Sherlock: Season 2, Episode 2

The Hounds of Baskerville (13 May 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.5
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Reviews: 13 user | 17 critic

Sherlock and John investigate the ghosts of a young man who has been seeing monstrous hounds out in the woods where his father died.

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(as Paul Mcguigan)

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, (created with), 1 more credit »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Amelia Bullmore ...
Dr. Stapleton
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Dr. Frankland
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Major Barrymore
Sasha Behar ...
Dr. Mortimer
Will Sharpe ...
Corporal Lyons
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Fletcher
Gordon Kennedy ...
Gary
Kevin Trainor ...
Billy
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Storyline

Twenty years earlier, aged seven, young Henry Knight saw his father torn to pieces by a monstrous creature at Dewer's Hollow near their Dartmoor home. Now Henry has seen the footprints of a huge beast and suspects that the nearby Baskerville government research station is breeding mutant animals. Sherlock and John travel to the moor where local lad Fletcher organizes tourist walks cashing in on the legend of Dartmoor's spectral hound. Using false I.D. the pair infiltrate Baskerville and are challenged by secretive Major Barrymore but rescued by sympathetic Dr. Frankland, a friend to Henry. After Sherlock himself sees the monstrous creature he enlists the help of geneticist Dr. Stapleton to help him solve the mystery. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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TV-14 | See all certifications »

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13 May 2012 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

John tells Sherlock that he has just solved a case by "harpooning a dead pig". This is a reference to the Sherlock Holmes short story "The Adventure of Black Peter". See more »

Goofs

Dr Watson should not have returned Corporal Lyons' salute. As a Captain in the British Army he would know that you never salute or return a salute when not in uniform. British and Commonwealth service personnel would just salute. They do not need to hold a salute while waiting for return salute as is the case with US personnel. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Morning! Oh, how are you feeling?
Henry Knight: I... I didn't sleep very well.
Sherlock Holmes: That's a shame. Shall I make you some coffee? Oh, look, you've got damp!
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Version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1982) See more »

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Opening Titles
(uncredited)
Written by David Arnold and Michael Price
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User Reviews

 
Dog days
17 July 2014 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

It's not a bona fide rug-pull, but Sherlock does at least sway the mat with uncanny clandestine experiments and terrifying childhood traumas completely taking the place of the previous episode's light-hearted humour in "The Hounds of Baskerville". Moreover, this one establishes its main plot after only five minutes and, if you ignore the forced quarrel between Sherlock and John, stays fully focused on it for the remaining time, whereas "A Scandal in Belgravia" made its central storyline rather hard to pick out for quite a while. In essence, there's a plethora of differences between these two episodes and the all- important one resides in their quality.

I'm earnestly begging for this not to become a practice, but as yet, the monumental brilliance exhibited by Sherlock in the first and final episode of its series has, at the halfway point, consistently made room for a run-of-the-mill detective story with some of its title role's quirks added to the recipe. Remember "The Blind Banker"? That was precisely the same type of let-down, plainly above average when compared to all the rest that can be discovered on television, yet a potentially fatal drop in form for this programme. For all I know, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss used "The Hounds of Baskerville" to find out if an eerie and sombre atmosphere suited Sherlock - and, as it happens, the two and director Paul McGuigan succeeded in conjuring up some frights. The issues with this episode aren't in its style, however, but in Gatiss' script, to which he admits clichés (does the unknown friendly bloke showing up in the beginning always have to be the culprit?) instead of jokes or more than one individual trait for each of the newly introduced characters. Particularly Russell Tovey, portraying Sherlock's 'client' Henry, is badly off; his apparently not having paid the BBC licence fee leads him to be furnished with no more than alternately looking traumatised, screaming 'Oh God!', and threatening suicide.

Having vented all of these criticisms, a lot of positive attributes about "The Hounds of Baskerville" remain, first and foremost, how Gatiss and Moffat modified Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1902 novel to conform to this day and age, and how McGuigan realised it more chilling than anyone before him. As always, there's also some praise belonging to Sherlock's main acting cast, most of all Martin Freeman, who in this instalment proves to have performing flair outside the realms of comedy in a scene that sees him hiding in a cage. Along with the aforementioned suspense that surprisingly works, "The Hounds of Baskerville" are gripping 90 minutes despite being a second-rate Sherlock episode.

My detective scribblings: • "I can tell from the angle she wrote at that she was sat across from you." – Or, he just handed her the napkin and she turned it around. I believe that would have been possible, Sherlock. • There's a glaring lack of humour in this episode, but that one scene of Sherlock reacting to Henry's puffing on a cigarette by coming closer to him and inhaling the smoke just about makes up for all of that. • "If I wanted poetry, I'd read John's emails to his girlfriends, much funnier." – I was just about to complain about Henry's stilted way of talking, but apparently, Mark Gatiss knew what sort of dialogue he was giving him and hence came up with this amusing piece of self- deprecation. • "Thank you for smoking." – Cue Aaron Eckhart. • Let's not overuse the 'outwardly insignificant case being turned down but later transpiring to be connected to the main story' thing, shall we, Sherlock? • The ideal Christmas present for John would be "Behaviour in sinister places for dummies" and he could give "Noticing someone has left the group for dummies" to Sherlock and Henry as one. • Hopefully, Sherlock's 'mind palace' will be incorporated some time again because that looked fairly impressive in this episode. • So, you're telling me that for high-security intelligence, a major's password would be the six-letter sobriquet of a person with whom he has frequently had contact? "BULLS***" would have been a better choice, if you ask me. • Best line(s) of dialogue: it's far too much to type down here, but Sherlock proving his abilities on 'the sentimental widow and her son' in the restaurant right after having seen the hound for the first time was fairly fantastic.


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