Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.
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Sherlock, Season 1, episode 3 transcript: The Great Game, part 4
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MORNING. HICKMAN GALLERY. Sherlock is standing in front of the Vermeer painting, looking up information on his phone. He calls up subjects such as “Vermeer brush strokes,” “Pigment analysis,” “Canvas degradation,” “UV Light damage,” “Delft Skyline, 1600,” and “Vermeer influences.” John, Lestrade and Miss Wenceslas are standing behind him.
SHERLOCK: It’s a fake. It has to be.
MISS WENCESLAS: That painting has been subjected to every test known to science.
SHERLOCK: It’s a very good fake, then.
(He spins around and glares at her.)
SHERLOCK: You know about this, don’t you? This is you, isn’t it?
(Miss Wenceslas turns to Lestrade, looking exasperated.)
MISS WENCESLAS: Inspector, my time is being wasted. Would you mind showing yourself and your friends out?
(The pink phone rings. Sherlock snatches it from his pocket and switches on the speaker.)
SHERLOCK: The painting is a fake.
(There’s a faint sound of breathing over the speaker but otherwise there is no response.)
SHERLOCK: It’s a fake. That’s why Woodbridge and Cairns were killed.
(Still there’s nothing more than breathing.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, come on. Proving it’s just the detail. The painting is a fake. I’ve solved it. I’ve figured it out. It’s a fake! That’s the answer. That’s why they were killed.
(When the phone remains silent, Sherlock takes a deep breath to calm himself.)
SHERLOCK: Okay, I’ll prove it. Give me time. Will you give me time?
(After a moment, the tremulous voice of a very young boy comes over the phone’s speaker.)
BOY’s VOICE: Ten ...
(Instantly Sherlock spins and looks closely at the painting.)
LESTRADE (shocked): It’s a kid. Oh, God, it’s a kid!
JOHN: What did he say?
BOY’s VOICE: Nine ...
SHERLOCK (narrowing his eyes as he scans every inch of the painting): It’s a countdown. He’s giving me time.
SHERLOCK: The painting is a fake, but how can I prove it? How? How?
BOY’s VOICE: Eight ...
SHERLOCK (turning and glaring at Miss Wenceslas): This kid will die. Tell me why the painting is a fake. Tell me!
(Miss Wenceslas flinches and opens her mouth, but Sherlock immediately holds up his hand to stop her.)
BOY’s VOICE: Seven ...
SHERLOCK: No, shut up. Don’t say anything. It only works if I figure it out.
(He turns back to the painting again. Unable to stand the tension, John turns and walks away a few paces. Lestrade turns to watch him, probably wanting to join in the pacing as well.)
SHERLOCK (to himself, continuing to scan the painting): Must be possible. Must be staring me in the face.
BOY’s VOICE: Six ...
JOHN (urgently under his breath as he turns back): Come on.
SHERLOCK: Woodbridge knew, but how?
BOY’s VOICE: Five ...
LESTRADE: It’s speeding up!
JOHN (urgently): Sherlock.
(Sherlock’s gaze falls on three tiny white dots of paint in the night sky. His mouth falls open as the penny finally drops.)
BOY’s VOICE: Four ...
SHERLOCK: In the planetarium! You heard it too. Oh, that is brilliant! That is gorgeous!
(Turning and shoving the pink phone into John’s hands, he walks away from the painting, grinning as he pulls out his own phone from his pocket.)
BOY’s VOICE: Three ...
JOHN: What’s brilliant? What is?
(Sherlock rapidly types “Astronomers” and “Supernovas” into his phone, then turns back and walks towards the others, laughing in delight.)
SHERLOCK: This is beautiful. I love this!
BOY’s VOICE: Two ...
LESTRADE (furiously): Sherlock!
(Sherlock grabs the pink phone from John and yells into it.)
SHERLOCK: The Van Buren Supernova!
(There’s a short pause, then the boy’s plaintive voice comes from the speaker.)
BOY’s VOICE: Please. Is somebody there?
(Sherlock sighs out a relieved breath.)
BOY’s VOICE: Somebody help me!
SHERLOCK (turning and handing the phone to Lestrade): There you go. Go find out where he is and pick him up.
(He gives John a long look
SHERLOCK: The Van Buren Supernova, so-called. (He holds up his phone over his shoulder so that Miss Wenceslas can see the screen.) Exploding star, only appeared in the sky in eighteen fifty-eight.
(He turns and throws her a triumphant look, then walks away. John drags in a relieved breath, then walks closer to look at the painting.)
JOHN: So how could it have been painted in the sixteen forties?
(He grins over his shoulder at Miss Wenceslas, then looks back to the picture again. His phone trills a text alert.)
(He digs out his phone, still breathing heavily, and looks at the message which reads:
My patience is
He growls slightly, then looks up at the painting one last time.)
JOHN: Oh Sherl...
(He switches off the phone and walks away. Miss Wenceslas stares at the painting in shock.)
NEW SCOTLAND YARD. Sherlock and Miss Wenceslas are sitting side by side in front of Lestrade’s desk while the inspector sits in a chair to the side of the desk. Sherlock has his hands in the prayer position under his chin.
SHERLOCK: You know, it’s interesting. Bohemian stationery, an assassin named after a Prague legend, and you, Miss Wenceslas. This whole case has a distinctly Czech feeling about it. Is that where this leads?
(She looks down and doesn’t answer.)
SHERLOCK: What are we looking at, Inspector?
LESTRADE (thoughtfully): Well, um, criminal conspiracy, fraud, accessory after the fact at the very least. The murder of the old woman, all the people in the flats ...
MISS WENCESLAS (panicked, to Lestrade): I didn’t know anything about that! All those things! Please believe me.
(As she continues to stare at Lestrade, Sherlock gives him a tiny nod to confirm that she’s telling the truth.)
MISS WENCESLAS: I just wanted my share – the thirty million.
(She looks across to Sherlock, then sighs and lowers her head again.)
MISS WENCESLAS: I found a little old man in Argentina. Genius. I mean, really: brushwork immaculate, could fool anyone.
SHERLOCK (sarcastically): Hm!
MISS WENCESLAS (looking at him briefly): Well, nearly anyone. (She turns back to Lestrade.) But I didn’t know how to go about convincing the world the picture was genuine. It was just an idea – a spark which he blew into a flame.
SHERLOCK (sharply): Who?
MISS WENCESLAS (shaking her head): I don’t know.
(Lestrade gives a disbelieving laugh.)
MISS WENCESLAS: It’s true! I mean, it took a long time, but eventually I was put in touch with people ... his people.
(Sherlock slowly begins to sit up in his chair, his expression becoming more concentrated.)
MISS WENCESLAS: Well, there was never any real contact; just messages ... whispers.
(Sherlock leans closer to her, his face intense.)
SHERLOCK: And did those whispers have a name?
(She gazes ahead of herself for a moment, then looks across to Lestrade before nodding. She turns her head to Sherlock.)
MISS WENCESLAS: Moriarty.
(Slowly Sherlock sinks back in his chair. As Miss Wenceslas looks anxiously at Lestrade again, Sherlock gazes into the distance, his eyes full of thought. Eventually he raises his hands into the prayer position in front of his mouth, then grins.)
BATTERSEA. Wearing a high-vis jacket over his coat, John is walking along the railway lines with the Tube guard who found Andrew West’s body.
JOHN: So this is where West was found?
TUBE GUARD: Yeah.
TUBE GUARD: You gonna be long?
JOHN: I might be.
TUBE GUARD: You with the police, then?
JOHN: Sort of.
TUBE GUARD: I hate ’em.
JOHN: The police?
TUBE GUARD: No. Jumpers.
[Be careful, there, son. You don’t insult jumpers in the presence of John Watson, jumper-wearer extraordinaire.]
TUBE GUARD: People who chuck themselves in front of trains.
[Oh. Sorry. As you were.]
TUBE GUARD: Selfish bastards.
JOHN: Well, that’s one way of looking at it.
(He squats down to look more closely at the railway track.)
TUBE GUARD: I mean it. It’s all right for them. It’s over in a split second – strawberry jam all over the lines. What about the drivers, hmm? They’ve gotta live with it, haven’t they?
(John runs his fingers along the track, then lifts his hand to look at it.)
JOHN: Yeah, speaking of strawberry jam, there’s no blood on the line. (He stands up again.) Has it been cleaned off?
TUBE GUARD: No, there wasn’t that much.
JOHN: You said his head was smashed in.
TUBE GUARD: Well, it was, but there wasn’t much blood.
(He turns and looks along the line thoughtfully.)
TUBE GUARD: Well, I’ll leave you to it then.
(John walks a few yards further down the line and then squats down again.)
TUBE GUARD: Just give us a shout when you’re off.
(The guard walks away. John stands up again and talks to himself.)
JOHN: Right: so, uh, Andrew West got on the train somewhere – or did he? There’s no ticket on the body. Then how did he end up here?
(Beside him, the points change and a set of the tracks slides sideways into a new layout. John squats down again and looks at the tracks thoughtfully.)
SHERLOCK (from behind him): Points.
(He springs to his feet and turns around to see his flatmate standing nearby.)
SHERLOCK: Knew you’d get there eventually. West wasn’t killed here; that’s why there was so little blood.
JOHN: How long have you been following me?
SHERLOCK: Since the start. You don’t think I’d give up on a case like this just to spite my brother, do you?
(He turns and starts walking away.)
SHERLOCK: Come on. Got a bit of burglary to do.
Shortly afterwards the boys are walking along a street.
SHERLOCK: The missile defence plans haven’t left the country, otherwise Mycroft’s people would have heard about it. Despite what people think, we do still have a Secret Service.
JOHN: Yeah, I know. I’ve met them.
SHERLOCK: Which means whoever stole the memory stick can’t sell it or doesn’t know what to do with it. My money’s on the latter. We’re here.
(Sherlock turns into the drive of a maisonette and trots up the steps at the side of the building which lead to the front door of flat 21A on the first floor. As he rummages in his pocket, John whispers to him urgently.)
JOHN: Sherlock! What if there’s someone in?
SHERLOCK: There isn’t.
(He picks the lock and goes inside.)
JOHN (softly): Jesus!
(He hurries inside and shuts the door. Sherlock trots up the short flight of stairs ahead of him and walks into the living room.)
JOHN: Where are we?
SHERLOCK: Oh, sorry, didn’t I say? Joe Harrison’s flat.
JOHN: Joe ...?
(Sherlock goes straight over to the window and pulls back the net curtain. He grins in satisfaction at the sight which greets him outside.)
SHERLOCK: Brother of West’s fiancée.
(Outside the window is a one-storey extension, the roof of which can be easily climbed onto from the window. The extension goes all the way to the bottom of the garden which ends in a wall, and directly on the other side of the wall is the railway line.)
SHERLOCK: He stole the memory stick; killed his prospective brother-in-law.
(Dropping to his knees, he gets out his magnifier and uses it to slowly examine the edge of the window sill. John walks across to him and peers over his shoulder as Sherlock finds some tiny blood-red spots on the white paint.)
JOHN: Then why’d he do it?
(He straightens up and turns at the sound of someone unlocking the front door. Sherlock also stands.)
SHERLOCK: Let’s ask him.
(Reaching round to the back of his jeans, John walks quietly to the door of the living room as the front door slams. He steps out onto the landing just as Joe, wearing his courier gear, is leaning his bicycle against the wall. When he sees John he picks up the bike as if he intends to use it as a weapon or simply to throw it at him. John instantly raises his right hand and points his pistol at him.)
JOHN (sternly): Don’t.
(For a moment Joe keeps coming but John shakes his head.)
(Joe stops and lowers the bike, sighing in a mixture of frustration and fear.)
Shortly afterwards he is sitting on the sofa while the boys stand nearby. He is very distressed.
JOE: It wasn’t meant to ...
(Sherlock looks away, exasperated.)
JOE: God. (He rubs his hand over his face.) What’s Lucy gonna say? Jesus.
(He sinks back on the sofa.)
JOHN: Why did you kill him?
JOE: It was an accident.
JOE: I swear it was.
SHERLOCK (sternly): But stealing the plans for the missile defence programme wasn’t an accident, was it?
JOE: I started dealing drugs. I mean, the bike thing’s a great cover, right? I dunno – I dunno how it started; I just got out of my depth. I owed people thousands – serious people. Then at Westie’s engagement do, he starts talking about his job.
(Throughout the next part of the scene there are flashbacks to Joe and Westie in a pub which re-enact what Joe is describing.)
JOE: I mean, usually he’s so careful; but that night after a few pints he really opened up. He told me about these missile plans – beyond top secret. He showed me the memory stick; he waved it in front of me. You hear about these things getting lost, ending up on rubbish tips and what-not. And there it was, and I thought ... well, I thought it could be worth a fortune.
(In flashback, Joe helps a very drunk Westie into his jacket and slips the memory stick out of his shirt pocket while he’s doing so.)
JOE: It was pretty easy to get the thing off him, he was so plastered. Next time I saw him, I could tell by the look on his face that he knew.
(In flashback, Joe is letting himself into his flat at night time when Westie hurries up the steps and grabs him.)
WESTIE (in flashback): I know you took it.
JOE (in flashback): What are you doin’ ’ere?
WESTIE (in flashback): What have you done with it?
JOE (in flashback): What are you talking about?
WESTIE (in flashback): What have you done with the plans?
(In the present, Joe looks up guiltily at John.)
JOHN: What happened?
(In flashback, Westie and Joe scuffle on the small landing outside the front door. Joe angrily shoves Westie and he loses his footing and rolls down the steps, landing heavily on the ground.)
JOE: I was gonna call an ambulance, but it was too late.
(In flashback, Joe has hauled Westie’s limp body into the living room, his face full of anguish.)
JOE: I just didn’t have a clue what to do, so I dragged him in ’ere, and I just sat in the dark, thinking.
SHERLOCK: When a neat little idea popped into your head.
(As Joe hauls Westie across to the window, a train pulls up on the tracks outside, its brakes squealing noisily. Shortly afterwards, Joe has dragged Westie out of the window and is tugging him across the extension roof. Pulling him over the top of the wall, he steps across onto the roof of the train and drags the body over, settling it into a position along the slightly curved roof so that it won’t easily fall off. He steps back onto the wall and the train sounds its horn and then continues on down the track.)
SHERLOCK (pushing the net curtain aside and looking out of the window): Carrying Andrew West way away from here. His body would have gone on for ages if the train hadn’t met a stretch of track that curved.
(In flashback, the train rockets through the area that John was recently investigating. The combination of the curve and the jolting of the train as it passes over the points throws Westie’s body off the roof and onto the trackside.)
JOHN: And points.
(And the Tube guard walks along the track and finds Westie’s body the next morning.)
[And can your transcriber interject at this point to say that the next moment – when John walks across the screen and wipes that trackside scene away, returning us to the flat – combined with the glorious music all through the latter part of the scene, makes it in her opinion the absolutely best moment of the entire series so far.]
JOHN: D’you still have it, then? The memory stick?
SHERLOCK: Fetch it for me – if you wouldn’t mind.
(Sighing unhappily, Joe stands up and walks into another room. Sherlock walks closer to John.)
SHERLOCK (quietly): Distraction over, the game continues.
JOHN: Well, maybe that’s over, too. We’ve heard nothing from the bomber.
SHERLOCK: Five pips, remember, John? It’s a countdown. We’ve only had four.
NIGHT TIME. 221B. Both Sherlock and John are in their coats because the windows still haven’t been replaced. Sherlock is sitting in his armchair with his feet up on the seat and his arms folded tightly around him, trying to conserve heat. The pink phone is on the arm of the chair. Behind him, John is sitting at the dining table, typing on his laptop. The TV is on and a Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle-type show is playing. As the audience boos noisily, Sherlock yells indignantly at the telly.
SHERLOCK: No, no, no! Of course he’s not the boy’s father! (He gestures at the screen.) Look at the turn-ups on his jeans!
(Sighing, he folds his arms again. John, who has looked round to see what Sherlock is protesting about, gets back to his typing.)
JOHN: Knew it was dangerous.
JOHN: Getting you into crap telly.
SHERLOCK: Hmm. Not a patch on Connie Prince.
JOHN: Have you given Mycroft the memory stick yet?
SHERLOCK: Yep. He was over the moon. Threatened me with a knighthood – again.
JOHN: You know, I’m still waiting.
JOHN: For you to admit that a little knowledge of the solar system and you’d have cleared up the fake painting a lot quicker.
SHERLOCK: Didn’t do you any good, did it?
JOHN: No, but I’m not the world’s only consulting detective.
SHERLOCK (smiling): True.
(John has closed the lid of his laptop and now stands up.)
JOHN: I won’t be in for tea. I’m going to Sarah’s. There’s still some of that risotto left in the fridge.
SHERLOCK (his eyes still fixed on the TV): Mm!
(John stops at the door.)
JOHN: Uh, milk. We need milk.
SHERLOCK: I’ll get some.
JOHN (turning back with a look of disbelief on his face): Really?!
JOHN: And some beans, then?
SHERLOCK (still not looking away from the TV): Mm.
(John hesitates, still surprised, but then nods and walks away. Sherlock continues to gaze at the TV until he hears the downstairs door open and close, then he picks up his computer notebook from where it was tucked down beside him. Putting it on his lap and opening the lid, he stares at the message box on The Science of Deduction website before starting to type.
Found. The Bruce-Partington plans. Please collect.
He lifts his eyes in thought for a moment, then quirks a small smile before returning to his typing.
The Pool. Midnight.
He sends the message, then closes the lid, gazing thoughtfully into the distance.)
SWIMMING POOL. Sherlock opens a door leading into the area surrounding an indoor swimming pool. The lights are on but there is nobody visible in the area. Somewhere between Baker Street and here, he has taken off his Coat and is just wearing his suit, so presumably the heating is on as well. He walks slowly towards the shallow end of the pool, probably very aware that the upper gallery where people sit and watch the swimmers is still in darkness. He stops at the edge of the pool and turns, trying to see up into the viewing gallery. Finally he turns towards the pool again, raising one hand and holding up the memory stick.
SHERLOCK (loudly): Brought you a little getting-to-know-you present. Oh, that’s what it’s all been for, hasn’t it? All your little puzzles; making me dance – all to distract me from this.
(He gestures with the memory stick, then begins to turn in a slow circle while he waits for a response. When his back is turned to the pool, a door opens halfway down the room. Sherlock looks over his shoulder, still holding the memory stick aloft. And John Watson walks through the door and into the pool area, wrapped snugly in a hooded jacket with his hands tucked into the pockets. He turns and looks at Sherlock as the detective stares back at him in absolute shock.)
(Sherlock’s raised hand begins to lower slowly but otherwise he doesn’t move, still staring over his shoulder in utter disbelief.)
JOHN: This is a turn-up, isn’t it, Sherlock?
SHERLOCK (softly, shocked): John. What the hell ...?
JOHN: Bet you never saw this coming.
(Finally Sherlock manages to move, and starts to walk slowly towards the man he had believed to be his friend until now. The shock and bewilderment on his face make him look about twelve years old. Then, with a look of despair which matches Sherlock’s, John takes his hands from his pockets and pulls open his jacket to reveal the bomb strapped to his chest. From somewhere in the upper gallery, the point from a sniper’s laser immediately begins to dance around over the bomb.)
JOHN: What ... would you like me ... to make him say ... next?
(Sherlock continues to step towards him but now he is looking everywhere but at John as he tries to see who else is in the area.)
JOHN (obviously narrating words spoken into an earpiece): Gottle o’ geer ... gottle o’ geer ... gottle o’ geer.
(His voice almost breaks on the last phrase.)
SHERLOCK: Stop it.
JOHN (narrating): Nice touch, this: the pool where little Carl died. I stopped him. (He tries not to cringe as he listens to the next words.) I can stop John Watson too. (He looks down at the laser point on his chest.) Stop his heart.
SHERLOCK (turning on the spot while he tries to look in all directions): Who are you?
(A door opens at the far end of the pool and a soft male voice with an Irish accent speaks from that direction.)
VOICE: I gave you my number.
(We get a brief glimpse of a man wearing a suit and tie, but currently he is mostly obscured by a column.)
VOICE (plaintively): I thought you might call.
(Sherlock turns towards the new arrival, who now slowly walks out into the open. It’s Jim, Molly’s boyfriend. But this isn’t the fumble-fingered casually-dressed Londoner who did indeed leave his number for Sherlock in the lab at Bart’s; this is a sharply-dressed man with immaculate hair and a murderous look on his face. With his hands in his pockets, he casually begins to stroll alongside the deep end of the pool, heading towards Sherlock and John. All hint of plaintiveness has now gone from his voice.)
JIM: Is that a British Army Browning L9A1 in your pocket ...
(Sherlock reaches down to his trouser pocket and removes a pistol from it.)
JIM: ... or are you just pleased to see me?
SHERLOCK (raising the pistol and aiming it towards Jim): Both.
(Jim stops and looks back at him, unafraid.)
JIM: Jim Moriarty. Hi!
(Sherlock tilts his head while he looks more closely at the man. Jim acts as if he needs to remind Sherlock who he is.)
JIM: Jim? Jim from the hospital?
(He begins to walk alongside the deep end again. Sherlock brings up his other hand to support the one aiming the gun. Jim bites his lip as if disappointed.)
JIM: Oh. Did I really make such a fleeting impression? But then, I suppose, that was rather the point.
(He turns to face Sherlock just as the sniper’s laser flickers over John’s upper chest. Sherlock briefly turns his head towards John, a questioning look on his face.)
JIM (starting to walk again): Don’t be silly. Someone else is holding the rifle. I don’t like getting my hands dirty.
(He reaches the corner of the pool and stops.)
JIM: I’ve given you a glimpse, Sherlock, just a teensy glimpse of what I’ve got going on out there in the big bad world. I’m a specialist, you see ...
(He looks surprised, as if he has only just realised the connection.)
JIM: ... like you!
SHERLOCK: “Dear Jim. Please will you fix it for me to get rid of my lover’s nasty sister?”
(Starting to walk forward again, Jim grins, clearly recognising the TV show and catchphrase that Sherlock is quoting.) [See footnotes]
SHERLOCK: “Dear Jim. Please will you fix it for me to disappear to South America?”
JIM (stopping again): Just so.
SHERLOCK: Consulting criminal. (softly) Brilliant.
JIM (smiling proudly): Isn’t it? No-one ever gets to me – and no-one ever will.
SHERLOCK (cocking the pistol): I did.
JIM: You’ve come the closest. Now you’re in my way.
SHERLOCK: Thank you.
JIM: Didn’t mean it as a compliment.
SHERLOCK: Yes you did.
JIM (shrugging): Yeah, okay, I did. But the flirting’s over, Sherlock ... (His voice becomes high-pitched and sing-song.) Daddy’s had enough now!
(He again starts to stroll closer.)
JIM (back to his normal tone): I’ve shown you what I can do. I cut loose all those people, all those little problems, even thirty million quid just to get you to come out and play.
(John is starting to feel the strain and closes his eyes briefly. Sherlock’s eyes can’t help but flicker across to him a couple of times as he tries to keep his focus on the man approaching them.)
JIM: So take this as a friendly warning, my dear. Back off.
JIM: Although I have loved this – this little game of ours. (He puts on his London accent for a moment.) Playing Jim from I.T. (He switches back to his Irish accent.) Playing gay. Did you like the little touch with the underwear?
SHERLOCK: People have died.
JIM: That’s what people DO!
(He screams the last word furiously, his personality changing in an instant.)
SHERLOCK (softly): I will stop you.
JIM (calmer again): No you won’t.
(Sherlock looks across to John.)
SHERLOCK: You all right?
(John deliberately keeps his gaze away from his friend, presumably having been given instructions earlier about not talking to him. Jim walks forward again and reaches his side.)
JIM: You can talk, Johnny-boy. Go ahead.
(Refusing to specifically obey Jim’s orders, John meets Sherlock’s eyes and nods once. Sherlock takes one hand off the pistol and holds out the memory stick towards Jim.)
SHERLOCK: Take it.
JIM: Huh? Oh! That!
(He strolls past John and reaches out for the stick, grinning.)
JIM: The missile plans!
(He takes the stick from Sherlock’s fingers and brings it to his mouth, kissing it. Behind him, John is silently murmuring to himself, perhaps trying to keep himself focussed, perhaps winding himself up to take action, or maybe just expressing his surprise or disappointment that Sherlock lied to him about giving the plans to Mycroft. Jim lowers the memory stick and looks at it.)
JIM (sing-song): Boring!
(He shakes his head.)
JIM: I could have got them anywhere.
(He nonchalantly tosses the stick into the pool. Seeing his opportunity, John races forward and slams himself against Jim’s back, wrapping one arm around his neck and the other around his chest. Sherlock backs up a step in surprise but keeps the pistol raised and aimed at Jim.)
JOHN: Sherlock, run!
(Jim laughs in delight.)
JIM: Good! Very good.
(Sherlock doesn’t move, still aiming his gun at Jim’s head but now starting to look up a little anxiously, as if wondering what action the hidden sniper might take.)
JOHN (savagely): If your sniper pulls that trigger, Mr Moriarty, then we both go up.
JIM (calmly, to Sherlock): Isn’t he sweet? I can see why you like having him around. But then people do get so sentimental about their pets.
(Grimacing angrily, John pulls him even closer onto the bomb which is now sandwiched between them. Jim scowls round at him.)
JIM: They’re so touchingly loyal. But, oops!
(He grins briefly at John, then looks towards Sherlock.)
JIM: You’ve rather shown your hand there, Doctor Watson.
(He chuckles as a new laser point appears in the middle of Sherlock’s forehead. John stares in horror as Jim looks round at him expectantly. Sherlock, either seeing the edge of the laser beam shining from the gallery or realising what’s happening from John’s expression, shakes his head slightly.)
JIM (sing-song): Gotcha!
(He chuckles as John releases his grip on him and steps back, holding his hands up to signal to the sniper that he won’t be trying anything else. Jim glances round at him, then turns back towards Sherlock while brushing his hands down his suit to straighten it. He gestures to it indignantly.)
JIM: Westwood! [See footnotes.]
(He lowers his hands and stands calmly in front of Sherlock who is still aiming the pistol at his head.)
JIM: D’you know what happens if you don’t leave me alone, Sherlock, to you?
SHERLOCK (sounding bored): Oh, let me guess: I get killed.
JIM: Kill you? (He grimaces.) N-no, don’t be obvious. I mean, I’m gonna kill you anyway some day. I don’t wanna rush it, though. I’m saving it up for something special. No-no-no-no-no. If you don’t stop prying, I’ll burn you.
(He runs his eyes briefly down Sherlock’s body, then meets his eyes again and his voice becomes vicious.)
JIM: I’ll burn the heart out of you.
(His face is a snarl as he says the word ‘heart’ but at the end of the sentence he looks almost regretful.)
SHERLOCK (softly): I have been reliably informed that I don’t have one.
JIM: But we both know that’s not quite true.
(Sherlock blinks involuntarily. Jim looks down, smiling, then shrugs.)
JIM: Well, I’d better be off.
(He nonchalantly looks around, perhaps checking his exit route, before turning back to Sherlock.)
JIM: Well, so nice to have had a proper chat.
(Sherlock raises the pistol higher and extends it closer to Jim’s head.)
SHERLOCK: What if I was to shoot you now – right now?
JIM (completely unperturbed): Then you could cherish the look of surprise on my face.
(He opens his eyes and mouth wide, mimicking shock, then grins at Sherlock.)
JIM: ’Cause I’d be surprised, Sherlock; really I would.
(He screws up his nose.)
JIM: And just a teensy bit disappointed. And of course you wouldn’t be able to cherish it for very long.
(Slowly he begins to turn away.)
JIM: Ciao, Sherlock Holmes.
(Looking back at Sherlock with some distaste, he walks calmly towards the side door through which John came earlier. Sherlock slowly steps forward to keep him in view.)
SHERLOCK: Catch ... you ... later.
(The door opens and Jim’s voice can be heard, high-pitched and sing-song.)
JIM: No you won’t!
(The door closes. Sherlock doesn’t move for a few seconds, his gun still aimed towards the door, then his gaze drifts across to John and he instantly bends, putting the pistol on the floor, then drops to his knees in front of John [hush now ...] and starts unfastening the vest to which the bomb is attached.)
SHERLOCK: All right?
(John tilts his head back, breathing heavily [I said hush now ...].)
SHERLOCK (urgently): Are you all right?
JOHN: Yeah-yeah, I’m fine.
(Having unfastened the vest, Sherlock jumps up and hurries round behind John, starting to pull off the jacket and the bomb vest.)
JOHN: I’m fine.
(Sherlock, also breathing too fast, continues tugging at the jacket and vest.)
(Finally Sherlock manages to roughly strip the jacket and vest off John’s arms.)
(Sherlock bends and skims the items as far away along the floor as he can, while John staggers at the vehemence with which his friend just ripped them off him.)
JOHN (softly): Jesus.
(He reaches up and pulls the earpiece from his ear, breathing heavily as delayed shock begins to hit him. Sherlock turns and stares at him for a moment, then hurries back to pick up the pistol before racing towards the door through which Moriarty left. John’s knees buckle and he staggers towards the nearest support, the edge of one of the changing cubicles.)
JOHN: Oh, Christ.
(He turns and drops down into a squat, bracing his back against the cubicle’s edge while he blows out a long breath and tries to calm himself down. Sherlock comes back in, having apparently seen no sign of Moriarty outside. He starts to pace up and down near John, so hyper and distracted that he doesn’t even realise that he is scratching his head with the business end of a loaded and cocked pistol.)
JOHN (breathlessly): Are you okay?
SHERLOCK (quick fire, still pacing and scratching his head with the gun): Me? Yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine. Fine.
(He turns to John, wide-eyed and breathless.)
SHERLOCK: That, er ... thing that you, er, that you did – that, um ... (he clears his throat) ... you offered to do. That was, um ... good.
JOHN (staring blankly ahead of himself): I’m glad no-one saw that.
(Sherlock had temporarily lowered his hand long enough not to be risking accidentally shooting himself in the head, although he had terrible jitters as he held the gun down by his side. Now he lifts the gun again and rubs his chin while looking down at John in confusion.)
JOHN (still not meeting his eyes): You, ripping my clothes off in a darkened swimming pool. People might talk.
SHERLOCK: People do little else.
(He looks down at John, then grins. John snorts laughter and then leans forward and prepares to stand up. But before he can move, the beam from a sniper’s laser begins to dance over his chest. John looks down at it and his face fills with horror.)
JOHN (anguished): Oh ...
(A door near the deep end of the pool opens and Jim comes through, clapping his hands together and turning to face our heroes.)
JIM (cheerfully): Sorry, boys! I’m soooooo changeable!
(John grimaces in disbelief. Sherlock keeps his back to Jim, looking up into the gallery to try and judge how many snipers there might be up there. It’s becoming clear that there are quite a few because there are at least two laser points hovering over John, and at least three more travelling over Sherlock’s body. Jim laughs and spreads his arms wide.)
JIM: It is a weakness with me but, to be fair to myself, it is my only weakness.
(He lowers his hands and puts them in his pockets. Sherlock turns his head and looks down at John, who lifts his own head to meet his gaze.)
JIM: You can’t be allowed to continue. You just can’t. I would try to convince you but ... (he laughs and his voice becomes higher pitched again) ... everything I have to say has already crossed your mind!
(Sherlock, who had looked away from John for a moment, now turns and looks down at him again, his face showing no emotion but his eyes screaming a silent request. John responds instantly with a tiny nod, giving him full permission to do whatever he deems necessary.)
SHERLOCK (turning to face Jim): Probably my answer has crossed yours.
(He raises the pistol and aims it at him. Jim smiles confidently with no fear in his expression. Slowly Sherlock lowers the pistol downwards until it’s pointing directly at the bomb jacket. All three sets of eyes lock onto the jacket, John breathing heavily, Sherlock calm. Jim tilts his head, looking a little anxious for the first time. As Sherlock holds his hand steady, continuing to aim towards the jacket, Jim lifts his head and locks eyes with his nemesis. Sherlock gazes back at him and Jim begins to smile. Sherlock’s eyes narrow slightly.)
And the scream that went up from the viewers in August 2010 as the end credits began to roll still echoes around the universe to this day.
To clarify a couple of points which I’ve seen raised elsewhere, and which may be helpful for non-British readers in particular:
(1) “Dear Jim”: Sherlock is mock-quoting a standard format from a very well-known TV show called “Jim’ll Fix It” which ran on the BBC from 1975 to 1994 and was hosted by Jimmy Savile. Viewers – mostly children – would write to the show and would always begin their letter, “Dear Jim, please can you fix it for me to ...” and would ask for their wildest dream to be met, e.g. to be a train driver for a day, or to meet their favourite athlete, or to work in a chocolate factory for a few hours. Nowadays we would all be writing in and saying, “Dear Jim, please can you fix it for me to meet Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman,” or “... to be the make-up girl on the next season of ‘Sherlock’,” or “... to be Steve Thompson’s beta reader and point out all his plot inconsistencies to him,” etc. [What? Don’t look at me like that third request is from me ...]
In a rather unfortunate piece of timing, within the last couple of weeks (in mid-October 2012 when this transcript was published) the reputation of the late Jimmy Savile has plummeted after terrible allegations have recently surfaced about his behaviour during his years at the BBC. If you haven’t heard of this show before, now is not the time to be googling it.
(2) “Westwood”: Jim is wearing a suit designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood, which will therefore have been very expensive, hence his mock-indignation at John ruffling it up. He directs the comment to Sherlock rather than to John because he knows that Sherlock is more likely to be appreciative of the expense of his clothing.
For a partial transcript of the DVD commentary for this episode, click here.
A full list of episode transcripts, DVD commentary summaries/transcripts, and transcripts of the DVD special features can be found here.
Direct links to episode transcripts:
A Study in Pink (pilot) / A Study in Pink (broadcast) / The Blind Banker / The Great Game
A Scandal in Belgravia / The Hounds of Baskerville / The Reichenbach Fall
Many Happy Returns / The Empty Hearse / The Sign of Three / His Last Vow
The Abominable Bride
The Six Thatchers / The Lying Detective / The Final Problem
Or, to download the Episode Transcripts in Word or PDF, click here.