Monday, September 15, 2014

BBC Sherlock Canonical References in Season 2 Episode # 1 "A Scandal in Belgravia"

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in BBC Sherlock Season 2 A Scandal in Belgravia

Dear Readers,

After a significant gap, we return for another post about the Canonical References in BBC Sherlock. 

Scripted by Steven Moffat, “A Scandal in Belgravia” is based on the original story: A Scandal in Bohemia.  Here are the references to Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories:

1. John is seen typing about a case involving a pleasure cruise – In The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, Sherlock Holmes mentions to Dr John Watson: “Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson,” said Holmes in a reminiscent voice. “It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared…”.

2. John Watson is seen typing the details for a case titled The Geek Interpreter - Reference to the Canonical Story: The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter.

3. John Watson is seen typing the details for a case titled The Speckled Blonde - Reference to the Canonical Story: The Adventure of the Speckled Band.

4. When Sherlock asks John not to mention the unsolved ones on his blog, John replies: “People want to know you are human” – Reference to this line spoken by Dr John Watson in The Sign of the Four: “There is something positively inhuman in you at times.”

Click on the link below to buy your copy of Season 2:

5. John points out to Sherlock about the success of his blog and advises him: “This is your living, Sherlock. Not 240 different types of tobacco ash” – This is a bit far-fetched, but this reminded me of the advice given by Trevor Sr. to Sherlock Holmes about being a detective in The Adventure of the Gloria Scott: “I don't know how you manage this, Mr. Holmes, but it seems to me that all the detectives of fact and of fancy would be children in your hands. That's you line of life, sir, and you may take the word of a man who has seen something of the world.”

6. Sherlock asks John if he is going to title their latest case as “Belly Button Murders”. John replies: The Navel Treatment” and Sherlock groans audibly –

Sherlock Holmes writes about Dr Watson's writing style in The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier: “..since I have often had occasion to point out to him how superficial are his own accounts and to accuse him of pandering to popular taste instead of confining himself rigidly to facts and figures.”

Sherlock Holmes tells Dr John Watson in The Adventure of the Abbey Grange: “Your fatal habit of looking at everything from the point of view of a story instead of as a scientific exercise has ruined what might have been an instructive and even classical series of demonstrations. You slur over work of the utmost finesse and delicacy, in order to dwell upon sensational details which may excite, but cannot possibly instruct, the reader.” 

Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson in 221 B Baker Street in BBC Sherlock

7. Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs) discovers some severed thumbs in the fridge –

Dr John Watson writes about Mrs Hudson in The Adventure of the Dying Detective: “Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of Sherlock Holmes, was a long-suffering woman.”
Possible reference to the Canonical story, The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb in which Victor Hatherley, the titular hydraulic engineer has his thumb severed by Colonel Lysander Stark.

8. A highly palpitating client faints in front of Mrs Hudson – In the Canon, many clients are exhausted by the time they arrive at 221 B Baker Street. Holmes/Dr Watson have to revive their strength, sometimes with the help of brandy. Examples - Thorneycroft Huxtable in The Adventure of the Priory School and Alexander Holder in The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet.

9. Sherlock instructs his prospective client: “Tell us from the start. Don’t be boring” – Sherlock Holmes comments about the nature of Lord Robert St. Simon's impending visit in
The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor: “This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.”

10. Sherlock questions the DI Carter (Danny Webb) as to why his suspect would call the police and consult a detective, if he had really committed the murder successfully without an eyewitness. Carter replies: “He is trying to be clever. It’s over confidence.” – In
The Adventure of the Retired Colorman, Sherlock Holmes explains the reasons for Josiah Amberley hiring his services, even though he has murdered his wife and Dr Ray Ernest: “He felt so clever and so sure of himself that he imagined no one could touch him. He could say to any suspicious neighbour, "Look at the steps I have taken. I have consulted not only the police but even Sherlock Holmes."”.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in BBC Sherlock Season 2 A Scandal in Belgravia

11. Sherlock's observation that his client has “the right sleeve of an Internet porn addict”. Later, he deduces that he is being summoned to Buckingham Palace by observing the finger nails, boots and other details of Mycroft's agent - Sherlock Holmes writes in A Study in Scarlet: By a man's finger nails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boot, by his trouser knees, by the callosities of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirt cuffs—by each of these things a man's calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail to enlighten the competent enquirer in any case is almost inconceivable.

12. Sherlock deduces that his client has “the breathing pattern of an untreated heart condition” - In The Adventure of the Norwood Builder, Sherlock Holmes deduces that John Hector McFarlane is an asthmatic by observing his breathing.

13. Harry, the Equerry (Andrew Havill) makes the statement: “Client is illustrious in the extreme.” – Reference to the title of the Canonical Story: The Adventure of the Illustrious Client.

14. Sherlock refuses to take the case without knowing the identify of his client by stating: “I am used to mystery at one end of my cases. Both ends is too much work.” - In The Adventure of the Illustrious Client, Sherlock Holmes states to Colonel Sir James Damery: “I am accustomed to have mystery at one end of my cases, but to have it at both ends is too confusing. I fear, Sir James, that I must decline to act.”

15. Harry mentions that his employer enjoys John's blog and in particular the story of The Aluminium Crutch – In The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual, Sherlock Holmes brings out the large tin box and explains its contents to Dr Watson: Here's the record of the Tarleton murders, and the case of Vamberry, the wine merchant, and the adventure of the old Russian woman, and the singular affair of the aluminum crutch, as well as a full account of Ricoletti of the club-foot, and his abominable wife.

Lara Pulver as Irene Adler in BBC Sherlock Season 2 Episode 1 A Scandal in Belgravia

16. Sherlock explains to John about getting prepared for their meeting with Irene Adler (Lara Pulver): “I am going into battle, John. I need the right armor” – In The Sign of the Four, Sherlock Holmes explains about the importance of disguises to Scotland Yard Inspector, Athelney Jones: “You see, a good many of the criminal classes begin to know me,—especially since our friend here took to publishing some of my cases: so I can only go on the war-path under some simple disguise like this..”.

17. Sherlock’s first words with Irene Adler: “Ms Adler, I presume” – This reminded me of A Study in Scarlet, in which Sherlock Holmes’ first words with Dr John Watson are “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive”.

18. Sherlock explains to Irene Adler: “Noises are important. Noises can tell you everything” – In The Adventure of the Three Gables, Sherlock Holmes deduces that Susan is overhearing his conversation by listening. He explains: “I have been listening to her for the last five minutes, but did not wish to interrupt your most interesting narrative. Just a little wheezy, Susan, are you not? You breathe too heavily for that kind of work.”

19. Sherlock utters “Vatican cameos” just as he starts to fight the agents at Irene's place – In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes mentions as being “exceedingly preoccupied by that little affair of the Vatican cameos”.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in BBC Sherlock Season 2 A Scandal in Belgravia

20. Sherlock Holmes uses “The Process of Elimination” to guess the name of Watson’s current girlfriend, Jeanette (Oona Chaplin). – Hilarious reference to Sherlock Holmes’ classic quote from The Sign of the Four: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

21. At 221 B Baker Street, Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) remarks about Sherlock complaining about John’s absence – Sherlock Holmes writes in The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier: “The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association. I was alone.”

22. Irene Adler fakes her death by passing off a dead body with a “bashed in head” as her own corpse - Possible reference to the plot of The Valley of Fear. In this novel, John Douglas/Birdy Edwards kills Ted Baldwin by bashing his head in with a hammer and then tries to get away by using Ted’s dead body as his own. 

I will be posting the rest of the references in the next post.

Click here to read all my posts about BBC Sherlock.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here

Image Sources: BBC Wales, Hartswood Films, Masterpiece Theatre

No comments:

Post a Comment