“The Hound of the Baskervilles” Thursday, November 1, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. ET on WPBT2
The master sleuth is back in some of his greatest adventures. In November, WPBT2 presents Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes in a collection of mysteries from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
With The Hound of The Baskervilles and The Sign of The Four, Jeremy Brett moves beyond the collection of short stories and tackles the novel length adventures of literatures most famous detective.
Written over a decade apart these two novels have been among the most influential in creating the Holmes persona we all know today. The Sign of The Four first revealed the drug addiction that in many ways defined Holmes, the novel also first introduced us to the future Mrs. Watson. The Hound of The Baskervilles is the story most familiar to Holmes fans and the most often committed to film, while many of Holmes stories take place in a Victorian London setting, it is the moors and bogs of the English Countryside from this novel that conjures the celluloid world of Holmes we all seem to remember.
The Sign of The Four entangles Holmes in a story of secret pacts, stolen treasures and the Indian Rebellion of 1857, told partially through flashbacks, the original novel failed to draw many readers when it was published in the February 1890 edition of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine as The Sign of the Four, appearing in both London and Philadelphia. The British edition of the magazine originally sold for a shilling and the American for 25 cents. Surviving copies are now worth several thousand dollars.
The Hound of The Baskervilles remains the definitive Holmes story, mixing Conan Doyle’s interest in the occult with one of the best pure stories of the canon. Much of this film is told through the observations of Watson on behave of the absent Holmes and the twists are fast and furious and as slippery as the fog shrouded moors that form the back drop. The inspiration for this story has some basis in English folklore; the ideas came from the legend of Richard Cabell. His tomb can be seen in the Devon town of Buckfastleigh. Squire Richard Cabell lived during the 1600s and was the local squire at Buckfastleigh. He had a passion for hunting and was what in those days described as a 'monstrously evil man'. The tomb of Squire Richard Cabell still stands in a churchyard in Buckfastleigh, England. Cabell who died in 1677 was believed to have been in league with the Devil and his strange mausoleum was built around the tomb and intended to contain his unquiet spirit. Conan Doyle took notice of the stories of fire breathing black dogs howling beside the tomb.
Jeremy Brett, who for many has supplanted Basil Rathbone as the embodiment of Sherlock Holmes stars along with Edward Hardwicke as the inimitable Dr Watson.
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