Dr. Watson

The More You Holmes

From: 2.1

Line: MORIARTY: (text message)  Dear me, Mr. Holmes. Dear me…







Reference: In The Valley of Fear, Holmes receives a telegram from a sinister anonymous sender (Holmes knows it’s Moriarty) with this very message on it, just after he discovers the former Pinkerton agent tried to fake his death and hide from his pursuers. Watson laughs at the message, thinking it a joke, but Holmes knows better–and sure enough, he learns of the man’s death at sea shortly thereafter.IMG_0004

In the episode, it’s a modern equivalent of a telegram (a text message) sent from Moriarty to Mycroft, not Sherlock, Holmes, to inform him his plans are known and therefore foiled. No murders result from it, though there is lots of intrigue.



First Post on Sherlock’s Home

Hi lovely lurkers! Say, I’ve started to contribute writings to a website called Sherlock’s Home. Here’s an excerpt from my first post there. Find the rest here.   ~Jenn

I have to give these ladies major props for doing something I would have LOVED to do myself but haven’t. So no matter what else I think about this series so far, major kudos is in order. Good on you guys for adding your bit to the huge Sherlockian canon that’s currently out there.

The More You Holmes

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 his20140716-114236-42156940.jpg 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…

The More You Holmes

From: ep. 3.3 (but also 3.1 and .2 a little)

Character: Charles Augustus Magnusson

Reference: Charles Augustus Milverton is the nefarious villain in the short story named after him. Holmes despises him almost more than he ever hated Moriarty, and goes to great lengths to bring him down. Thing is, he’s not the one that brings him down in fact–he’s in hiding in Milverton’s room when he witnesses a female victim of Milverton’s shoot him dead. Sound familiar? In ep. 3.3, Sherlock breaks in to Magnusson’s place (interestingly enough, the same way he does in the original story: by becoming engaged to his P.A. [in the story, it’s a scullery maid in Milverton’s household]) and does indeed witness the gun-threatening of Magnusson by a female victim of his. Of course, this doesn’t turn out the same way as the original story….

For fun, here’s Doyle’s Holmes describing Charles Augustus Milverton. I think the Sherlock series’ portrayal of Magnusson nailed the combination of sliminess and smoothness and power that Holmes describes. What do you think? 

“Who is he?” I asked.

“The worst man in London,” Holmes answered, as he sat down and stretched his legs before the fire. “Is anything on the back of the card?”

I turned it over.

“Will call at 6.30—C.A.M.,” I read.

“Hum! He’s about due. Do you feel a creeping, shrinking sensation, Watson, when you stand before the serpents in the Zoo and see the slithery, gliding, venomous creatures, with their deadly eyes and wicked, flattened faces? Well, that’s how Milverton impresses me. I’ve had to do with fifty murderers in my career, but the worst of them never gave me the repulsion which I have for this fellow. And yet I can’t get out of doing business with him—indeed, he is here at my invitation.”

“But who is he?”

“I’ll tell you, Watson. He is the king of all the blackmailers. Heaven help the man, and still more milv2the woman, whose secret and reputation come into the power of Milverton. With a smiling face and a heart of marble he will squeeze and squeeze until he has drained them dry. The fellow is a genius in his way, and would have made his mark in some more savoury trade. His method is as follows: He allows it to be known that he is prepared to pay very high sums for letters which compromise people of wealth or position. He receives these wares not only from treacherous valets or maids, but frequently from genteel ruffians who have gained the confidence and affection of trusting women. He deals with no niggard hand. I happen to know that he paid seven hundred pounds to a footman for a note two lines in length, and that the ruin of a noble family was the result. Everything which is in the market goes to Milverton, and there are hundreds in this great city who turn white at his name. No one knows where his grip may fall, for he is far too rich and far too cunning to work from hand to mouth. He will hold a card back for years in order to play it at the moment when the stake is best worth winning. I have said that he is the worst man in London, and 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?”

I had seldom heard my friend speak with such intensity of feeling.

“But surely,” said I, “the fellow must be within the grasp of the law?”

“Technically, no doubt, but practically not. What would it profit a woman, for example, to get him a few months’ imprisonment if her own ruin must immediately follow? His victims dare not hit back. If ever he blackmailed an innocent person, then, indeed, we should have him; but he is as cunning as the Evil One. No, no; we must find other ways to fight him.”

Notice the signature of “C.A.M.?” Notice the look on Mary Morstan’s face when Sherlock reads the telegram from a “Cam” at the wedding in ep. 3.2? Yeah? Yeah me too.



The More You Holmes

From: ep. 2.2, 1.3

Event: Okay, let’s do two events that both show up in “The Blue Carbuncle,” shall we? I was reminded of these by the last MYH post here and a friend that is reading the story now.20140716-114236-42156940.jpg

Reference From 1.3: Sherlock hands the sneaker–sorry, trainer— to John, asking him to use his methods and tell him what he sees. John sees a couple things, for which Sherlock first compliments him and then tells him he’s “missed everything of importance” (a line from “A Case of Identity, btw). This echoes the very beginning of “Blue Carbuncle” when Watson comes in to find Holmes in contemplation of an old bowler hat, which he then extends to Watson to test his skills.

Reference From 2.2: Sherlock notices a betting sheet in Fletcher’s pocket, and so starts a conversation including a fake bet with Watson in order to get information from an otherwise reluctant source. This happens in “Blue Carbuncle” with the goose-seller, and it’s a delightfully humorous scene, performed especially well by the Jeremy Brett Holmes and ensemble (I have embedded the entire episode below for your viewing pleasure).

The More You Holmes

From: ep 2.2


Character Names: Most major characters in this episode are named directly from the novel on which this episode is based: The Hound of the Baskervilles. Below are the character names and parallels in the story:

Henry Knight: The young heir to Baskerville Hall is named Sir Henry, and he is the inheritor of the house as well as the curse of the Hound from his father. The fact that young Henry’s surname is Knight is obviously a nod to his title in the book.

Corporal Lyons: Laura Lyons is a pivotal character in the book, having vital information about the murderer.

Major Barrymore: Barrymore is the butler at Baskerville Hall, and sports a square-cut black beard. Major Barrymore is similarly in charge of Baskerville the lab, and similarly sour in temperament as well. A delightful tidbit from the Blu-Ray commentary is that of course being in the Army, Barrymore would not have been allowed to have his beard, but the creators made him have one anyway, to more closely resemble his book counterpart.

Dr. Frankland: The bombastic father of Laura Lyons is fond of lawsuits and owner of a big telescope, which is very

Who is following Holmes and Watson in London? A black-bearded stranger...

Who is following Holmes and Watson in London? A black-bearded stranger…

helpful at one point of the story.

Dr. Stapleton: Mr. Stapleton is a naturalist (sort of close to the scientist the female version is in the ep), and lives on the moor with a woman he calls his wife, but neither ends up being what they seem. Come to think of it, I can’t find Beryl Stapleton/Garcia’s parallel in this episode. Anyone notice something I’ve missed?

Dr. Mortimer: The family doctor is the one in the book who comes to Holmes in the first place, asking for his help. He saw the crime scene of Henry’s father, Charles’ death, and his beseeching phrase is quoted directly in the episode: “Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!”

Selden: The prisoner hiding out on the moor doesn’t actually show up in the episode (other than a perplexing mention by one of the landlords of the Cross Keys Inn when we first meet them), but when Watson is exploring what he thinks is Morse code and comes across the makeout site, one can overhear a woman in an occupied parked car exclaim, “Mr. Selden, you’ve done it again!”

Fletcher: Not a character from the book itself, but a friend of Doyle’s irl who suggested the story’s main plot of the ghostly dog and curse. Fun fact: the scene where Sherlock baits Fletcher with a fake bet is from “The Blue Carbuncle,” when Holmes does almost identically the same thing to the goose-seller to get information.


The More You Holmes

From: ep. 3.3

Event: Kate Whitney comes to Mary Watson, distressed, because her son Isaac has been gone at a crack house for 2 days. Dr. Watson goes to the crack house to retrieve Isaac and does, and finds Sherlock there undercover.

Reference: In “The Man With the Twisted Lip” this very thing happens, with very few changes. In the Doyle story, Kate Whitney comes to the Watson domicile late at night, not early in the morning, and it’s her husband Isa that’s gone to an opium den. Which makes Watson’s line: “Husband?” and Mary’s correction, “No, son” that much funnier in the episode. When Watson does go to the opium den, he finds Holmes and thus begins the adventure, but it’s not clear whether Holmes has been smoking opium to keep his cover intact, as it is in the episode clear that Sherlock has done heroin again.

Two more fun references in this episode: The character Billy Wiggins is a conglomerate of two boys of those two names respectively who Holmes uses often from the Baker Street Irregulars, and Molly’s line, “How dare you throw away the beautiful gifts you were born with?” echoes Watson’s line in The Sign of Four when admonishing Holmes about his cocaine use: “Why should you, for a mere passing pleasure, risk the loss of those great powers with which you have been endowed?”