Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Paul McGuigan
Sherlock (re the hound): “If there is a monster out there, John, there’s only one thing to do – find out where it lives.”
This is probably the most famous of stories and to be fair, I’m actually glad this one wasn’t done in the first season but at the same time, you got to give Mark Gatiss his due. While this isn’t exactly perfect, it’s definitely better than the middle story in the first series and it’s brilliant that a little more creative licensing than usual went into the making of this story.
Sherlock and Watson needed to get the heck out of London for a story and taking a trip to Dartmoor to help the terrified Henry Knight figure out what exactly was responsible for his father’s death was the best way of doing this. I can also say that as the troubled Henry, Russell Tovey played a blinder throughout the episode as well.
I really felt for Henry’s plight – being driven mad by the horror of his father’s brutal death, a horror that his therapist Louise couldn’t really help with and one that was exploited by both a couple running the local pub and a friend of the family in the shape of Bob Franklin at the Baskerville labs as well.
The whole story going down the route of a Project H.O.U.N.D. gas causing paranoia throughout the episode with Henry (and also affecting both Sherlock and Watson at different points) might not have been the most creative of going about the story but it’s solid one and does make for a lot of narrative sense as well.
It also gave Henry the peace of mind as well when he realises that it was Bob who had caused him all the distress rather than his imagining of a mutated dog instead. Though a dog did appear and was shot during the episode too, so there was more than one way of getting the hound and canine themes into the episode. The little touches in this story were pretty nifty but it’s not really the main action that merited the most interest in this episode for me.
For me, it was further developing the rapport between Sherlock and John and having the former realise that he actually has a friend in Watson, even if he pushes that said friend too far at times. It also proves that this show at its heart really is about the friendship between these two.
Then there was the factoring of Moriarty in this episode as well. I should’ve expected it to be fair but I didn’t and neither did I expect Moriarty to be captured and then released by Mycroft at the end of the episode. There’s going to be one hell of a confrontation between Sherlock and Moriarty when they locked horns again and I personally cannot wait to see the fireworks happen.
- Speaking of Moriarty, there’s a video of him doing a guided tour of 221b Baker Street. You can find it on YouTube if the BBC site doesn’t prove successful.
- I loved the linking of Bluebell the glow in the dark rabbit to the Baskerville labs and it was nice that both Stapleton and the major weren’t too one dimensional either.
- Lestrade’s first name is Greg and while it did seem awfully convenient he was at Dartmoor, I did enjoy his input in this episode. I also enjoy Mrs Hudson dealing with her cheating fella as well as Sherlock’s withdrawal antics at the start of the episode.
- The last episode is going to air at 9pm next Sunday. A third series really has yet to be confirmed, considering the busy schedules of both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
In some parts, “The Hounds Of Baskerville” lagged a little and it wasn’t as memorable as Gatiss’s previous effort to the show but at the same time, the story was interesting, the guest performers worked well and the final scene is a perfect lead in to “The Reichenback Fall” if ever there was one.
Rating: 8 out of 10