OH! OH! OH! So many wonderful things about this episode that I barely know where to start! As usual, I got a big kick out of the canon references. Other than the multitude of references around The Hound of the Baskervilles, there was a delicious one for "The Adventure of Black Peter". Love the fact that Sherlock not only entered their flat with the harpoon, but was covered in blood as well! That was a thing of beauty! Of course, most of the obvious references were to The Hound of the Baskervilles. I have huge admiration for the clever way in which Mark Gatiss was able to modernize this novel and, yet, keep in many of the elements that made it so thrilling and memorable. While Henry may have lost his surname, I thought "Knight" was a clever substitute considering the title a Baskerville male gains on his inheritance. And if we couldn't have a Baskerville Hall then a military base called "Baskerville" was a great alternative. Even better (and my personal favourite) was the Grimpen Minefield in place of the Grimpen Mire.
I had a lot of fun trying to figure out where Gatiss might work in the original characters from the novel. As Dr. Mortimer consults Holmes in the novel because he's concerned about Sir Henry's welfare, it makes sense that Dr. Mortimer would be Henry's therapist in Sherlock. Having Barrymore as the head military figure at Baskerville is also a logical choice as he's the butler of Baskerville Hall in the novel and, so, is in charge of the household in a sense. Gatiss gave his version of Stapleton a modern role that works perfectly. Canon Stapleton had a keen interest in science and loved collecting specimens (especially butterflies), so the modern Stapleton conducts experiments on animals in a lab. Of course, when the question of the "hound" comes up, Dr. Stapleton makes a convenient red herring as everyone assumes that the creature Henry sees is some kind of experiment gone wrong. Then there's Dr. Franklin. It seems ironic that the character who filed suits against everyone in the original novel turns out to be the villain in this modern adaptation. Of course, as a Robin of Sherwood fan, I was thrilled to see Clive Mantle play such a juicy part. He even had an awesome exit (that echoed the possible fate of Stapleton in The Hound of the Baskervilles) when he entered the Grimpen Minefield and blew up! :-)
By Herne, I can't believe I've gone this long without mentioning Lestrade! I'm not usually big on tans, but Lestrade's "holiday" look worked for me! And I loved his bitchy exchange with Sherlock more than I can say! It's absolutely hilarious (though not totally surprising) that Sherlock had never learned Lestrade's first name and thought "Greg" was Lestrade's lame attempt to travel incognito. Then there was the wonderful confirmation that Lestrade does know Mycroft, which, no doubt, made all the Mystrade fans squeal in absolute joy. It also explains why it took 23 minutes for Mycroft to text Sherlock. The poor man was still trying to catch up on everything after returning from the holiday he took with Lestrade to celebrate the divorce. Naturally, Mycroft couldn't possibly tan with his fair complexion and would have been using at least a 50 SPF sunscreen.
What was this post about again? Oh, right! Yes, that Sherlock episode with H.O.U.N.D. rather than a hound. I think it's brilliant that Sherlock noticed the distinction as most people would say "dog" rather than "hound". The hallucinogenic fog was also a nice touch as it explained why Henry and Sherlock both saw a hound. It was quite fascinating to see Sherlock actually freaking out in the pub, experiencing both fear and doubt. Then, there was even more enjoyment to be had as we witnessed Sherlock trying to make amends to John, though it didn't stop him from locking John in that room and conducting an experiment of his own. So, while it's wonderful that we're seeing Sherlock explore more of his emotions in this series, I'm happy that we haven't lost those moments of coldness and social obliviousness. I mean, it was priceless to watch Sherlock "edit" Henry's story and shamelessly inhale the smoke from his cigarette because he's going through nicotine withdrawal.
Last point. I think this episode may have contained two of the best lines ever: "Get out. I need to go to my mind palace." I must now use that quote whenever possible or, better still, get it printed on a t-shirt and mug.