From: ep. 1.2
Character: Sebastian Wilkes, of Shad Sanderson bank. He of the “floppy hair that bellows ‘Eton.'”(1) He knew Sherlock in college, noticed how he had his deductive skills already in place, though he used them mainly to know who’d been shagging whom. He hires Sherlock to investigate a bank break in.
Reference: Holmes has taken on jobs from two former fellow students in his early days of detecting. One is Reginald Musgrave, of delightful treasure-hunt story “The Musgrave Ritual”–he remembers Holmes’ skills from their school days and comes to him specifically because of it. He’s an aristocrat, and Seb from the ep does fill that mold in a modern way as a bank director and Eton kid. Here’s Holmes’ description of Musgrave:
“Reginald Musgrave had been in the same college as myself, and I had some slight acquaintance with him. He was not generally popular among the undergraduates, though it always seemed to me that what was set down as pride was really an attempt to cover extreme natural diffidence. In appearance he was a man of an exceedingly aristocratic type, thin, high-nosed, and large-eyed, with languid and yet courtly manners. … Once or twice we drifted into talk, and I can remember that more than once he expressed a keen interest in my methods of observation and inference.”
The other school buddy Holmes helps is Victor Trevor, during school in fact, before it even occurred to him he could put his deductive gifts to professional use. He is plunged into a mystery as he’s on a visit to his friend’s house (again, an aristo whose father has a lurid past). Here’s Holmes’ description of Trevor (and along with it, we get a little treat of Holmes’ personality and personal life):
“You never heard me talk of Victor Trevor?” he asked. “He was the only friend I made during the two years I was at college. I was never a very sociable fellow, Watson, always rather fond of moping in my rooms and working out my own little methods of thought, so that I never mixed much with the men of my year. Bar fencing and boxing I had few athletic tastes, and then my line of study was quite distinct from that of the other fellows, so that we had no points of contact at all. Trevor was the only man I knew, and that only through the accident of his bull terrier freezing on to my ankle one morning as I went down to chapel.
“It was a prosaic way of forming a friendship, but it was effective. I was laid by the heels for ten days, but Trevor used to come in to inquire after me. At first it was only a minute’s chat, but soon his visits lengthened, and before the end of the term we were close friends. He was a hearty, full-blooded fellow, full of spirits and energy, the very opposite to me in most respects, but we had some subjects in common, and it was a bond of union when I found that he was as friendless as I. Finally, he invited me down to his father’s place at Donnithorpe, in Norfolk, and I accepted his hospitality for a month of the long vacation.”
Side note: the spray-painted code that’s the central mystery of ep. 1.2 is a reference to two codes Holmes has broken: one is the symbolic dancing men in the story of that name, and the other is the finding of the words on pages of a specific book, one that everyone owns, from novel The Valley of Fear.
(1) This from the stage directions in the screenplay. FYI: you can download the script for The Blind Banker from Sherlockology. I wish they had more…