The Televangelist: "Sherlock" Season 2, Ep 2

Ep 2


  • BBC
  • I don't have friends. I have one.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is probably one of the most well-known of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series, and the update (dropping the second "the") "The Hound of Baskerville" bears very little resemblance to the original story in terms of details. Although, some of the original elements have been replaced elsewhere (such as the glowing phosphorus now being a gene splice in rabbits rather than in a hound). I mention this now only because I didn't have room last week, but the adaptation and updates to the original Holmes stories have all been incredibly engaging and twisty without losing the charm and ominous feelings of the original works. Instead of a posh family estate called Downton Baskerville, we get a chemical and biological research facility called Baskerville, which turns "Sherlock" from being another "Poirot" and makes into something altogether weirder.

Of the five total "Sherlock" episodes to have aired, "Baskerville" may be the weakest offering (still better than 99% of all other television, but still). Maybe it's the longer focus on fewer plots rather than the symphony we are used to, though there are still never any throwaway moments (such as how the Bluebell story, seeming to not matter in the first moments of the show, came full circle). Because "Baskerville" moved our detectives out of London and into the West Country, there was a lamentable lack of favorite supporting characters (Lestrade, Mycroft, Mrs Hudson, Molly, Moriarty), some of whom made brief appearances but didn't have much interaction with our protagonists. Even our protagonists didn't spend as much time together as one might have hoped. The magic between Sherlock and Watson is the sparkling glue that holds the whole show together, and when they are separated for too long or the focus shifts from them too far, the show starts to drag.

A particular disappointment for me personally was Russell Tovey, who played the beleaguered Henry Knight. Tovey is an exceptional actor, and seeing him utterly steal the show in the UK's "Being Human" as well as the film The History Boys had me extremely excited for him to be featured in "Sherlock." But Tovey is best and most affecting as a comic actor, and the character of Henry felt very one dimensional (which may have been more of a symptom of the writing than the acting). Still, his scenes dragged, especially on a second viewing, knowing the outcome and identity of the hound.