Sherlock - The Blind Banker
Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss (executive), Steven Moffat (executive), Beryl Vertue (executive), Rebecca Eaton (executive), Bethan Jones (executive) for Hartswood Films, Masterpiece Theatre, BBC (BBC Wales)
directed by Euros Lyn
starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Zoe Telford, Gemma Chan, Una Stubbs, Loo Brealey, Al Weaver, Bertie Carvel, Daniel Percival, Paul Chequer, Howard Coggins, Janice Acquah, Jack Bence, John MacMillan, Olivia Poulet, Jacqui Chan, Sarah Lam, Gillian Elisa, Stefan Pejic, Philip Benjamin
screenplay by Steve Thompson, based on characters by Arthur Conan Doyle, series developed by Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, music by David Arnold, Michael Price
Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes
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Someone unknown leaves a message encoded in ancient Chinese numbers
meant for a banker in a supposedly unpenetrable bank, so this guy has to
see it. Later the banker shoots himself, locked into his own apartment.
Simple case, it seems, but Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) figures
it's not that simple, that the banker's suicide was a homicide. Later
another man, a reporter, is found shot dead in his apartment in a position
that suggests another suicide, but Holmes and Watson (Martin Freeman) soon
find that he has received an encoded message as well. The things the two
men had in common was they both travelled to China frequently, and visited
a certain Chinese antique job each time they returned from China.
investigations soon take him to Soo Lin (Gemma Chan), a girl who is
somehow involved with all of this, and who fills Holmes in on the
background of the whole affair: The whole thing is about smuggling
antiques for an operation run by the Chinese Tong, and one of the Tong's
hired smugglers has stolen a priceless jade hairpin from what he was
supposed to smuggle, but the Tong don't know who did it, so they try to
kill them all off. As for the encoded messages: they refer to passages
from a certain book, and make the case plain simple should anyone care to
Soo Lin has to die soon after spilling the beans, but she
has provided Holmes with enough information to track down the Tong to a
Chinese circus that just happens to visit town, but to prove his point, he
has Watson and his new girlfriend Sarah (Zoe Telford) kindnapped by the
Tong to then appear as knight in shining armour ...
everything ends happily.
Bluntly speaking, The Blind Banker
is not all that great a murder mystery: The plot is incredibly far-fetched
and often lacks credibility, is a bit too convoluted to really sustain
tension, and sometimes plain simply makes no sense. On top of that, the
directorial effort is so annoyingly wannabe-hip it's sometimes even
That said though, this episode isn't a trainwreck,
neither: Martin Freeman is possibly the best Watson ever, he and Benedict
Cumberbatch start to develop a real chemistry here, bringing Holmes into
the 21st century dopes succeed for the most part without major
embarrassments, and at least the whole thing is well-paced.
So yeah, you
really might get a kick out of this one, provided you don't take it too
seriously on a narrative level and don't look for directorial brilliance.