For the first time, we have a modern update to one of the original stories - The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.
This week's case is courtesy of Holmes' sponsor Alfredo (Ato Essandoh). Alfredo's own sponsor Ken Whitman (Thomas Jay Ryan), is one of Milverton's blackmail victims. Ken's daughter Eva (Portia Reiners) has been drugged and raped by one Brent Garvey (Tom Guiry).
Milverton (David Mogentale) gets his materials by buying old storage units. In the original story, Milverton paid housemaids/valets to obtain sensitive information.
Holmes breaks into Milverton's house to recover the material(s). Holmes unwittingly becomes a witness to Milverton's murder by an unknown assailant.
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One of the other victim's father, Anthony Pistone (Joseph Siravo) has been arrested for trying to bury Milverton's body.
I will leave it to the readers to find out more details for themselves.
- The character of Charles Augustus Milverton is the antagonist in the story The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.
- Miller's Holmes refers to Milverton as being "more despicable than even murderers" - Reference to this Iine spoken by Holmes about Milverton in the story, The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton: "....I would ask you how could one compare the ruffian, who in hot blood bludgeons his mate, with this man, who methodically and at his leisure tortures the soul and wrings the nerves in order to add to his already swollen money-bags?"
- Miller's Holmes breaks into Milverton's house to recover some materials and becomes an unwitting witness to his murder - In the story, The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, the same thing happens except that Holmes is accompanied by Watson.
- Holmes compliments Eva Whitman on her violin playing skills - Reference to Holmes being a good violin player as mentioned in A Study in Scarlet
- Holmes wakes Joan from her sleep to discuss about the case - In the Canon, it has happened in many cases – either due to the sudden visit by a client (The Adventure of the Speckled Band) or after Holmes has had a sudden brainwave (The Man with the Twisted Lip)
- Joan mentions beehives in a discussion about pets with Holmes - Watson mentions that Holmes has taken to bee-farming in The Adventure of the Second Stain. In His Last Bow, Sherlock Holmes has written a book: “Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.”
- Holmes is seen listening to a police transmissions scanner- The Canonical Holmes read the agony columns in the papers for potential cases.
- Holmes makes some deductions based on the paper quality - Holmes makes deductions about paper quality in several stories inclucing A Scandal in Bohemia.
- Holmes uses handwriting analysis as part of his investigation - The Canonical Holmes used handwriting analysis to solve crimes in A Case of Identity and The Reigate Puzzle.
- Miller's Holmes states that he has "no interest in in public celebrations, speeches, encouragements or the bestowing of chips" - Watson mentions in The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot: "...I have continually been faced by difficulties caused by his own aversion to publicity. To his sombre and cynical spirit all popular applause was always abhorrent,..."
- Holmes recognizes the scent of cat litter at Milverton's house - Holmes mentions in The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier: "I have, as my friend Watson may have remarked, an abnormally acute set of senses, and a faint but incisive scent was apparent."
- Holmes refers to his tattoo needle as the "only needle these arms see anymore" - Reference to the Canonical Holmes' use of cocaine injection using needles
I felt that more emphasis was laid on Holmes' drug addiction than on the mystery element. Despite having a number of references to the original stories, the episode was not very interesting.
We learn that Miller's Holmes is
- an accomplished tattoo artist
Miller's Holmes describes himself as being as "stealthy as a shadow". The Canonical Holmes has often shown that he has acute senses of sight, hearing and smell. This would be a logical extension of his skill sets.
Miller's Holmes also shows his knowledge of British history. He uses the metric unit "kgs" - another reference to his British nature.
Joan Watson does her own detective work by listening to scanners. She makes a deduction about the shoe size of the killer from the boot prints on a corpse. Holmes also refers to both of them as being consultants for the NYPD and even refers to her "former" career as a sober companion.
Alfredo too does some surveillance work.
Gregson and Bell do not have much to do in this episode. We do learn that Captain Gregson has daughters, a fact that Holmes utilizes to his advantage.
- The song "Cello Suite No.1 Prelude" by Johann Sebastian Bach is played by the character of Eva Whitman when Holmes interrupts her.
- Joan gifts Holmes lines from the poem "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
- The song "Two Trains" by Yo La Tengo is played in the aforementioned gifting scene
If this episode is any indication, I think it would be best for the writers to stick to writing original stories. Some of the best episodes so far (Child Predator, M and The Deductionist) are examples to support this theory.
Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Steve Thompson are doing a great job at giving us modern updates of the classic stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.
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|Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes|
|Canonical References in BBC Sherlock|