Sherlock, Season 1, episode 1 transcript: A Study in Pink, part 1
It’s two years late. So sue me. But certain people (*glares pointedly in the direction of the north of England*) kept on nagging and moaning and complaining and saying that even at this late stage Season 1 transcripts would be still useful for fic-writing purposes, and eventually I couldn’t stand the non-stop whining any longer.
I don’t mean it, Vez. This transcript is dedicated to my best mate, verityburns. Sorry it took so long.
And yes, one of these days I’ll try and get round to doing the transcripts for the other two Season 1 episodes. Even though this means that I’ll have to sit through every dire minute of “The Blind Banker” (*cries*) before I can justifiably do the much more exciting “The Great Game”. (Update: They’re done. See the masterlist here.)
Episode written by Steven Moffat.
Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan. (Last updated 12 October 2015)
Polite request: If you take extracts from this transcript for use elsewhere, and especially if you repost my own words, it would be kind if you would acknowledge the source and/or give a link back to this transcript. Thanks.
Note: Although this transcript is complete, it will continually be a work in progress and may be amended at any time if people point out errors or additions to me, or if I suddenly notice or hear something I’ve never seen/heard before. Any suggested amendments or new information can be PMd to me, or they can be submitted in the Comments section below.
Unfortunately I have had to close the blog to anonymous comments because I was being spammed to death with adverts.
Sherlock, Season 1, episode 1 transcript: A Study in Pink, part 1
Jump to part 2 / Jump to part 3 / Jump to part 4
In a bedsit somewhere in London, John Watson is having a nightmare. He is reliving his Army days and his team is under fire somewhere abroad. A colleague cries out his name as the gunfire continues. Finally he jolts awake, distressed and panic-stricken. He sits up in bed wide-eyed and breathing heavily until he realises that he is safe and a long way from the war. Flopping back onto his pillow, he tries to calm his breathing as he continues to be haunted by his memories. Eventually, unable to stop himself, he begins to weep.
Some time later he has sat up on the side of the bed and switched on the bedside lamp. It’s still dark outside. John sits quietly, wrapped up in his thoughts, and looks across to the desk on the other side of the room. A metal walking cane is leaning against the desk. He looks at it unhappily, then continues to gaze into the distance. He will not be sleeping again tonight.
DAY TIME. The sun has finally risen and John, now wearing a dressing gown over his night wear, hobbles across the room leaning heavily on his cane. In his other hand he has a mug of tea and an apple, both of which he puts down onto the desk. The mug bears the arms of the Royal Army Medical Corps. Sitting down, he opens the drawer in the desk to get his laptop. As he lifts the computer out of the drawer, we see that he also has a pistol in there. Putting the laptop onto the desk and opening the lid he looks at the webpage which has automatically loaded. It reads, “The personal blog of Dr. John H. Watson”. The rest of the page is blank.
Later he is at his psychotherapist’s office and he sits in a chair opposite her.
ELLA: How’s your blog going?
JOHN: Yeah, good. (He clears his throat awkwardly.) Very good.
ELLA: You haven’t written a word, have you?
JOHN (pointing to Ella’s notepad on her lap): You just wrote, “Still has trust issues.”
ELLA: And you read my writing upside down. D’you see what I mean?
(John smiles awkwardly.)
ELLA: John, you’re a soldier, and it’s gonna take you a while to adjust to civilian life; and writing a blog about everything that happens to you will honestly help you.
(John gazes back at her, his face full of despair.)
JOHN: Nothing happens to me.
OCTOBER 12TH. A well-dressed middle-aged business man walks across the concourse of a busy London railway station talking into his mobile phone.
SIR JEFFREY: What d’you mean, there’s no ruddy car?
(His secretary is at his office talking into her phone as she walks across the room.)
HELEN: He went to Waterloo. I’m sorry. Get a cab.
SIR JEFFREY: I never get cabs.
(Helen looks around furtively to make sure that nobody is within earshot, then speaks quietly into the phone.)
HELEN: I love you.
SIR JEFFREY (suggestively): When?
HELEN (giggling): Get a cab!
(Smiling as he hangs up, Sir Jeffrey looks around for the cab rank.)
Some unspecified time later, sitting on the floor by the window of what appears to be an office many storeys above ground, Sir Jeffrey unscrews the lid of a small glass bottle which contains three large capsules. Tipping one out, he stares ahead of himself wide-eyed and afraid and puts the capsule into his mouth. Later, he is writhing on the floor in agony. We can now see that the office in which his dying body is lying is empty of furniture.
POLICE PRESS CONFERENCE. Flanked by a police officer and another man who may be her solicitor or a family member, Sir Jeffrey’s widow is sitting at a table making a statement to the press.
MARGARET PATTERSON (tearfully as she reads from her statement): My husband was a happy man who lived life to the full. He loved his family and his work – and that he should have taken his own life in this way is a mystery and a shock to all who knew him.
(Standing at one side of the room, Helen tries to keep control of her feelings but eventually closes her eyes and lets the tears roll down her face.)
NOVEMBER 26TH. Two boys in their late teens are running down a street at night in the pouring rain. Gary has opened a fold-up umbrella and is trying to keep it under control in the wind, while Jimmy has his jacket pulled up over his head. He calls out in triumph when a black cab approaches with its yellow sign lit to show that it is available for hire.
JIMMY: Yes, yes, taxi, yes!
(He whistles and waves to the taxi but it drives past. He makes an exasperated sound, then starts to head back in the direction he just came, looking round at his friend.)
JIMMY: I’ll be back in two minutes, mate.
JIMMY: I’m just going home; get my mum’s umbrella.
GARY: You can share mine!
JIMMY: Two minutes, all right?
(He walks away. Some time later Gary looks at his watch, apparently worried because Jimmy has been gone for too long. He turns around and heads back in pursuit of his friend.)
Some unspecified time later, Jimmy sits crying and clutching a small glass bottle which contains three large capsules. He unscrews the lid, his hands shaking, and sobs. We see that he is sitting on a window ledge inside a sports centre overlooking a sports court.
The following day, an article in The Daily Express runs the headline “Boy, 18, kills himself inside sports centre”.
JANUARY 27TH. At a public venue, a party is being held. A large poster showing a photograph of the guest of honour is labelled “Your local MP, Beth Davenport, Junior Minister for Transport.” As pounding dance music comes from inside the room, one of Beth’s aides walks out of the room and goes over to her male colleague who is standing at the bar. He looks at her in exasperation.
AIDE 1: Is she still dancing?
AIDE 2: Yeah, if you can call it that.
AIDE 1: Did you get the car keys off her?
AIDE 2 (showing him the keys): Got ’em out of her bag.
(The man smiles in satisfaction, then looks into the dance hall and frowns.)
AIDE 1: Where is she?
Beth has slipped out of the venue and is standing at the side of her car searching through her handbag for her keys. She sighs when she can’t find them and looks around helplessly.
Some unspecified time later, Beth stands inside a portacabin on a building site and sobs hysterically. As she continues to cry, she reaches out a trembling hand towards a small glass bottle which contains three large capsules.
POLICE PRESS CONFERENCE. Detective Inspector Lestrade sits at the table looking uncomfortable while his colleague sitting beside him, Detective Sergeant Sally Donovan, addresses the gathered press reporters.
DONOVAN: The body of Beth Davenport, Junior Minister for Transport, was found late last night on a building site in Greater London. Preliminary investigations suggest that this was suicide. We can confirm that this apparent suicide closely resembles those of Sir Jeffrey Patterson and James Phillimore. In the light of this, these incidents are now being treated as linked. The investigation is ongoing but Detective Inspector Lestrade will take questions now.
REPORTER 1: Detective Inspector, how can suicides be linked?
LESTRADE: Well, they all took the same poison; um, they were all found in places they had no reason to be; none of them had shown any prior indication of ...
REPORTER 1 (interrupting): But you can’t have serial suicides.
LESTRADE: Well, apparently you can.
REPORTER 2: These three people: there’s nothing that links them?
LESTRADE: There’s no link been found yet, but we’re looking for it. There has to be one.
(Everybody’s mobile phone trills a text alert simultaneously. As they look at their phones, each message reads:
Donovan looks at the same message on her own phone.)
DONOVAN: If you’ve all got texts, please ignore them.
REPORTER 1: Just says, ‘Wrong’.
DONOVAN: Yeah, well, just ignore that. Okay, if there are no more questions for Detective Inspector Lestrade, I’m going to bring this session to an end.
REPORTER 2: But if they’re suicides, what are you investigating?
LESTRADE: As I say, these ... these suicides are clearly linked. Um, it’s an ... it’s an unusual situation. We’ve got our best people investigating ...
(Everybody’s mobile trills another text alert and again each message reads:
REPORTER 1: Says, ‘Wrong’ again.
(Lestrade looks despairingly at Sally.)
DONOVAN (to the reporters): One more question.
REPORTER 3: Is there any chance that these are murders, and if they are, is this the work of a serial killer?
LESTRADE: I ... I know that you like writing about these, but these do appear to be suicides. We know the difference. The, um, the poison was clearly self-administered.
REPORTER 3: Yes, but if they are murders, how do people keep themselves safe?
LESTRADE: Well, don’t commit suicide.
(The reporter looks at him in shock. Donovan covers her mouth and murmurs a warning.)
DONOVAN: “Daily Mail.”
(Lestrade grimaces and looks at the reporters again.)
LESTRADE: Obviously this is a frightening time for people, but all anyone has to do is exercise reasonable precautions. We are all as safe as we want to be.
(Again the mobiles trill their text alerts, and once more each message reads:
But Lestrade’s phone takes a moment longer to alert him to a text and when he looks at it, the message reads:
You know where
to find me.
Looking exasperated, he puts the phone into his pocket and looks at the reporters as he stands up.)
LESTRADE: Thank you.
Shortly afterwards, he and Donovan are walking through the offices of New Scotland Yard.
DONOVAN: You’ve got to stop him doing that. He’s making us look like idiots.
LESTRADE: Well, if you can tell me how he does it, I’ll stop him.
RUSSELL SQUARE PARK. John is limping briskly through the park, leaning heavily on his cane. As he walks past a man sitting on the bench, the man stares after him, clearly recognising him. He calls out.
MIKE: John! John Watson!
(John turns back to Mike as he stands up and hurries towards him, smiling.)
MIKE: Stamford. Mike Stamford. We were at Bart’s together.
JOHN: Yes, sorry, yes, Mike. (He takes Mike’s offered hand and shakes it.) Hello, hi.
MIKE (grinning and gesturing to himself): Yeah, I know. I got fat!
JOHN (trying to sound convincing): No.
MIKE: I heard you were abroad somewhere, getting shot at. What happened?
JOHN (awkwardly): I got shot.
(They both look embarrassed.)
A little later they have bought take-away coffees and are sitting side by side on a bench in the park. Mike looks at John worriedly. Oblivious, John takes a sip from his coffee then looks across to his old friend.
JOHN: Are you still at Bart’s, then?
MIKE: Teaching now. Bright young things, like we used to be. God, I hate them!
(They both laugh.)
MIKE: What about you? Just staying in town ’til you get yourself sorted?
JOHN: I can’t afford London on an Army pension.
MIKE: Ah, and you couldn’t bear to be anywhere else. That’s not the John Watson I know.
JOHN (uncomfortably): Yeah, I’m not the John Watson ...
(He stops. Mike awkwardly looks away and drinks his coffee. John switches his own cup to his right hand and looks down at his left hand, clenching it into a fist as he tries to control the tremor that has started. Mike looks round at him again.)
MIKE: Couldn’t Harry help?
JOHN (sarcastically): Yeah, like that’s gonna happen!
MIKE (shrugging): I dunno – get a flatshare or something?
JOHN: Come on – who’d want me for a flatmate?
(Mike chuckles thoughtfully.)
MIKE: Well, you’re the second person to say that to me today.
JOHN: Who was the first?
ST BARTHOLOMEW’S HOSPITAL MORGUE. Sherlock Holmes unzips the body bag lying on the table and peers at the corpse inside. He sniffs.
SHERLOCK: How fresh?
(Pathologist Molly Hooper walks over.)
MOLLY: Just in. Sixty-seven, natural causes. He used to work here. I knew him. He was nice.
(Zipping the bag up again, Sherlock straightens up, turns to her and smiles falsely.)
SHERLOCK: Fine. We’ll start with the riding crop.
Shortly afterwards the body has been removed from the bag and is lying on its back on the table. In the observation room next door, Molly watches and flinches while Sherlock flogs the body repeatedly and violently with a riding crop, but her face is also full of admiration. She walks back into the room and as he finishes and straightens up, breathless, she goes over to him.
MOLLY (jokingly): So, bad day, was it?
SHERLOCK (ignoring her banter as he gets out a notebook and starts writing in it): I need to know what bruises form in the next twenty minutes. A man’s alibi depends on it. Text me.
MOLLY: Listen, I was wondering: maybe later, when you’re finished ...
(Sherlock glances across to her as he is writing, then does a double-take and frowns at her.)
SHERLOCK: Are you wearing lipstick? You weren’t wearing lipstick before.
MOLLY (nervously): I, er, I refreshed it a bit.
(She smiles at him flirtatiously. He gives her a long oblivious look, then goes back to writing in his notebook.)
SHERLOCK: Sorry, you were saying?
MOLLY (gazing at him intently): I was wondering if you’d like to have coffee.
(Sherlock puts his notebook away.)
SHERLOCK: Black, two sugars, please. I’ll be upstairs.
(He walks away.)
MOLLY: ... Okay.
BART’S LAB. Sherlock is standing at the far end of the lab using a pipette to squeeze a few drops of liquid onto a Petri dish. Mike knocks on the door and brings John in with him. Sherlock glances across at them briefly before looking at his work again. John limps into the room, looking around at all the equipment.
JOHN: Well, bit different from my day.
MIKE (chuckling): You’ve no idea!
SHERLOCK (sitting down): Mike, can I borrow your phone? There’s no signal on mine.
MIKE: And what’s wrong with the landline?
SHERLOCK: I prefer to text.
MIKE: Sorry. It’s in my coat.
(John fishes in his back pocket and takes out his own phone.)
JOHN: Er, here. Use mine.
SHERLOCK: Oh. Thank you.
(Glancing briefly at Mike, he stands up and walks towards John. Mike introduces him.)
MIKE: It’s an old friend of mine, John Watson.
(Sherlock reaches John and takes his phone from him. Turning partially away from him, he flips open the keypad and starts to type on it.)
SHERLOCK: Afghanistan or Iraq?
(John frowns. Nearby, Mike smiles knowingly. John looks at Sherlock as he continues to type.)
SHERLOCK: Which was it – Afghanistan or Iraq?
(He briefly raises his eyes to John’s before looking back to the phone. John hesitates, then looks across to Mike, confused. Mike just smiles smugly.)
JOHN: Afghanistan. Sorry, how did you know ...?
(Sherlock looks up as Molly comes into the room holding a mug of coffee.)
SHERLOCK: Ah, Molly, coffee. Thank you.
(He shuts down John’s phone and hands it back while Molly brings the mug over to him. He takes it and looks closely at her. Her mouth is paler again.)
SHERLOCK: What happened to the lipstick?
MOLLY (smiling awkwardly at him): It wasn’t working for me.
SHERLOCK: Really? I thought it was a big improvement. Your mouth’s too small now.
(He turns and walks back to his station, taking a sip from the mug and grimacing at the taste.)
MOLLY: ... Okay.
(She turns and heads back towards the door.)
SHERLOCK: How do you feel about the violin?
(John looks round at Molly but she’s on her way out the door. He glances at Mike who is still smiling smugly, and finally realises that Sherlock is talking to him.)
JOHN: I’m sorry, what?
SHERLOCK (typing on a laptop keyboard as he talks): I play the violin when I’m thinking. Sometimes I don’t talk for days on end. (He looks round at John.) Would that bother you? Potential flatmates should know the worst about each other.
(He throws a hideously false smile at John, who looks at him blankly for a moment then looks across to Mike.)
JOHN: Oh, you ... you told him about me?
MIKE: Not a word.
JOHN (turning to Sherlock again): Then who said anything about flatmates?
SHERLOCK (picking up his greatcoat and putting it on): I did. Told Mike this morning that I must be a difficult man to find a flatmate for. Now here he is just after lunch with an old friend, clearly just home from military service in Afghanistan. Wasn’t that difficult a leap.
JOHN: How did you know about Afghanistan?
(Sherlock ignores the question, wraps his scarf around his neck, then picks up his mobile and checks it.)
SHERLOCK: Got my eye on a nice little place in central London. Together we ought to be able to afford it.
(He walks towards John.)
SHERLOCK: We’ll meet there tomorrow evening; seven o’clock. Sorry – gotta dash. I think I left my riding crop in the mortuary.
(Putting his phone into the inside pocket of his coat, he walks past John and heads for the door.)
JOHN (turning to look at him): Is that it?
(Sherlock turns back from the door and strolls closer to John again.)
SHERLOCK: Is that what?
JOHN: We’ve only just met and we’re gonna go and look at a flat?
(John smiles in disbelief, looking across to Mike for help, but his friend just continues to smile as he looks at Sherlock. John turns back to the younger man.)
JOHN: We don’t know a thing about each other; I don’t know where we’re meeting; I don’t even know your name.
(Sherlock looks closely at him for a moment before speaking.)
SHERLOCK: I know you’re an Army doctor and you’ve been invalided home from Afghanistan. I know you’ve got a brother who’s worried about you but you won’t go to him for help because you don’t approve of him – possibly because he’s an alcoholic; more likely because he recently walked out on his wife. And I know that your therapist thinks your limp’s psychosomatic – quite correctly, I’m afraid.
(John looks down at his leg and cane and shuffles his feet awkwardly.)
SHERLOCK (smugly): That’s enough to be going on with, don’t you think?
(He turns and walks to the door again, opening it and going through, but then leans back into the room again.)
SHERLOCK: The name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is two two one B Baker Street.
(He click-winks at John, then looks round at Mike.)
(Mike raises a finger in farewell as Sherlock disappears from the room. As the door slams shut behind him, John turns and looks at Mike in disbelief. Mike smiles and nods to him.)
MIKE: Yeah. He’s always like that.
LATER. John has returned to his bedsit. Sitting down on the bed, he takes out his mobile phone and flicks through the menu to find Messages Sent. The last message reads:
If brother has green ladder
(Puzzled, John looks at the message for a long moment, then looks across to the table where his laptop is lying. He pushes himself to his feet and walks over to the table. Shortly afterwards, he has called up a search website called Quest and types “Sherlock Holmes” into the search box.)
In an unknown location, a woman wearing a pink overcoat and pink high-heeled shoes slowly reaches down with a trembling hand towards a clear glass bottle which is standing on the bare floorboards and which contains three large capsules. Her fingers close around the bottle and she slowly lifts it off the floor, her hand still shaking.
BAKER STREET. John limps along the road and reaches the door marked 221B just as a black cab pulls up at the kerb behind him. John knocks on the door as Sherlock gets out of the cab.
(He reaches in through the window of the cab and hands some money to the driver.)
SHERLOCK: Thank you.
(John turns towards him as he walks over.)
JOHN: Ah, Mr Holmes.
SHERLOCK: Sherlock, please.
(They shake hands.)
JOHN: Well, this is a prime spot. Must be expensive.
SHERLOCK: Oh, Mrs Hudson, the landlady, she’s giving me a special deal. Owes me a favour. A few years back, her husband got himself sentenced to death in Florida. I was able to help out.
JOHN: Sorry – you stopped her husband being executed?
SHERLOCK: Oh no. I ensured it.
(He smiles at John as the front door is opened by Mrs Hudson, who opens her arms to the younger man.)
MRS HUDSON: Sherlock, hello.
(Sherlock turns and walks into her arms, hugging her briefly, then steps back and presents John to her.)
SHERLOCK: Mrs Hudson, Doctor John Watson.
MRS HUDSON: Hello.
JOHN: How do?
MRS HUDSON (gesturing John inside): Come in.
JOHN: Thank you.
SHERLOCK: Shall we?
MRS HUDSON: Yeah.
(The men go inside and Mrs Hudson closes the door. Sherlock trots up the stairs to the first floor landing, then pauses and waits for John to hobble upstairs. As John reaches the top of the stairs, Sherlock opens the door ahead of him and walks in, revealing the living room of the flat. John follows him in and looks around the room and at all the possessions and boxes scattered around it.)
JOHN: Well, this could be very nice. Very nice indeed.
SHERLOCK: Yes. Yes, I think so. My thoughts precisely.
(He looks around the flat happily.)
SHERLOCK: So I went straight ahead and moved in.
JOHN (simultaneously): Soon as we get all this rubbish cleaned out ... Oh.
(He pauses, embarrassed, when he realises what Sherlock was saying.)
JOHN: So this is all ...
SHERLOCK: Well, obviously I can, um, straighten things up a bit.
(He walks across the room and makes a half-hearted attempt to tidy up a little, throwing a couple of folders into a box and then taking some apparently unopened envelopes across to the fireplace where he puts them onto the mantelpiece and then stabs a multi tool knife into them. John has noticed something else on the mantelpiece and lifts his cane to point at it.)
JOHN: That’s a skull.
SHERLOCK: Friend of mine. When I say ‘friend’ ...
(Mrs Hudson has followed them into the room. She picks up a cup and saucer while Sherlock takes off his greatcoat and scarf.)
MRS HUDSON: What do you think, then, Doctor Watson? There’s another bedroom upstairs if you’ll be needing two bedrooms.
JOHN: Of course we’ll be needing two.
MRS HUDSON: Oh, don’t worry; there’s all sorts round here. (Confidentially, dropping her voice to a whisper by the end of the sentence) Mrs Turner next door’s got married ones.
(John looks across to Sherlock, expecting him to confirm that he and John are not involved in that way but Sherlock appears oblivious to what’s being insinuated. Mrs Hudson walks across to the kitchen, then turns back and frowns at Sherlock.)
MRS HUDSON: Oh, Sherlock. The mess you’ve made.
(She goes into the kitchen and starts tidying up, and John walks over to one of the two armchairs, plumps up a cushion on the chair and then drops heavily down into it. He looks across to Sherlock who is still tidying up a little.)
JOHN: I looked you up on the internet last night.
SHERLOCK (turning around to him): Anything interesting?
JOHN: Found your website, The Science of Deduction.
SHERLOCK (smiling proudly): What did you think?
(John throws him a “you have got to be kidding me” type of look. Sherlock looks hurt.)
JOHN: You said you could identify a software designer by his tie and an airline pilot by his left thumb.
SHERLOCK: Yes; and I can read your military career in your face and your leg, and your brother’s drinking habits in your mobile phone.
(Sherlock smiles and turns away. Mrs Hudson comes out of the kitchen reading the newspaper.)
MRS HUDSON: What about these suicides then, Sherlock? I thought that’d be right up your street. Three exactly the same.
(Sherlock walks over to the window of the living room at the sound of a car pulling up outside.)
(He looks down at the car as someone gets out of it. The vehicle is a police car with its lights flashing on the roof.)
SHERLOCK: There’s been a fourth. And there’s something different this time.
MRS HUDSON: A fourth?
(Sherlock turns as D.I. Lestrade [who apparently must have picked the lock on the front door ... like you do ...] trots up the stairs and comes into the living room.)
LESTRADE: Brixton, Lauriston Gardens.
SHERLOCK: What’s new about this one? You wouldn’t have come to get me if there wasn’t something different.
LESTRADE: You know how they never leave notes?
LESTRADE: This one did. Will you come?
SHERLOCK: Who’s on forensics?
LESTRADE: It’s Anderson.
SHERLOCK (grimacing): Anderson won’t work with me.
LESTRADE: Well, he won’t be your assistant.
SHERLOCK: I need an assistant.
LESTRADE: Will you come?
SHERLOCK: Not in a police car. I’ll be right behind.
LESTRADE: Thank you.
(Looking round at John and Mrs Hudson for a moment, he turns and hurries off down the stairs. Sherlock waits until he has reached the front door, then leaps into the air and clenches his fists triumphantly before twirling around the room happily.)
SHERLOCK: Brilliant! Yes! Ah, four serial suicides, and now a note! Oh, it’s Christmas!
(Picking up his scarf and coat he starts to put them on while heading for the kitchen.)
SHERLOCK: Mrs Hudson, I’ll be late. Might need some food.
MRS HUDSON: I’m your landlady, dear, not your housekeeper.
SHERLOCK: Something cold will do. John, have a cup of tea, make yourself at home. Don’t wait up!
(Grabbing a small leather pouch from the kitchen table, he opens the kitchen door and disappears from view. Mrs Hudson turns back to John.)
MRS HUDSON: Look at him, dashing about! My husband was just the same.
(John grimaces at her repeated implication that he and Sherlock are an item.)
MRS HUDSON: But you’re more the sitting-down type, I can tell.
(John looks uncomfortable.)
MRS HUDSON (turning towards the door): I’ll make you that cuppa. You rest your leg.
JOHN (loudly): Damn my leg!
(His response was instinctive and he is immediately apologetic even as Mrs Hudson turns back to him in shock.)
JOHN: Sorry, I’m so sorry. It’s just sometimes this bloody thing ...
(He bashes his leg with his cane.)
MRS HUDSON: I understand, dear; I’ve got a hip.
(She turns towards the door again.)
JOHN: Cup of tea’d be lovely, thank you.
MRS HUDSON: Just this once, dear. I’m not your housekeeper.
JOHN: Couple of biscuits too, if you’ve got ’em.
MRS HUDSON: Not your housekeeper!
(John has picked up the newspaper which Mrs Hudson put down and now he looks at the article reporting Beth Davenport’s apparent suicide. Next to a large photograph of Beth is a smaller one showing the man who just visited the flat and identifying him as D.I. Lestrade. Before he can read on, Sherlock’s voice interrupts him and John looks up and sees him standing at the living room door.)
SHERLOCK: You’re a doctor. In fact you’re an Army doctor.
(He gets to his feet and turns towards Sherlock as he comes back into the room again.)
SHERLOCK: Any good?
JOHN: Very good.
SHERLOCK: Seen a lot of injuries, then; violent deaths.
JOHN: Mmm, yes.
SHERLOCK: Bit of trouble too, I bet.
JOHN (quietly): Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime. Far too much.
SHERLOCK: Wanna see some more?
JOHN (fervently): Oh God, yes.
(Sherlock spins on his heel and leads John out of the room and down the stairs. John calls out as he follows him down.)
JOHN: Sorry, Mrs Hudson, I’ll skip the tea. Off out.
MRS HUDSON (standing near the bottom of the stairs): Both of you?
(Sherlock has almost reached the front door but now turns and walks back towards her.)
SHERLOCK: Impossible suicides? Four of them? There’s no point sitting at home when there’s finally something fun going on!
(He takes her by the shoulders and kisses her noisily on the cheek.)
MRS HUDSON: Look at you, all happy. It’s not decent.
(She can’t help but smile, though, as he turns away and heads for the front door again.)
SHERLOCK: Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs Hudson, is on!
(He walks out onto the street and hails an approaching black cab.)
(The taxi pulls up alongside and he and John get in, then the car drives off again and heads for Brixton. The boys sit in silence for a long time while Sherlock sits with his eyes fixed on his smartphone and John keeps stealing nervous glances at him. Finally Sherlock lowers his phone.)
SHERLOCK: Okay, you’ve got questions.
JOHN: Yeah, where are we going?
SHERLOCK: Crime scene. Next?
JOHN: Who are you? What do you do?
SHERLOCK: What do you think?
JOHN (slowly, hesitantly): I’d say private detective ...
JOHN: ... but the police don’t go to private detectives.
SHERLOCK: I’m a consulting detective. Only one in the world. I invented the job.
JOHN: What does that mean?
SHERLOCK: It means when the police are out of their depth, which is always, they consult me.
JOHN: The police don’t consult amateurs.
(Sherlock throws him a look.)
SHERLOCK: When I met you for the first time yesterday, I said, “Afghanistan or Iraq?” You looked surprised.
JOHN: Yes, how did you know?
SHERLOCK: I didn’t know, I saw. Your haircut, the way you hold yourself, says military. But your conversation as you entered the room ...
(Flashback to the lab at Bart’s)
JOHN (looking around the lab): Bit different from my day.
SHERLOCK: ... said trained at Bart’s, so Army doctor – obvious. Your face is tanned but no tan above the wrists. You’ve been abroad, but not sunbathing. Your limp’s really bad when you walk but you don’t ask for a chair when you stand, like you’ve forgotten about it, so it’s at least partly psychosomatic. That says the original circumstances of the injury were traumatic. Wounded in action, then. Wounded in action, suntan – Afghanistan or Iraq.
(He loudly clicks the ‘k’ sound at the end of the final word. Your humble transcriber, for whom this is her favourite vocal idiosyncrasy from Sherlock, giggles quietly.)
JOHN: You said I had a therapist.
SHERLOCK: You’ve got a psychosomatic limp – of course you’ve got a therapist. Then there’s your brother.
SHERLOCK (holding his hand out): Your phone. It’s expensive, e-mail enabled, MP3 player, but you’re looking for a flatshare – you wouldn’t waste money on this. It’s a gift, then.
(By now John has given him the phone and he turns it over and looks at it again as he talks.)
SHERLOCK: Scratches. Not one, many over time. It’s been in the same pocket as keys and coins. The man sitting next to me wouldn’t treat his one luxury item like this, so it’s had a previous owner. Next bit’s easy. You know it already.
JOHN: The engraving.
(We see that engraved on the back of the phone are the words
SHERLOCK: Harry Watson: clearly a family member who’s given you his old phone. Not your father, this is a young man’s gadget. Could be a cousin, but you’re a war hero who can’t find a place to live. Unlikely you’ve got an extended family, certainly not one you’re close to, so brother it is. Now, Clara. Who’s Clara? Three kisses says it’s a romantic attachment. The expense of the phone says wife, not girlfriend. She must have given it to him recently – this model’s only six months old. Marriage in trouble then – six months on he’s just given it away. If she’d left him, he would have kept it. People do – sentiment. But no, he wanted rid of it. He left her. He gave the phone to you: that says he wants you to stay in touch. You’re looking for cheap accommodation, but you’re not going to your brother for help: that says you’ve got problems with him. Maybe you liked his wife; maybe you don’t like his drinking.
JOHN: How can you possibly know about the drinking?
SHERLOCK (smiling): Shot in the dark. Good one, though. Power connection: tiny little scuff marks around the edge of it. Every night he goes to plug it in to charge but his hands are shaking. You never see those marks on a sober man’s phone; never see a drunk’s without them.
(He hands the phone back.)
SHERLOCK: There you go, you see – you were right.
JOHN: I was right? Right about what?
SHERLOCK: The police don’t consult amateurs.
(He looks out of the side window, biting his lip nervously while he awaits John’s reaction.)
JOHN: That ... was amazing.
(Sherlock looks round, apparently so surprised that he can’t even reply for the next four seconds.)
SHERLOCK: Do you think so?
JOHN: Of course it was. It was extraordinary; it was quite extraordinary.
SHERLOCK: That’s not what people normally say.
JOHN: What do people normally say?
SHERLOCK: ‘Piss off’!
(He smiles briefly at John, who grins and turns away to look out of the window as the journey continues.)
BRIXTON. The cab has arrived at Lauriston Gardens and Sherlock and John get out and walk towards the police tape strung across the road.
SHERLOCK: Did I get anything wrong?
JOHN: Harry and me don’t get on, never have. Clara and Harry split up three months ago and they’re getting a divorce; and Harry is a drinker.
SHERLOCK (looking impressed with himself): Spot on, then. I didn’t expect to be right about everything.
JOHN: And Harry’s short for Harriet.
(Sherlock stops dead in his tracks.)
SHERLOCK: Harry’s your sister.
JOHN (continuing onwards): Look, what exactly am I supposed to be doing here?
SHERLOCK (furiously, through gritted teeth): Sister!
JOHN: No, seriously, what am I doing here?
SHERLOCK (exasperated, starting to walk again): There’s always something.
(They approach the police tape where they are met by Sergeant Donovan.)
DONOVAN: Hello, freak.
SHERLOCK: I’m here to see Detective Inspector Lestrade.
SHERLOCK: I was invited.
SHERLOCK (sarcastically): I think he wants me to take a look.
DONOVAN: Well, you know what I think, don’t you?
SHERLOCK (lifting the tape and ducking underneath it): Always, Sally. (He breathes in through his nose.) I even know you didn’t make it home last night.
DONOVAN: I don’t ... (She looks at John.) Er, who’s this?
SHERLOCK: Colleague of mine, Doctor Watson.
(He turns to John.)
SHERLOCK: Doctor Watson, Sergeant Sally Donovan. (His voice drips with sarcasm.) Old friend.
DONOVAN: A colleague? How do you get a colleague?!
(She turns to John.)
DONOVAN: What, did he follow you home?
JOHN: Would it be better if I just waited and ...
SHERLOCK (lifting the tape for him): No.
(As John walks under the tape, Donovan lifts a radio to her mouth.)
DONOVAN (into radio): Freak’s here. Bringing him in.
(She leads the boys towards the house. Sherlock looks all around the area and at the ground as they approach. As they reach the pavement, a man dressed in a coverall comes out of the house.)
SHERLOCK: Ah, Anderson. Here we are again.
(Anderson looks at him with distaste.)
ANDERSON: It’s a crime scene. I don’t want it contaminated. Are we clear on that?
SHERLOCK (taking in another deep breath through his nose): Quite clear. And is your wife away for long?
ANDERSON: Oh, don’t pretend you worked that out. Somebody told you that.
SHERLOCK: Your deodorant told me that.
ANDERSON: My deodorant?
SHERLOCK (with a quirky expression on his face): It’s for men.
ANDERSON: Well, of course it’s for men! I’m wearing it!
SHERLOCK: So’s Sergeant Donovan.
(Anderson looks round in shock at Donovan. Sherlock sniffs pointedly.)
SHERLOCK: Ooh, and I think it just vaporised. May I go in?
ANDERSON (turning back and pointing at him angrily): Now look: whatever you’re trying to imply ...
SHERLOCK: I’m not implying anything.
(He heads past Donovan towards the front door.)
SHERLOCK: I’m sure Sally came round for a nice little chat, and just happened to stay over.
(He turns back.)
SHERLOCK: And I assume she scrubbed your floors, going by the state of her knees.
(Anderson and Donovan stare at him in horror. He smiles smugly, then turns and goes into the house. John walks past Donovan, briefly but pointedly looking down to her knees, then follows Sherlock inside. Sherlock leads him into a room on the ground floor where Lestrade is putting on a coverall. Sherlock points to a pile of similar items.)
SHERLOCK (to John): You need to wear one of these.
LESTRADE: Who’s this?
SHERLOCK (taking his gloves off): He’s with me.
LESTRADE: But who is he?
SHERLOCK: I said he’s with me.
(John has taken off his jacket and picks up a coverall. He looks at Sherlock who has picked up a pair of latex gloves.)
JOHN (referring to the coverall): Aren’t you gonna put one on?
(Sherlock just looks at him sternly. John shakes his head as if to say, ‘Silly me. What was I thinking?!’)
SHERLOCK (to Lestrade): So where are we?
LESTRADE (picking up another pair of latex gloves): Upstairs.
Continue to Part 2