At 221 B Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes (Igor Petrenko) receives his latest client: Elizabeth Baker (Olga Krasko). Elizabeth believes that she will become the fifth victim of a serial killer. This murderer kills women at night and reminded me of the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Elizabeth thinks she is being stalked by the killer and even receives a handwritten note from him asking for a date. Sherlock convinces her father that she will not come to harm and that she should meet this person at the time and place as mentioned in his note.
This would-be murderer turns out to be one Henry Thomas Calloway. He is apprehended by Holmes and Watson. The court sentences him the death punishment by hanging.
Sherlock deduces that there is more to this case than meets the eye. He sets out with Watson to the Bakers' residence and discover that the family has packed everything and moved out.
Holmes realizes that Henry is innocent and saves him from being hanged to death. Henry confesses that he was in debt for 1200 pounds to a certain Gilbert Roy (Leonid Timtsunik).
Henry finds an unlikely rescuer in the form of one Bernard Buckley, who offers him the amount if Henry will follow and eventually make Elizabeth Baker fall in love with him.
Holmes deduces that Buckley is none other than Professor Moriarty himself. Now, Sherlock and Dr Watson have to apprehend the mysterious Gilbert Roy.
1. Dr Watson asks Sherlock if only puzzles interest him and not the human involved. Sherlock replies that the concerned person is distant to him and is just a part of the puzzle - In The Sign of the Four, Sherlock Holmes does not notice the physical beauty of his client, Mary Morstan and explains to Dr Watson: “A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning”.
2. Henry Calloway's physical appearance and simplicity in reciting his background and the way the people around him reacted with suppressed laughter - This reminded me of Jabez Wilson from The Adventure of the Red-Headed League. In this original story, Jabez is a simpleton who was duped by his new employee, Vincent Spaulding/John Clay by a patently obvious lie. Holmes and Watson fought hard to suppress their laughter while listening to his story at 221 B.
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3. The way Holmes predicts that Buckley wears glasses with blue lenses and Henry's complete surprise - In The Adventure of the Retired Colorman, Sherlock Holmes leaves Dr Watson stunned by his description of Mr. Barker as a tall, dark, heavily mustached man, you say, with gray-tinted sun-glasses. Holmes knew the Surrey detective from past encounters.
4. Gilbert Roy uses a poisoned dart to kill his victims including the notary, Robert Kibby - In The Sign of the Four, Tonga is an pygmy Andaman Islander and the trusted ally of Jonathan Small. Tonga uses poison darts to kill Bartholomew Sholto and makes an unsuccessful attempt on the lives of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson during the chase on River Thames.
5. When Sherlock mentions the name of Moriarty as being the person responsible, everyone at the Scotland Yard laugh at him out of disbelief. Inspector Lestrade also mentions that there is no police files maintained for such a name anywhere in the world. - In The Valley of Fear, when Sherlock Holmes mentions the name of Professor Moriarty as being the mastermind behind the murder of John Douglas of Birlstone Manor House, Dr Watson records the Scotland Yard Inspector's reaction as thus: “Inspector MacDonald smiled, and his eyelid quivered as he glanced towards me. "I won't conceal from you, Mr. Holmes, that we think in the C.I.D. that you have a wee bit of a bee in your bonnet over this professor. I made some inquiries myself about the matter. He seems to be a very respectable, learned, and talented sort of man." ”
6. Sherlock instructs Inspector Lestrade to find the theater actors who impersonated as Elizabeth Baker's parents - In A Study in Scarlet, after he is duped by the elderly “Mrs. Sawyer” who claims that the ring belongs to her daughter, Holmes explains to Dr Watson: “Old woman be damned!... We were the old women to be so taken in. It must have been a young man, and an active one, too, besides being an incomparable actor. The get-up was inimitable.”
7. Sherlock deduces the brand of tobacco (smoked by Mr Bishop) as “Dorwood's Special”. Later, he deduces the cigar (retrieved by Dr Watson from Gilbert Roy's office) to be of “The Royal Caribbean” brand -
Sherlock Holmes states to Dr John Watson in The Sign of the Four: “...Yes, I have been guilty of several monographs. They are all upon technical subjects. Here, for example, is one 'Upon the Distinction between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccoes.' In it I enumerate a hundred and forty forms of cigar-, cigarette-, and pipe-tobacco, with colored plates illustrating the difference in the ash. It is a point which is continually turning up in criminal trials, and which is sometimes of supreme importance as a clue.”
8. When Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson surprise Mrs Hudson by coming through the backdoor, she gets angry and threatens that not only will she take away his key, but also will change the lock itself. Holmes replies that he has a latchkey to every lock - In The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, Holmes explains to Dr Watson: “You know, Watson, I don't mind confessing to you that I have always had an idea that I would have made a highly efficient criminal....This is a first-class, up-to-date burgling kit, with nickel-plated jemmy, diamond-tipped glass-cutter, adaptable keys, and every modern improvement which the march of civilization demands.”
9. Sherlock Holmes does some chemical experiments and figures out that the dart used by Gilbert Roy contained Mertsius, which happens to be a poison of an Australian frog - In A Study in Scarlet, Dr Watson mentions that Sherlock Holmes is “Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally.”
The acting continues to be solid all around. Olga Krasko and Leonid Timtsunik are the guest stars in this episode. Both of them do a great job in their respective roles.
The constant bickering between Sherlock and Inspector Lestrade are the highlights of this episode. The way Sherlock bargains with Lestrade for time to solve the mystery and the way he scolds Lestrade for not doing the due diligence necessary to catch the real killer was classic Holmes.
However, one point where the episode falters is in showing Sherlock Holmes' fighting skills. In the Canon, both Holmes and Dr Watson are able fighters, more than capable of taking care of themselves in a confrontation.
In the first episode, Dr Watson dispatches no less than four street toughs easily and then beats a much bigger opponent in a boxing match. But this time, he is unable to defeat Gilbert Roy and even the added presence of Sherlock is not enough to turn the odd in our heroes' favor.
But then, the episode would have been over, had Roy been apprehended right then.
This lack of fighting skills on the part of Petrenko's Holmes is a significant deviation from the Canonical version, who is a skilled boxer.
However, Dr Watson acquits himself when he helps the police catch the fleeing Gilbert by shooting him in the leg correctly, proving his sharpshooter skills.
The growing attraction between Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson is portrayed subtly but effectively.
The sets and costumes are top notch. Kudos to the team for their dedication. The show has a light tone and a strong sense of humor. The references to Alphonse Bertillon and Francis Galton were a nice touch. As was the kid wearing the deerstalker.
Highly recommended to fans of Sherlock Holmes.
Special thanks to Spiritcc for the high resolution pictures.
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