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The Hound of Baskerville
When Mark Gatiss went on to remake The Hound of Baskerville for BBC's Sherlock- he knew what he was getting into. This one wasn't a short story- it was a full fledged novel, it has seen 23 film adaptations till date (the largest number for any of Holmes' adaptations) and is unique, perhaps the most iconic of Holmes career, because this is the only one that has Gothic horror elements. The blockbuster nature of the subject and the need of the Sherlock series to re-imagine the classic in a modern scenario presented complex challenges, and am pleased to say, the results are awesome.
Modernizing the story begins with modernizing the setting- So instead of a foreboding dark house alluding to the horror theme in the book, we have a modern day horror setting- army research facilities, you know where all germs, epidemics are bred, and chemical/biological weapons of war are created? You never know just what might they come up with one fine day, to spoil the rest of your lifetime. Anyways, Sherlock is in one of his most bored moods, he just isn't happy with the quality of cases at his disposal, which makes him edgy and maniacal. Up comes a young man plagued with nightmares about the death of his father at the fangs of a monstrous dog.
"It is as big as a horse, has red eyes, and glows"- Holmes is both intrigued and excited as he begins his pursuit on a dark, and desolate moor and then its a race against time as our heroes try to figure out the mystery before it takes more innocent lives. From the lighthearted erotic romp that was Scandal Belgravia, this one is straightaway a suspenseful, creepy, and rabid chase. There are moments of sheer atmospheric terror when Holmes decides to lock up Watson in a lab to conduct his own private experiment, and in the climax where he faces his fears- in the form of his mortal enemy, and yet there is the trademark humor and sardonic wit all throughout.
Benedict Cumberbatch is prodigal as usual. "I do not have friends", he says, as he treats us to both sides of Sherlock- his brilliance in observing the smallest possible detail, and deducing the most accurate fact, and his nasty, inhuman side- his superiority complex, and almost complete lack of feeling. There is plenty of warmth in Sherlock for Watson as there is sarcasm, but as Holmes can compartmentalize his mind, we too learn that his tongue and his heart also reside in separate compartments. And like in Belgravia, Sherlock gives a hint of his interest for the lovely Adler, here its his understanding of fear that brings out the best in him- he is a showstopper in the scene where he knows he has seen the impossible, but yet cannot believe his eyes, and almost breaks down because of the confusion he is in because his senses betray his mind. Martin Freeman as Watson gets to step out of Cumberbatch's shadows and do a bit of investigating on his own, and displays immense depth of character in addition to display of camaraderie.
We have come to expect ingenuity and wit, novelty and shock value from each episode of Sherlock, yet the intensity, apprehension and audience involvement in Hound of the Baskerville raises the bar even further. The episode ends with Moriarty getting released from the prison to set up a series finale at Reichenbach Fall, for the solution to the "final problem"- can't wait for 15th January!!! Oh, easy 10/10! Don't miss or it will hound you forever!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed Sherlock series one, however less so, series two, mainly
because of the Hounds of the Baskerville episode. I don't mind the
modernisation of the Conan-Doyle stories and the reinvention of the
Sherlock Holmes character. The problem is the Hounds of the Baskerville
is a traditional Sherlock Holmes story. With little trace of the
original story, and the clumsy, far-fetched story replacing it, raises
the question what is the point.
The original Conon-Doyle story has the following key elements: A legendary hound killed a Baskerville two centuries ago. The recent death of Sir Charles Baskerville by a heart attack is caused by fright by a giant hound. The return of the American Sir Henry Baskerville from the USA to reclaim his inheritance. Theft of a new and old boot from Henry Baskerville. The escaped prisoner Seldon, who is related to Mrs Barrymore, a domestic servant at Baskerville Hall, is secretly fed by Mrs Barrymore through employment of signal lights and later when wearing some of Henry Baskervilles donated clothes, is killed in a chase with the Hound. Sherlock Holmes is secretly staying in a prehistoric dwelling on the moors and has Watson's letters to Baker Street intercepted. The protagonist - Jack Stapleton a naturalist - turns out to be an heir of the Baskerville inheritance. Holmes pretends to leave again while secretly with Watson and Lestrade, watching for Henry Baskerville to complete dinner and leave Merripit House. Watson kills the Hound, before it seriously injures Baskerville. Stapleton escapes but on his way to his hideout (where he keeps the dog) in the Great Grimpen Mire, slips and is sucked into the bog.
The Sherlock story: Henry Knight witnesses his father's death by a hound 20 years ago and still troubled after receiving therapy from Dr Jacqui Stapleton, returns to the original site, only to have his fears return. The nearby Defence Base Baskerville that conducts secret biological weapons experiments is suspected. Holmes breaks in using his brother Mycroft's pass, and receives a tour. Watson meanwhile interprets signal lights as Morse code, which later turnout to be vehicle lights. Holmes upon visiting the site also sees the hound and then attempts to recreate the hound affect in Watson by locking him in a lab in the Defence base. To test a theory, Sherlock later exposes Watson to what he assumes is drugged sugar, which has no effect. A vegetarian restaurant is found to have ordered large quantities of meat and admits it used to keep a dog to attempt to stimulate interest in the defence experiments/local giant hound legend. Holmes using a memory technique determines that words remembered by Henry Knight are Liberty, Indiana and later determines, by accessing the base computers, that HOUND is an acronym for a cancelled secret military project to weaponise a hallucinatory drug. Dr Robert Frankland, who works at the base was involved in the original experiments on the drug. In the climax, Holmes, Watson and Lestrade are called to find Henry, who has returned to the original site of his father death. They find Henry overcome by a fog containing the hallucinatory drug, the inn keeper's dog and Frankland. The dog is killed and Frankland runs away and is killed by a mine on the Grimpen minefield that protects the military base.
As can be seen by comparing the original Conan-Doyle and the Sherlock story outlines, that while the original story elements may be mentioned, the new content is completely different. Mark Gatiss (the Sherlock writer) was quoted as saying that the popularity of the novel necessitated including more of the familiar elements of the story. Implying that the other episodes based on less well known stories had displayed more script flexibility. The new stories are in general well written and the modernising approach fresh, however the Sherlock story is in my view designed to fit the story elements and appears clumsily constructed and some of the replacement storyline is far-fetched (eg Baskervilles a military base and HOUND a hallucinatory drug).
According to the Wikipedia, the Hound of the Baskervilles has 24 film and television adaptations. In the others I have seen (Basil Rathbone 1939, Tom Baker 1982 and Jeremy Brett 1988) all were faithful to the original Conan-Doyle story, with minor variations. (It should be pointed out however that the Rathbone Baskerville was the first movie in the series and was intended to be standalone. Its success led to the other 13 movies. These 13 movies updated the stories to the early 1940's England time period - ie the 2nd World War. The Jeremy Brett series in general tried to be closest to the Conan-Doyle time period.)
In conclusion, Dartmoor still exists in Devon and is protected by National Park status. The Dartmoor bogs are still dangerous. (Baskerville Hall exists although it's in Powys, Wales). It may have been better to keep the Hound of the Baskervilles story largely intact and modernise it or leave it alone.
The first season tapered off after a great beginning. Any doubts about this season disappointing after the superb Scandal in Belgravia is dispelled with an even better Hound of Baskerville. Holmes and Watson go out in search of a mysterious animal which has tormented a man since his childhood. Like all episodes in this franchise, there is plenty of humour, suspense and intelligence, but this one also manages to be a little scary. It is indeed great to see two wonderful stories this season, which leads us to the final one, where Holmes battles the original you-know-who. How exciting is it for Sherlock Holmes fans to get a fun movie and this series almost back-to-back. Great stuff.
When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited
estate, detective Holmes is hired to investigate ; as Sherlock
(Benedith Cumberbath) and John (Martin Freeman) investigate the ghosts
of a young man who has been seeing monstrous hounds out in the woods .
This is one of the best version that still can be called a classic
novel by Arthur Conan Doyle ; in which Holmes and Watson are called to
save Sir Henry Knight Baskerville from a curse that has plagued his
family for centuries . Correct rendition of the most famous mystery
novel written by Arthur Conan Doyle with an awesome Benedict Cumberbath
as Sherlock and not very faithful to the source material . All England
there is no district more dismal than that vast expense of primitive
wasteland , the moor of Dartmoor in Devonshire . Holmes and Watson are
contracted by a heir who has returned to his mansion to take his place
at the family seat following the death of his father . As Sherlock
Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural ,
devilish hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the
fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate . Sir Charles died of
cardiac exhaustion and his son Henry Knight believes he was frightened
to death . There appears to be a curse on the family dating back when
Sir Baskerville was supposedly killed on the moor by a huge hound .
Holmes dismisses the supernatural elements of the case but there are a
sufficient number of odd events to pique his interest . As Holmes
investigates the mystery of a supernatural hound threatening the life
of a Dartmoor owner . Holmes soon realizes that someone is making sure
the legend becomes real . Later on , Holmes and Watson find a military
research facility . Using his brother Mycroft's (Mark Gatiss , also
writer and executive producer) identity card, both of whom gain access
to the facility .
This is an excellent and thrilling film with dark elements in classic style and freely based on the splendid novel by Arthur Conan Doyle . It's a genuine ripping yarn with much suspense , moody intrigue and blending modern elements such as technology , mobile phone , internet , cloning , genetic engineering , military conspiracy , among others . This is an exciting TV film ; this is due to the plot of the novel, a mixture of intrigue and suspense that adapts very easily to film language , which is not usual with classic detective stories . It's distinguished by its cast with Benedict's Sherlock and Freeman's Watson ably playing off each other . Benedict as Holmes plays in a clever , stubborn , and impetuous manner . Martin Freeman plays as Watson as an intelligent and serious doctor , he's the perfect counterpoint to Holmes . The film gets mystery , tension , thrills , detective action and packs an exciting deal of outstanding surprises with great lots of fun despite to be a known story . It manages to keep the viewer entertained and expectant due to suggested hints , red herrings , terror elements and the murky atmosphere that transmit marshy landscapes where the plot unfolds , in which cinematography is dark and murky . In this case we are dealing with a film in magnificent visual style, and follows slightly reliable the plot of the novel, capturing the gloomy atmosphere quite well . Benedict Cumberbath's magnificent interpretation , he plays as Holmes as a wise , obstinate , broody sleuth . Benedict takes on the character emphasizing the role's cynical humor as well as his sometimes insufferable intelligence . He is gorgeous transmitting characteristic coolness , irony and obstinacy . His acting is the best and similarly to Jeremy Brett , Peter Cushing for TV or Nicol Williamson (Seven-per-cent-solution) or Christopher Plummer (Murder by decree) for cinema . Martin Freeman ably backs him up as Watson in this version that not very closely follows the Conan Doyle story . While not entirely passive, Watson's original role was mostly as an observer of Holmes and the chronicler of his cases . In the flick appears the usual of the Arthur Conan Doyle's novels : Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) , DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves) , Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss) and Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott)
The movie has a creepy atmosphere specially when is developed on the moors where lives the fearful giant beast ; besides the 221 Baker Street's house is well designed . Thrilling and intriguing musical score by David Arnold . Colorful cinematography full of shades and lights by Fabian Wagner that fits well with the inherent requirements of the story . This atmospheric motion picture was well produced by Steven Moffat and professionally directed by Paul Mcguigan, who also directed other episodes as A Scandal in Belgravia (2012) , The Great Game (2010) and A Study in Pink (2010) . This is a film for lovers of the wonderful adventures of this pair of detectives .
Other versions about this story are the following : Classic and black and white version ¨Hound of the Baskervilles¨ (1939) by Sidney Landfield with Basil Rathbone , Nigel Bruce , and Richard Greene , ¨Hammer House of Horror¨ rendition (1959) by the great Terence Fisher with Peter Cushing , Andre Morell and Christopher Lee ; 1977 spoof adaptation by Paul Morrissey with Dudley Moore and Denholm Elliott ; 1983 recounting by Douglas Hickox with Ian Richardson , Donald Churchill and Martin Shaw ; 2000 unpteeth rendition by Rodney Gibbons with Matt Frewer , Kenneth Welsh and Jason London , English adaptation (1983) by Douglas Hickox with Ian Richardson as Holmes and Donald Churchill as Watson and TV rendition with Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke directed by Peter Hammond and BBC take on with Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Many don't appreciate this series, as its temporal location is present day. However Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville (Dir. Paul McGuigan, Writ. Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss, 8.1.2012) was a refreshing modern take on the classic Hound of the Baskervilles case written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Baskerville, in this episode of Sherlock, is a military research centre, focused on creating biological weaponry, in the heart of Dartmoor. An interesting present day story, written by Gatiss and Moffat, is not the only highlight of this episode however. It is a fresh change for the show to finally take the leap out of its urban setting, within London, to the open country and dense woodland of Dartmoor. In the original story by Doyle, Watson is the protagonist and Holmes features very little in the story, let alone in Dartmoor, until the climax. Therefore this episode, again, breaks away from the original plot, having both characters on screen evenly for a more enjoyable viewing experience. Russell Tovey was an excellent guest star for The Hounds of Baskerville. His acting ability is phenomenal as he plays the frightened and psychologically unsound character of Henry Knight. Sherlock already contains the strong acting skills of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Mark Gatiss; and so the inclusion of popular British actor Tovey seemed the next logical step for a BBC show of this stature. The characters of Watson and Holmes are strengthened throughout this episode, as they take a journey where Sherlock questions his understanding of reality, causing John to examine aspects of the case alone. The audience is thus provided with a greater understanding of the characters of Holmes and Watson as individuals, as well as of the strong partnership these two characters create. One feature that stood out most of all in The Hounds of Baskerville was the use of special effects. Without attempting to reveal any major plot spoilers, the hound is a CG creation. I believe this is the first use of special effects in Sherlock and it looks reasonable, considering it probably has minimal funding. Through strong acting, realistic effects and a new twist on an old story, The Hounds of Baskerville was a strong episode for the growing roster presented by Sherlock. The ending of this episode leaves anyone watching it wanting episode 3, Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall.
Another entertaining outing for Benedict Cumberbatch as the modern
incarnation of the great detective Sherlock Holmes taking on probably
the most famous Conan-Doyle story of them all, "The Hound of The
Bakervilles" in a tale of military skulduggery in genetics. That said,
the tale did lack, for me, a little in suspense, with only a years-old
death at its heart and a otherwise a shortage in drama or suspense.
The plot too seemed contrived and far-fetched and I'd go further and say that the special effects in conveying the terrifying beast were somewhat wanting in addition. There were the now obligatory jokey nods back to the source novels, in particular an amusing scene referring to the literary Holmes' cocaine addiction, with some good dialogue too, especially when Holmes has to apologise to Watson for saying he didn't have any friends.
Otherwise, the depiction of the great detective's computer-quick deduction skills was skilfully done, but on the whole this episode seemed a little underwritten with an over- emphasis on coincidence.
One neat casting touch for Robin Hood buffs was the appearance of the two most recent TV Little Johns Gordon Kennedy from the more recent Jonas Armstrong version and the older Clive Mantle from the 1980's "Robin of Sherwood".
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My review for the Series 2 Episode 2 "The Hounds Of Baskerville" of Hit Drama "Sherlock".This episode firstly is loads of fun and gives you chills n thrills and there are many spine chilling moments as you ride the dangerous roller coaster of dartmoor.Hence,The modern adaptation Is quite amazing and it really develops some unseen aspects of Sherlock"s Life such as Fear,Anxiety and nervousness.This episode is very nice and not as intense as Scandal In Belgravia but Still it"s a good roller coaster ride in a different way and The writers have done pure Justice To the story.And the performances as usual we're great by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.There are some scary and frightening intense scenes and as usual it manges very much to hit the right cord.8.5/10 by my side and this was a very brave move as they were turning a simple old tale into a Hi-Tech Modern thrilling edge of the seat Adventure with lots of character developments.This 2nd episode really works very well in a different way and manages to thrill.
Let me begin by stating that I am a huge fan of both the Sherlock TV
series as well as the Robert Downey movies. The first episode of the
series was action packed, great suspense and AMAZING music effects,
particularly in the cellphone unlocking scene, but "The Hounds of
Baskerville" was a big let down, to say the least.
Without going into spoilers, let me inform you beforehand that this episode is completely different from Doyle's masterpiece. Different motives, different settings, even the protagonist's name has been changed. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss did a good job with the modern day version, but made it over the top. Also, Cumberbatch's great punchlines didn't pack quite a punch, and some of the scenes were outright unrealistic. The story was pretty bland as well, and coincidences were more. Plus, the recurring gay references have started to get on my nerves by now.
Just hope that the duo comes back with all guns blazing in the final episode of the second season, because I, for one, am greatly looking forward to it
Not nearly as ingenious as "A scandal in Belgravia", but nevertheless a
refreshing adaptation of Conan Doyle's "The hound of the Baskervilles".
The episode kicked off with its usual degree of intrigue and tension,
maintained over the majority of the episode. Cumberbatch's portrayal of
the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes was excellent as always, sharp but
quirky. Moffat's storyline was a little overboard but he still managed
to maintain its intoxicating appeal and keep it beyond the realms of
However, the director appeared to have gotten a bit too carried away with his attempts at building suspense while the story conclusion left me feeling a bit cheated. No spoilers, to me, the episode was a solid 8-9 out of 10.
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