they're in, is poised to become such a bone... is that okay? Is that wanted? Let me know!
raisedplatform: (missing three-quarter)
Which side of the road, here…?
raisedplatform: (veiled lodger)
Oh, blimey… okay.

Forge channel 0120658, Detective Inspector G. Lestrade. Maybe that position existed here before, maybe it didn't, but I can promise you, it does now. So leave a number. 'm here to help.
raisedplatform: (dying detective)
Out of Character Information


player name: Merry
player livejournal: [personal profile] halflingmerry
playing here:
- Current: Remus Lupin ([personal profile] lumenrelegandus)
- Past: Spike ([personal profile] samianscar), Jane Chatwin ([personal profile] justwatch), Daniel Trepkos ([personal profile] trephaestos)
where did you find us? Aeri! ([personal profile] eisdamme)
are you 16 years of age or older?: Yes

In Character Information


character name: character name: DI Gregory Joseph Lestrade
Fandom: Sherlock
Timeline: End of Sherlock 2x03 "The Reichenbach Fall"
character's age: 41

powers, skills, pets and equipment: Handgun. Scotland Yard ID rank Detective Inspector (fat lot of good may it do here—standard procedure? anywhere?). "Tenacity and determination", to offset any intellectual or deductive lack. —though, in fairness, he is capable, smart enough, and rather courageous. He's just not a superhero like Sherlock. Maybe his one superpower is to stay fairly grounded and pragmatic in the face of insanity.

canon history: From limited evidence, we deduce. Spoiler alert for Sherlock seasons 1 & 2.

"Although he appears thirteen times in the immortal adventures of Sherlock Holmes, nothing is known of [Lestrade's] life outside the Yard…"

~ H. Paul Jeffers, Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard (©1992 Barnes & Noble) p.95

Lestrade's character across the original Holmes omnibus is extremely inconsistent. In the stories and subsequent adaptations, he ranges from endearingly ferretlike to irredeemably oafish. Lestrade in TV's Sherlock is based on his appearance in the story The Six Napoleons, uniquely characterized by this interaction:

We sat in silence for a moment.

"Well," said Lestrade, "I've seen you handle a good many cases, Mr. Holmes, but I don't know that I ever knew a more workmanlike one than that. We're not jealous of you at Scotland Yard. No, sir, we are very proud of you, and if you come down to-morrow, there's not a man, from the oldest inspector to the youngest constable, who wouldn't be glad to shake you by the hand."

"Thank you!" said Holmes. "Thank you!" and as he turned away, it seemed to me that he was more nearly moved by the softer human emotions than I had ever seen him. A moment later he was the cold and practical thinker once more. "[…]Good-bye, Lestrade. If any little problem comes your way, I shall be happy, if I can, to give you a hint or two as to its solution."

~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Six Napoleons," The Complete Sherlock Holmes (©1992 Barnes & Noble) pp. 595-6

So we build on a more competent, kind, and generous possibility of Lestrade.

"Doyle actually describes him as the best of Scotland Yard. If Sherlock weren't around, it would be Lestrade's show; he would be the one you'd want on your case."

~ Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss, commentary track for Sherlock 1x01 "A Study in Pink"

Lestrade is "well-established as a respected policeman with 20 years in the Force before" his first appearance alongside Holmes—in the books, A Study in Scarlet; in the miniseries, A Study in Pink. Their acquaintance predates that story.

Watson: You know him better than I do.
Lestrade: I've known him for five years. And no, I don't.

~Steven Moffat, ASiP

Thus, 15 years doing his own work before the beginning of his working relationship with Holmes.

Since Holmes would (determinedly) never take credit for the cases where Lestrade brought him in, their solution would be attributed solely to Lestrade. This continually, and meteorically, advanced Lestrade's reputation and career.

- Books: In the above quote, Lestrade congratulates Holmes on behalf of all of Scotland Yard, clearly as if they know exactly what Holmes does and what he's done for them. Thus the Yard allow the press to misattribute Holmes's triumphs to Lestrade, due to Holmes's own preferences and the benefit this doubtless has for the Yard as an institution; but within the force, everyone knows the truth of it.
- TV Miniseries: In Sherlock 2x03 "The Reichenbach Fall", allegations against Sherlock force Lestrade to reveal Sherlock's involvement in the Yard's case load to his superior. Lestrade says he is "not the only senior officer" to have used Sherlock as a consultant; but obviously until now they've all done so covertly, unofficially, not informing their superiors. Sure enough, the superior is furious to learn about it, and Lestrade is in trouble.

From both of these sources, a deduction: Lestrade's arrangement with Sherlock is not exploitative nor self-serving. To do it, he must look outside the box (contrary to descriptions of him as unimaginative and slavish to procedure), past personal pride, past Sherlock's insufferable difficult nature, and past regulations, so jeopardizing his own career. He does it for the good of the Yard and when the case requires it, because Lestrade, as a credit to his capability, is aware of his own limitations and of Sherlock's superiority.

Donovan: A footprint. That's all he has. A footprint.
Lestrade: Yeah, well, you know what he's like. CSI: Baker Street.
Donovan: Well, our boys couldn't've done it.
Lestrade: Well, that's why we need him. He's better.

~ Steve Thompson, TRF

Besides, any unfairness in Lestrade being credited for Sherlock's deductions is repaid in Lestrade's hard work interrelating with Sherlock and getting him to cooperate; and, crucially, having to be the liaison between Sherlock and the rest of the Force—and indeed the world.

Carter: Carter.
Lestrade:
Have you heard of Sherlock Holmes?
Carter:
Who?
Lestrade:
Well, you're about to meet him now. This is your case, it's entirely up to you, this is just friendly advice, but… give Sherlock five minutes on your crime scene, and listen to everything he has to say. And as far as possible… try not to punch him.

~ Steven Moffat, Sherlock 2x01 "A Scandal in Belgravia"


Watson:
So why do you put up with him?
Lestrade: Because I'm desperate, that's why. And because Sherlock Holmes is a great man. And I think one day, if we're very, very lucky, he might be a good one.

~ ASiP

Lestrade is the only person within the system (vs. Watson, outside of it, and Mycroft, helping to run it) who recognizes and sees the merit of Sherlock's abilities, and insists on incorporating it. The other policemen we meet—Sally Donovan, Anderson—would be far happier having nothing to do with Sherlock whatsoever, and repeatedly urge not only Lestrade but Watson to "stay away from him", "he'll let you down". [ASiP] Thus, before Watson's arrival to share the load, it's on Lestrade entirely to keep Sherlock involved, also due to Sherlock's disinterest and distaste for the force—and other people in general.

Sherlock: Oh, this is Mycroft, isn't it?
Lestrade: Now look—
Sherlock: Of course it is! One mention of Baskerville and he sends down my… handler to… to… spy on me incognito! Is that why you're calling yourself 'Greg'?
Watson: That's his name.
Sherlock: Is it?
Lestrade: Yes. If you'd ever bothered to find out. Look, I'm not your handler. And I don't just do what your brother tells me.

~ Mark Gatiss, Sherlock 2x02 "The Hounds of Baskerville"

In "Reichenbach Fall", this goes beyond Lestrade being Sherlock's link to police authority and official cases. Where Mycroft, behind the scenes, and Watson, in the thick of it, are unable to sway popular opinion either way, Lestrade proves the linchpin for whether Sherlock is tolerated or vilified.

Moriarty: Hello! Are you ready for the story? This is the story of Sir Boastalot. […] Sir Boastalot was the bravest and cleverest knight of the Round Table. But soon, the other knights began to grow tired of his stories about how brave he was and how many dragons he'd slain. And some of them began to wonder: were Sir Boastalot's stories even true? […] So, one of the knights went to King Arthur and said, 'I don't believe Sir Boastalot's stories. He's just a big old liar who makes things up to make himself look good.'

(cut to Donovan and Anderson coming to Lestrade at his desk.)

Lestrade: You don't seriously believe he's involved, do you?
Anderson: I think we have to entertain the possibility…

(cut to Moriarty)

Moriarty: And the king began to wonder…

(cut to close-up of Lestrade)


~ TRF

Donovan and Anderson have disliked and mistrusted Sherlock all along, but Lestrade has defended him. It's only when King Lestrade finally has his own doubts that events truly turn against Sherlock. A microcosmic reversal later in the episode: Sherlock grabs a gun and shouts at a crowd to get down. No one reacts, until Lestrade yells, "Do as he says!" whereupon they all hit the deck. [TRF] Sherlock has the deductive genius; Lestrade has the legitimacy (and the moral judgment to share/bestow it).

Finally, when Moriarty threatens to kill Sherlock's "only three friends in the world", Sherlock knows he means John Watson, Mrs Hudson, and Lestrade. [TRF] Lestrade is not just one of the only people willing to attempt ongoing interaction with Sherlock; he's one of the only ones able to achieve an actual connection with him.

personality: That Lestrade even takes the time and effort to deal with someone like Sherlock, let alone has this connection, suggests a patience born of something deeper: understanding or sympathy. Specifically, with someone who doesn't get on effortlessly with others.

Lestrade is obviously well-regarded and respected by his co-workers and subordinates, has a rapport with them interpersonally as well as being heeded by them officially (Donovan and Anderson will even do what Sherlock wants them to do if so ordered by Lestrade). For his sake, on his judgment, they'll put up with Sherlock, and Donovan seems as protective of Lestrade himself, as anything else, when she talks of Sherlock letting them down. [ASiP] Lestrade is also pleasant and liked in social settings. [The Christmas party in ASiB; his ongoing rapport with Watson.] However, Lestrade also has a rocky, probably failing marriage [ASiB, THoB]. Lestrade's patience with Sherlock's social dysfunction may be somewhat informed by Lestrade's difficulty in his own intimate relationships. (Not to say Lestrade's dysfunction is similarly pathological, but people get into all sorts of unfortunate situations where dysfunction becomes mutually created.)

For [community profile] scorched purposes, extrapolation: Lestrade's marriage hasn't officially ended but it has certainly failed. He's never had kids, but not by choice. There may even be a miscarriage in the past. He would be a great dad, and would love to have a stable family with kids, but for reasons impossible to definitively attribute, he's never managed it. (The disruptive nature of his work, and his investment in it, no doubt played a part, wreaking havoc with any personal life.) He does seem to have experience dealing with childlike behavior, perhaps in line of work or raising younger siblings. This unrealised fatherly potential can be seen in how he relates to those junior to him, or vulnerable, or troublesome… such as, of course, Sherlock.

Sherlock: This is childish.
Lestrade: Well, I'm dealing with a child.

~ ASiP

Finally (the simplest and most direct commonality with Sherlock), he's a recovering addict (smoker).

why do you feel this character would be appropriate to the setting?
Lestrade is a blokey, down-to-earth, straightforward, and traditionalist sort of guy; apparently unimaginative, and a structure enthusiast; but his relationship with Sherlock shows he also has a uniquely expansive respect for and ability to recognize, accept, and incorporate much broader and more unusual possibilities and kinds of people. He can both contrast and coexist with them, with equal matter-of-factness.

He may develop a recurrent grumble about lack of "standard procedure" but still work hard at whatever needs doing. He'll probably drift toward familiarly structured/functioning characters like Byakuya Kuchiki, Spencer Reid, and Verity Kindle, but will also take on and interact with more exotic and temperamental characters with the same equanimity, interest, and (yes) tenacity as he did Sherlock.

Many of my characters have had involved cerebral and philosophical approaches to the whole premise of the place, and of what happens within it. I'm delighted by the idea of a character who'll be presented with such a morasse, and most likely react thus: "…Okay, then. So what are we doing next?"

Writing Samples


Network Post Sample:
see first post

Third Person Sample:

He slips the mobile/blackberry/science fiction monstrosity into his pocket and unholsters his gun.

 This is what you get, said half a dozen voices of everyone involved, for investing in Sherlock Holmes.

But for trusting him or not trusting him? Or does that bloody matter?

It's hard to register the observation This isn't London so don't deal with it for now. One step at a time or they gang up and can't be stopped. Problem One: he's been knocked out and relocated; and either Sherlock Holmes is behind it after all and this is repayment for not playing along, or this Moriarty supervillain does indeed exist and this what comes of undermining Sherlock, and… not playing along.

Damn you for treating it like a game

He butts his shoulder into a brick wall and holds up his gun, preparing. There's activity around this corner. He listens, trying to gauge how many how big and where and doing what... and so rounds the corner abruptly with his gun fixed dead on.

On a pair of homeless-looking children rifling through a bin. They stare at him in dread.

He instantly flips the gun to point skyward and holds out his other hand, palm open.

"I'm sorry. I'm not gonna hurt you. But listen. Can you tell me where we are?"

The little girl opens her mouth to speak. The little boy instantly clamps his hand over her face and hisses, "We don't greet Scorched."

He frowns. Same word from the mobile/comp… "My name's Greg," he says, "and I don't know what that means but I need your help. Will you help me?"

The girl, who'd already started pulling the boy's hand down from her mouth, looks at him. The boy looks back in warning. She considers, then gives him a shove so he stumbles away.

"I'll help you," she says.

"No!" shouted the boy, starting toward her, like he was going to hit her.

Lestrade instantly steps forward in a more towering warning. The boy falters. The girl takes a few steps closer to Lestrade.

"I'm telling," said the boy. He backsteps into the shadows, and takes off.

Telling who? Maybe not as homeless as they look?

Greg looks down at the girl, who's now staring in renewed fear at his gun.

Either against better judgment but with instinct, or vice versa, he puts the gun back in its holster, and holds out his open hand.

The girl slips her hand into his, with great tentativeness; but when he only barely closes his hand around hers, very gently, no force at all, she abruptly takes the lead and starts tugging him down the street.

"We'll go the clinic," she said. "Then I can bring back food and they can help you."

He stoops to keep his hand in hers without pulling on her; and to stay a little closer to the ground at the renewed reeling in his brain.

Clinic, hospital, Call out to St. Bart's. Sherlock… fell…
 
 

* * *
 
Anything else?
 No pressure on any Sherlock player! This app. is mostly about that relationship because that's most of what canon provides. I'd look forward to Lestrade meeting lots of new people in addition and spreading his focus around.

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DI Lestrade

April 2012

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