The Hound of the Baskervilles
Barry Letts for BBC
directed by Peter Duguid
starring Tom Baker, Terence Rigby, Will Knightley, Nicholas Woodeson, Morris Perry, Gillian Martell, Kay Ashead, Christopher Ravenscroft, Michael Goldie, Caroline John, John Boswall, Terry Forestal, Hubert Rees
screenplay by Alexander Baron, based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, music by Carl Davis
Sherlock Holmes, Hound of the Baskervilles
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After the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville (John Boswall)
that had something to do with a legend about a supernatural hound,
Sherlock Holmes (Tom Baker) is summoned to Dartmoor to act as Sir Charles'
heir Sir Henry's (Nicholas Woodeson) bodyguard ... and yet Holmes does
nothing more than to send his slightly klutzy friend Doctor Watson
(Terence Rigby) to Baskerville Hall to do the job. Watson soon occupies
himself trying to chase down an escaped convict (Michael Goldie) in the
neighbouring moor while Sir Henry falls in love with Beryl (Kay Ashead),
sister of his neighbour Stapleton (Christopher Ravenscroft), who is less
than pleased concerning the relationship - actually he reacts rather
Eventually, the convict is killed by a dog wearing one of
Baskerville's old coats, and Holmes shows up seemingly out of nowhere,
trying to tie up all the loose ends - by persuading Sir Henry to accept a
dinner invitation by the Stapletons (who are not brother and sister at all
but husband and wife) and then pretending to leave Dartmoor.
home from the Stapletons that night, Sir Henry is attacked by the
legendary hound of the Baskervilles, but Holmes, Watson and their
friend inspector Lestrade (Hubert Rees) shoot the animal, which apparently
wasn't a ghost-hound at all, then go after Stapleton, who now turns out to
be a distant relative of the Baskervilles who had been after the family
inheritance - for which he had to kill the entire rest of the family
though, apparently. Cornered, Stapleton attempts to make an escape over
the moor, but drowns doing so.
Mediocre adaptation of the
oft-adapted Hound of the Baskervilles that has rather little
new to offer to the tried and true plot and overall even seems tad stagey.
Tom Baker, fresh from his long and successful run of Doctor
Who, at least makes a pretty good Holmes, giving the character
the needed dignity, sincerity and air of command while (surprisingly)
staying dead serious throughout (not necessarily one of Baker's
qualities). But in all honesty, as there have been better versions of Hound
of the Baskervilles, there also have been better Sherlocks than