Sherlock, Season 1, episode 3 transcript: The Great Game, part 1
Episode written by Mark Gatiss.
Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan. (Last updated 17 October 2017)
Note: Although this transcript is complete, it will continually be a work in progress and may be amended whenever anyone points 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 even if you’re not a registered member of Livejournal. N.B. unregistered comments might be automatically screened until I unlock them, so be patient for them to become visible!
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Sherlock, Season 1, episode 3 transcript: The Great Game, part 1
Jump to part 2 / Jump to part 3 / Jump to part 4
MINSK, BELARUS. In a prison visitors’ room, Sherlock – wearing the Coat with a fur collar attached – is sitting at one of the many tables in the room. Sitting at the other side of the table is Barry ‘Bezza’ Berwick, a young Englishman who is wearing an orange jumpsuit and who is obviously a prison inmate. With the exception of a uniformed guard who stands some distance away, they are the only people in the room. It’s very cold in the room, as signified by their steaming breath when they speak. Sherlock sounds bored.
SHERLOCK: Just tell me what happened, from the beginning.
BERWICK: We’d been to a bar – a nice place – and, er, I got chattin’ with one of the waitresses, and Karen weren’t ’appy with that, so ... when we get back to the ’otel, we end up havin’ a bit of a ding-dong, don’t we?
(Sherlock sighs out a deliberate and noisy breath.)
BERWICK: She was always gettin’ at me, sayin’ I weren’t a real man.
SHERLOCK: Wasn’t a real man.
SHERLOCK: It’s not “weren’t”; it’s “wasn’t.”
SHERLOCK: Go on.
BERWICK: Well, then I dunno how it happened, but suddenly there’s a knife in my hands. And, you know, me old man was a butcher, so I know how to handle knives.
(Sherlock’s gaze lowers to look at Barry’s hands which are resting on the table.)
BERWICK: He learned us how to cut up a beast.
BERWICK (starting to get angry): What?
SHERLOCK: Taught you how to cut up a beast.
BERWICK: Yeah, well, then-then I done it.
SHERLOCK: “Did it.”
BERWICK (losing his temper): Did it! Stabbed ’er ... (he repeatedly slams his hand down on the table) ... over and over and over, and I looked down and she weren’t ...
(Sighing out a loud breath through his nose, Sherlock turns his head away. Getting control of his temper, Barry immediately corrects himself.)
BERWICK: ... wasn’t movin’ no more.
(Sherlock, who had just turned his head back towards Barry, now turns it away again with an annoyed look.)
BERWICK: ... any more.
(He lets out a shaky breath and lowers his head.)
BERWICK (softly): You’ve gotta help me. I dunno how it happened, but it was an accident. I swear.
(Sherlock gets to his feet and starts to walk away. Barry calls after him frantically.)
BERWICK: You’ve gotta help me, Mr Holmes!
BERWICK: Everyone says you’re the best. Without you, I’ll get hung for this.
(Sherlock looks over his shoulder at the young man.)
SHERLOCK: No, no, no, Mr Berwick, not at all.
(He looks away thoughtfully for a second.)
SHERLOCK: Hanged, yes.
(He quirks a smile at the man, then turns and walks away.)
221B BAKER STREET. Two gunshots ring out. The camera pans across the living room and shows Sherlock lying slumped in his armchair, his head on the low back of the chair. His eyes close, then a few moments later he opens them and gazes up towards the ceiling. Downstairs, the front door can be heard opening. Sherlock turns his head to look towards the sofa, and we now see that he is sprawled low in the chair with his legs stretched out in front of him and crossed at the ankles. He is wearing sleepwear and a blue silk dressing gown and his feet are bare. Above the sofa, a smiley face has been spray-painted on the wallpaper using a can of the yellow paint which was so frequently used in the “Blind Banker” case. The can is standing on the coffee table in front of the sofa. As the downstairs door closes Sherlock sighs, turns his head to the front again and then raises his left hand which is holding a pistol. He points the pistol towards the smiley face and – without even looking in that direction – fires two shots at it. A close-up reveals that there are already two bullet holes in the wall where the two eyes had been sprayed, and the two new bullets have impacted the curve of the smile. Sherlock turns his head to look at the face and fires a third shot which either misses the smile or was deliberately aimed to form a ‘nose’ for the face. As he fires a fourth time, John comes running up the stairs with his fingers in his ears. He stops on the landing, lowers his hands and yells at his flatmate.
JOHN: What the hell are you doing?
SHERLOCK (sulkily): Bored.
JOHN (more quietly, squinting at him in disbelief): What?
SHERLOCK (loudly): Bored!
(He springs up out of the chair. John immediately recoils and covers his ears with his hands.)
JOHN: No ...
(Sherlock switches the pistol to his right hand and turns towards the smiley face, firing at it again. He then swings his arm around his back, twists slightly to his right and fires at the wall from behind his back.)
SHERLOCK (angrily): Bored! Bored!
(As he brings his arm back around, John hurries into the room and Sherlock continues to glare at the smiley face but allows John to snatch the pistol from his hand. John quickly slides the clip out of the gun while Sherlock walks towards the sofa.)
SHERLOCK (sulkily): Don’t know what’s got into the criminal classes. Good job I’m not one of them.
(John locks the pistol into a small safe on the dining table and then straightens up.)
JOHN: So you take it out on the wall.
SHERLOCK (running his fingers along the painted smile): Ah, the wall had it coming.
(He turns sideways and dramatically flops down onto the sofa on his back, his head landing on a cushion at one end and his feet digging into the arm of the sofa at the end nearest the windows.)
JOHN (taking off his coat): What about that Russian case?
(Sherlock pushes with his feet to shove himself further along the sofa and into a slightly more upright position, and then starts kneading the arm of the sofa with his toes. Your transcriber decides that you really don’t need the rest of this transcript any time soon, and puts those few seconds on repeat play for the next several hours before finally getting back to work with a seraphic – if slightly glazed – look on her face.)
SHERLOCK: Belarus. Open and shut domestic murder. Not worth my time.
JOHN (sarcastically): Ah, shame(!)
(He walks into the kitchen and throws up his arms in despair at the mess on the table which greets him. He heads towards the fridge.)
JOHN: Anything in? I’m starving.
(He opens the fridge door.)
JOHN: Oh, f...
(He immediately slams it shut again, unable to believe what he just saw inside. He slumps against the door for a moment, his head lowered, then he straightens up and opens the door again. On the shelf inside is a man’s head, cut off at the neck, the face looking towards the door. He stares at it for a couple of seconds, then quietly closes the door again.)
JOHN: It’s a head.
(He turns and calls out.)
JOHN: A severed head!
SHERLOCK: Just tea for me, thanks.
JOHN (walking back into the living room): No, there’s a head in the fridge.
SHERLOCK (calmly): Yes.
JOHN: A bloody head!
SHERLOCK (stroppily): Well, where else was I supposed to put it? (He looks round at John.) You don’t mind, do you?
(John holds out his hands despairingly and looks back towards the fridge.)
SHERLOCK: I got it from Bart’s morgue.
(John buries his head in one hand.)
SHERLOCK: I’m measuring the coagulation of saliva after death.
(He waves his hand vaguely in the direction of a nearby laptop.)
SHERLOCK: I see you’ve written up the taxi driver case.
JOHN (throwing one last glance at the fridge): Uh, yes.
(He walks over to Sherlock’s armchair and sits down.)
SHERLOCK: “A Study in Pink.” Nice(!)
JOHN: Well, you know, pink lady, pink case, pink phone – there was a lot of pink. Did you like it?
(Even as John has been speaking, Sherlock has picked up a magazine from the coffee table and he now flips it open and addresses his answer to the pages.)
SHERLOCK: Erm, no.
JOHN: Why not? I thought you’d be flattered.
SHERLOCK (lowering the magazine and glaring at him): Flattered? (He raises his index fingers and narrates a section of the blog.) “Sherlock sees through everything and everyone in seconds. What’s incredible, though, is how spectacularly ignorant he is about some things.”
JOHN: Now hang on a minute. I didn’t mean that in a ...
SHERLOCK (interrupting): Oh, you meant “spectacularly ignorant” in a nice way(!) Look, it doesn’t matter to me who’s Prime Minister ...
JOHN (quietly): I know ...
SHERLOCK: ... or who’s sleeping with who ...
[... or whether Mr Grammar Policeman knows that he ought to have said ‘who’s sleeping with whom’ ...]
JOHN (softly): Whether the Earth goes round the Sun ...
SHERLOCK: Not that again. It’s not important.
JOHN: Not impor...
(He shifts his position in the chair to face Sherlock.)
JOHN: It’s primary school stuff. How can you not know that?
SHERLOCK (pressing the heels of his palms to his eyes): Well, if I ever did, I’ve deleted it.
JOHN: “Deleted it”?
SHERLOCK (swinging his legs around to the floor and sitting up to face John): Listen. (He points to his head with one finger.) This is my hard drive, and it only makes sense to put things in there that are useful ... really useful.
SHERLOCK: Ordinary people fill their heads with all kinds of rubbish, and that makes it hard to get at the stuff that matters. Do you see?
(John looks at him for a moment, trying to bite his lip but then can’t contain himself.)
JOHN: But it’s the solar system!
(Sherlock briefly buries his head in his hands.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, hell! What does that matter?!
(He looks at John in frustration.)
SHERLOCK: So we go round the Sun! If we went round the Moon, or round and round the garden like a teddy bear ... (he flails his hands around beside his head while narrating the line from the childen’s poem) ... it wouldn’t make any difference. All that matters to me is the work. Without that, my brain rots.
(He ruffles his hair with both hands, then glares at John.)
SHERLOCK: Put that in your blog. Or better still, stop inflicting your opinions on the world.
(Petulantly shoving the magazine across the coffee table, he lies down on the sofa again, turning over with his back to John and pulling his dressing gown around him while curling up into a ball. John looks away and purses his lips. The front door downstairs opens and closes. John stands up and walks towards the living room door.)
SHERLOCK (looking over his shoulder): Where are you going?
JOHN (tightly, putting on his jacket): Out. I need some air.
(He heads for the stairs, which Mrs Hudson is just coming up.)
JOHN: ’Scuse me, Mrs ...
MRS HUDSON: Oh, sorry, love!
(Angrily, Sherlock turns his face away again, pulling the cushion under his head nearer to the back of the sofa and curling up even tighter. Mrs Hudson chuckles at John as he passes her but then turns and looks at him in concern as he hurries down the stairs. She comes to the living room door and knocks.)
MRS HUDSON: Ooh-ooh!
(Sherlock stretches his legs out straight and turns his head enough to acknowledge her existence, but then looks away again. Mrs Hudson carries a couple of shopping bags into the kitchen.)
MRS HUDSON: Have you two had a little domestic?
(Flailing to get himself upright, Sherlock stands up off the sofa and takes the shortest route to his destination, walking over the coffee table and going to the left-hand window just as the downstairs door opens and closes.)
MRS HUDSON: Ooh, it’s a bit nippy out there. He should have wrapped himself up a bit more.
(Sherlock watches John as he crosses the street and heads in the general direction of away.)
SHERLOCK: Look at that, Mrs Hudson. (He scans the street.) Quiet, calm, peaceful. (He grimaces and drags in a long breath.) Isn’t it hateful?
(Mrs Hudson has unloaded some items from her shopping bags and now brandishes a receipt at Sherlock before putting it down on the kitchen table.)
MRS HUDSON: Oh, I’m sure something’ll turn up, Sherlock. A nice murder – that’ll cheer you up.
(She chuckles slightly as she carries her bags towards the living room door.)
SHERLOCK (wistfully): Can’t come too soon.
MRS HUDSON (stopping when she spots the damaged wall): Hey. What’ve you done to my bloody wall?!
(Sherlock quirks a smile and turns around to admire his handiwork.)
MRS HUDSON (angrily): I’m putting this on your rent, young man!
(She storms off down the stairs. Sherlock – who has somehow magically relocated without moving and is now in the middle of the room standing just in front of the dining table – grins over-dramatically at the bullet-riddled smiley face, then sighs and turns his head to the front just as a massive explosion goes off in the street behind him. The windows blow in and the blast hurls him forward and to the floor. As the scene fades to black, he groans ...
... and his groan morphs into a groan coming from John, who is just waking up the next morning in the living room of Sarah Sawyer’s flat. Sitting up on the sofa with his shirt unbuttoned, he has apparently slept on said sofa and he is grimacing and trying to un-crick his neck. Sarah walks in, wearing a dressing gown.
JOHN: Oh, mor... (He turns to look at her but grimaces again and grabs at his neck in pain.) Morning.
SARAH: See? Told you you should’ve gone with the lilo.
JOHN (still rubbing his neck): No, no, no, it’s fine. I-I slept fine. It’s very kind of you.
(Sarah has been scanning the sofa as he spoke and has now spotted what she was looking for. She reaches behind John’s back to pick up the remote control for the TV, then sits on the arm of the sofa and turns on the telly.)
SARAH: Well, maybe next time I’ll let you kip at the end of my bed, you know.
(She looks at him suggestively, then turns her head towards the TV screen.)
JOHN (also looking at the screen): What about the time after that?
(She looks at him and grins briefly. John turns his head towards her but doesn’t meet her eyes.)
NEWSREADER (on the TV): Experts are hailing it as the artistic find of the century.
(The news item is showing a photo of the Hickman Art Gallery, with a headline at the bottom of the screen saying “The Lost Vermeer.”)
NEWSREADER (on the TV): The last time ...
SARAH (putting down the remote): So, d’you want some breakfast?
JOHN: Love some.
SARAH: Yeah, well you’d better make it yourself, ’cause I’m gonna have a shower!
NEWSREADER (on the TV): ... it fetched over twenty million pounds.
(John looks at Sarah as she smiles at him sassily before leaving the room. He chuckles silently and starts buttoning his shirt.)
NEWSREADER (on the TV): This one is anticipated to do even better. Back now to our main story. There’s been a massive explosion in central London.
(John looks at the TV screen and his face fills with shock as the picture changes to show live footage of a road where brickwork is scattered all over the pavement, and police cordons have been set up to keep people out. The headline at the bottom of the screen reads, “House destroyed on Baker St.”)
NEWSREADER (on the TV): As yet, there are no reports of any casualties, and the police are unable to say if there is any suspicion of terrorist involvement.
(John is already on his feet and he hurries around the sofa to grab his jacket before turning towards the door and calling out.)
(He stops and looks at the TV screen briefly.)
NEWSREADER (on the TV): Police have issued an emergency number for friends and relatives ...
(He heads towards the front door, not even waiting for Sarah to reply to him.)
JOHN: Sorry – I’ve got to run.
BAKER STREET. John comes around the corner of the street almost opposite the flat, then stops briefly and stares. Continuing onwards, he heads towards the police cordon and makes his way through the small crowd of gawking onlookers.
JOHN: ’Scuse me, can I get through? ’Scuse me.
(He approaches one of the police officers who is stopping the crowd from getting closer.)
JOHN: Can I go through?
(He points towards 221 and the police officer lets him through. John walks into the main scene of devastation where bricks and dust are scattered all over the road and pavement. A fire engine is still on the scene and fire hoses are lying in the road waiting to be reeled back in. The windows and shop fronts of the buildings either side of Speedy’s have been boarded up; Speedy’s itself was protected by its metal roll-down screen. John stops and stares at the building directly opposite the café. The front of the ground and first floor has been completely blown out by the explosion and the rooms inside are exposed to the air. John turns and hurries towards 221, where the first floor windows have also been boarded up. A police officer standing outside Speedy’s moves to intercept him but John explains.)
JOHN: I live over there.
(The officer steps aside and John unlocks the door and goes inside. He races up the stairs.)
JOHN: Sherlock. Sherlock!
(As he hurries into the living room, his eye is drawn to the boarded-up windows, then to his armchair, but his gaze quickly turns to Sherlock’s chair where Sherlock, now dressed and wearing The Purple Shirt of Sex™ under his jacket, is apparently uninjured and is intermittently plucking the strings of the violin he is holding on his chest while he glares petulantly towards John’s chair.)
SHERLOCK (looking up at his flatmate): John.
(The reason for Sherlock’s annoyance – his brother Mycroft, who is sitting in John’s chair – glances round at John.)
JOHN (to Sherlock): I saw it on the telly. Are you okay?
SHERLOCK: Hmm? What? (He looks around at the mess of broken glass and scattered paperwork as if he has forgotten it – which he probably has.) Oh, yeah. Fine. Gas leak, apparently.
(He turns his attention back to his brother, who stares at him pointedly while Sherlock plucks his violin strings again.)
SHERLOCK: I can’t.
SHERLOCK: The stuff I’ve got on is just too big. I can’t spare the time.
(John looks across to him in disbelief.)
MYCROFT: Never mind your usual trivia. This is of national importance.
SHERLOCK (sulkily flicking his fingers across the strings): How’s the diet?
MYCROFT (refusing to rise to the implied insult): Fine. Perhaps you can get through to him, John.
JOHN (who has walked nearer to the windows to investigate the damage): What?
MYCROFT: I’m afraid my brother can be very intransigent.
SHERLOCK: If you’re so keen, why don’t you investigate it?
MYCROFT: No-no-no-no-no. I can’t possibly be away from the office for any length of time – not with the Korean elections so ...
(He trails off as John turns towards him in surprise and Sherlock raises his head from looking at his violin.)
MYCROFT: Well, you don’t need to know about that, do you?
(He smiles humourlessly in a clear message to forget what he just said.)
MYCROFT: Besides, a case like this – it requires ... (he grimaces in distaste) ... legwork.
(Sherlock mis-plucks one of his strings, an irritated look on his face. He turns to John, who is absently rubbing the back of his neck with one hand.)
SHERLOCK: How’s Sarah, John? How was the lilo?
MYCROFT (consulting his pocket watch and not even looking at John): Sofa, Sherlock. It was the sofa.
(Sherlock briefly looks John up and down.)
SHERLOCK: Oh yes, of course.
JOHN (incredulously): How ...? Oh, never mind.
(He sits down on the coffee table. Mycroft smiles across at him.)
MYCROFT: Sherlock’s business seems to be booming since you and he became ... pals.
(Sherlock throws him a dark look.)
MYCROFT (to John): What’s he like to live with? Hellish, I imagine.
JOHN: I’m never bored.
MYCROFT (smiling condescendingly): Good! That’s good, isn’t it?
(Again Sherlock glares at him. Mycroft stands up as Sherlock picks up his bow and whips one end through the air in front of him. Picking up a folder from the table beside him, Mycroft steps forward and offers the folder to his brother but Sherlock just looks back at him stubbornly. Grimacing and poking his tongue into the corner of his mouth, Mycroft turns and offers the folder to John instead.)
MYCROFT: Andrew West, known as Westie to his friends.
(Looking startled, John takes the folder.)
MYCROFT: A civil servant, found dead on the tracks at Battersea Station this morning with his head smashed in.
(Cut-away flashback to a Tube guard walking along a railway line in the early morning. The beam from his flashlight picks out the body of a young man lying just beside the tracks.)
JOHN: Jumped in front of a train?
MYCROFT: Seems the logical assumption.
JOHN (quirking a brief smile): But ...?
JOHN: Well, you wouldn’t be here if it was just an accident.
(Sherlock, who is now applying rosin to his bow with a small cloth, smirks noisily.)
MYCROFT: The M.O.D. is working on a new missile defence system – the Bruce-Partington Programme, it’s called.
(He looks at Sherlock while John starts flicking through the folder.)
MYCROFT: The plans for it were on a memory stick.
(John sniggers quietly.)
JOHN: That wasn’t very clever.
(Sherlock smiles in agreement.)
MYCROFT (to John): It’s not the only copy.
MYCROFT: But it is secret. And missing.
JOHN: Top secret?
MYCROFT: Very. We think West must have taken the memory stick. We can’t possibly risk it falling into the wrong hands.
(He turns back to his brother.)
MYCROFT: You’ve got to find those plans, Sherlock. Don’t make me order you.
(Breathing in sharply through his nose, Sherlock raises the violin to his shoulder, ready to play. He looks calmly at his brother.)
SHERLOCK: I’d like to see you try.
MYCROFT (leaning down to him a little in an attempt to look more threatening): Think it over.
(Sherlock stares back at him, unimpressed. Mycroft turns and walks over to John, offering him his hand to shake.)
MYCROFT: Goodbye, John.
(Politely, John stands and shakes his hand. Mycroft smiles at him creepily.)
MYCROFT: See you very soon.
(John tries not to look nervous. As Mycroft heads back towards the chair to pick up his coat, Sherlock begins to repeatedly play a short irritating sequence of notes. John frowns across to him but Sherlock continues to play until Mycroft has left the room and is on the stairs. Grimacing in the direction of his brother’s back, Sherlock finishes his playing and lowers the violin, still looking annoyed. John sits back down on the coffee table and waits until Mycroft has reached the ground floor and is out of earshot before he speaks.)
JOHN: Why’d you lie?
(Sherlock looks across to him as the front door bangs shut.)
JOHN: You’ve got nothing on – not a single case. That’s why the wall took a pounding. Why did you tell your brother you were busy?
SHERLOCK (shrugging): Why shouldn’t I?
JOHN: Oh! (He nods.) Oh, I see.
(Sherlock’s eyes drift in his direction but he doesn’t actually look at him.)
JOHN: Sibling rivalry. Now we’re getting somewhere.
(Sherlock turns and opens his mouth but before he can deny everything his phone starts to ring. He irritably whips his bow down again, puts it on the seat beside him and fishes his phone out of his jacket pocket.)
SHERLOCK (into phone): Sherlock Holmes.
(He listens for a moment, then his expression intensifies.)
SHERLOCK: Of course. How could I refuse?
(Standing up and switching off the phone as he puts his violin onto the seat, he heads for the door.)
SHERLOCK: Lestrade. I’ve been summoned. Coming?
JOHN: If you want me to.
SHERLOCK: Of course.
(Picking up his Coat, he turns back to him.)
SHERLOCK: I’d be lost without my blogger.
After a taxi ride during which, bizarrely, Sherlock has briefly changed into a white shirt [and your transcriber smacks the editors], the boys arrive at New Scotland Yard and are following Detective Inspector Lestrade across the general office towards his office.
LESTRADE: You like the funny cases, don’t you? The surprising ones.
LESTRADE: You’ll love this. That explosion ...
SHERLOCK (briefly exchanging glares with Detective Sergeant Donovan as he walks past her desk): Gas leak, yes?
LESTRADE: No. Made to look like one.
(By now they’re in Lestrade’s office and Sherlock stops and stares down at a white envelope lying on a desk.)
LESTRADE: Hardly anything left of the place except a strong box – a very strong box – and inside it was this.
(He points to what Sherlock’s looking at.)
SHERLOCK: You haven’t opened it?
LESTRADE: It’s addressed to you, isn’t it?
(Sherlock reaches towards the envelope.)
LESTRADE: We’ve X-rayed it. It’s not booby-trapped.
SHERLOCK (hesitating slightly): How reassuring(!)
(He picks up the envelope and takes it across the room to another table which has an anglepoise lamp on it. Holding the envelope close to the bulb he examines both sides carefully. On the front in elegant handwriting are the words “Sherlock Holmes – by hand.”)
SHERLOCK: Nice stationery. Bohemian.
SHERLOCK: From the Czech Republic. No fingerprints?
SHERLOCK (looking closely at the writing): She used a fountain pen. A Parker Duofold – iridium nib.
JOHN (struggling not to sigh): Obviously(!)
(Sherlock picks up a letter opener from the desk and carefully slits the envelope open. He looks inside and his mouth opens a little in surprise as he reaches in and takes out a pink iPhone.)
JOHN (shocked): But that’s – that’s the phone, the pink phone.
LESTRADE: What, from the Study in Pink?
SHERLOCK: Well, obviously it’s not the same phone but it’s supposed to look like ...
(He stops when he realises what Lestrade just said. He turns to face him. Sally has come into the room to put some files down on a desk near the door.)
SHERLOCK: The Study in Pink? You read his blog?
LESTRADE: Course I read his blog! We all do. D’you really not know that the Earth goes round the Sun?
(Sally sniggers loudly. Sherlock, who is taking off his gloves, glares at her while John purses his lips in embarrassment. Sally leaves the room and Sherlock turns his concentration back to the phone.)
SHERLOCK: It isn’t the same phone. This one’s brand new.
(He’s looking at the connection sockets, none of which have scratches around them.)
SHERLOCK: Someone’s gone to a lot of trouble to make it look like the same phone, which means your blog has a far wider readership.
(He throws an accusatory look at John, who does his best to ignore it. Sherlock switches on the phone and immediately gets a voice alert.)
VOICE ALERT: You have one new message.
(The message plays but there is no voice – just the unmistakeable sound of the Greenwich Time Signal. However, while the “Greenwich pips” – as they’re more generally called – consist of five short pips and one longer tone, this recording has only four short pips and the longer one. Strangely, nobody ever comments on this.)
JOHN: Is that it?
SHERLOCK: No. That’s not it.
(A photograph has also been uploaded to the phone. He opens it and Lestrade comes across to look over his shoulder. The picture is of an unfurnished room with a fireplace on one wall. The wallpaper is peeling and there’s a tall mirror propped up in one corner. A smaller mirror – the type which is usually hung up above a fireplace – is standing on the mantelpiece.)
LESTRADE: What the hell are we supposed to make of that? An estate agent’s photo and the bloody Greenwich pips!
SHERLOCK (gazing thoughtfully into the distance): It’s a warning.
JOHN: A warning?
SHERLOCK: Some secret societies used to send dried melon seeds, orange pips, things like that. Five pips. They’re warning us it’s gonna happen again.
(He briefly looks down at the photo again, then brandishes the phone at the others as he starts to leave the office.)
SHERLOCK: And I’ve seen this place before.
JOHN (following him): H-hang on. What’s gonna happen again?
SHERLOCK (turning back and raising his hands dramatically): Boom!
(He heads off with John behind him. Lestrade grabs his coat and hurries after them.)
BAKER STREET. A taxi pulls up outside 221 and Sherlock, John and Lestrade get out. Sherlock unlocks the front door and leads the way inside, bypassing the stairs and heading along the corridor towards Mrs Hudson’s front door. Just as he reaches it he stops and turns to the left where there is another door which must lead to a basement flat. Numbers and letters stuck on the door read, “221c”. Sherlock turns his head and calls out loudly towards his landlady’s front door.
SHERLOCK: Mrs Hudson!
Shortly afterwards, Mrs Hudson opens the front door of 221A and hands Sherlock a set of keys. He has been examining the padlock attached to the other door and now takes the keys and begins to unlock it.
MRS HUDSON: You had a look, didn’t you, Sherlock, when you first came to see about your flat.
SHERLOCK (looking closely at the door’s keyhole): The door’s been opened recently.
MRS HUDSON: No, can’t be. That’s the only key.
(Pulling the padlock off, Sherlock selects another key and puts it into the door’s keyhole.)
MRS HUDSON: I can’t get anyone interested in this flat. It’s the damp, I expect. That’s the curse of basements.
(Sherlock turns the key and pulls open the door. He immediately goes inside and John and Lestrade follow, taking little or no notice of Mrs H as she continues rambling on.)
MRS HUDSON: I had a place once when I was first married. Black mould all up the walls ...
(She trails to a halt as Lestrade closes the door behind him. She turns and heads back into her own flat.)
MRS HUDSON (exasperated): Oh! Men!
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Sherlock slowly pushes open the door to the living room and walks inside, followed by the other two. The room looks exactly as it did in the photograph on the phone with one exception: there is a pair of trainers placed neatly side by side in the middle of the floor, their toes pointed towards the door. John stops and looks at them before stating the bleedin’ obvious.
(Sherlock starts to walk towards them but John holds out a cautionary hand towards him.)
JOHN: He’s a bomber, remember.
(Sherlock stops for a moment, then continues slowly towards the trainers. He crouches down, then puts his hands on the floor and leans forward. Lowering his body down he moves closer to the shoes. Just as his nose is almost touching them, a phone rings. Sherlock jumps, closes his eyes momentarily and then stands up, pulls off his glove and takes the pink iPhone from his coat pocket and looks at the caller I.D. It reads, “NUMBER BLOCKED”. He pauses for a second, then switches on the speaker, holding the phone a few inches in front of his mouth.)
SHERLOCK (softly): Hello?
(A female voice draws in a shaky breath before speaking tearfully.)
WOMAN’s VOICE: H-hello ... sexy.
(John and Lestrade exchange a puzzled look as the woman sobs.)
SHERLOCK: Who’s this?
WOMAN’s VOICE (tearfully): I’ve ... sent you ... a little puzzle ... just to say hi.
SHERLOCK: Who’s talking? Why are you crying?
WOMAN’s VOICE (shakily and full of tears): I-I’m not ... crying ... I’m typing ...
(We now see that the woman at the other end of the line is sitting in the driver’s seat of a car holding a phone to her ear with one shaking hand and holding a pager in the other hand. Her face is covered with tears and she looks terrified as she reads from the pager.)
WOMAN: ... and this ... stupid ... bitch ... is reading it out.
(She sobs again. Sherlock gazes thoughtfully into the distance.)
SHERLOCK (softly): The curtain rises.
JOHN: No, what did you mean?
SHERLOCK (half turning his head towards him): I’ve been expecting this for some time.
WOMAN: Twelve hours to solve ... my puzzle, Sherlock ...
(We now see that the car is in a car park. People are going about their everyday business, unaware that a large explosive device is strapped to the woman’s chest. A red laser point travels over the device and her neck, suggesting that a sniper is aiming at her from some distance away.)
WOMAN: ... or I’m going ... to be ... so naughty.
(The phone goes dead and the woman looks down at the bomb and the laser light, and sobs in despair.)
ST BARTHOLOMEW’S HOSPITAL. Sherlock has brought the trainers to a lab and is putting on a pair of latex gloves while he looks closely at them. He picks them up, examines the laces carefully and peers at the shoes from all directions, then digs out dried mud from the treads in the soles and puts it into a dish. Putting the shoes down again, he looks at them thoughtfully.
Later, he is sitting at a bench looking into a microscope while, beside him, a computer screen shows that a scanner of some sort is running tests. John is wandering up and down on the other side of the bench.
JOHN: So, who d’you suppose it was?
(A phone trills a text alert.)
SHERLOCK (absently, not reacting to the alert): Hmm?
JOHN: The woman on the phone – the crying woman.
SHERLOCK: Oh, she doesn’t matter. She’s just a hostage. No lead there.
JOHN (exasperated): For God’s sake, I wasn’t thinking about leads.
SHERLOCK: You’re not going to be much use to her.
(He glances across to the scanner as it continues throwing up “NO MATCH” results, then looks back into the microscope.)
JOHN: Are-are they trying to trace it, trace the call?
SHERLOCK: The bomber’s too smart for that.
(The same phone as before trills another text alert.)
SHERLOCK: Pass me my phone.
(John looks around the room.)
JOHN: Where is it?
(John straightens up slowly, his entire body going rigid in disbelief and his eyes broadcasting the message “I am going to kill him.” Turning to his right, he marches stiffly around the table, slams one hand onto Sherlock’s left shoulder and roughly pulls open his jacket with the other as he starts to rummage in his inside pocket.)
SHERLOCK (angrily, still not looking up): Careful.
(John just about holds onto his temper and pulls out the phone and looks at it.)
JOHN: Text from your brother.
SHERLOCK: Delete it.
JOHN: Delete it?
SHERLOCK: Missile plans are out of the country now. Nothing we can do about it.
(John looks at the message again, which reads:
RE: BRUCE-PARTINGTON PLANS
Any progress on Andrew
JOHN: Well, Mycroft thinks there is. He’s texted you eight times. Must be important.
(Sherlock raises his head in exasperation.)
SHERLOCK: Then why didn’t he cancel his dental appointment?
JOHN (sighing tiredly): His what?
SHERLOCK: Mycroft never texts if he can talk. Look, Andrew West stole the missile plans, tried to sell them, got his head smashed in for his pains. End of story. The only mystery is this: why is my brother so determined to bore me when somebody else is being so delightfully interesting?
(He looks back into the microscope again.)
JOHN (switching off the phone): Try and remember there’s a woman here who might die.
SHERLOCK: What for?
(He looks up at John.)
SHERLOCK: This hospital’s full of people dying, Doctor. Why don’t you go and cry by their bedside and see what good it does them?
(John looks away in disbelief. Unmoved, Sherlock looks back into the microscope but just then the computer beeps a result.)
SHERLOCK (delighted): Ah!
(He looks across to the screen which is flashing “SEARCH COMPLETE.” At the same moment Molly Hooper comes in the door.)
MOLLY: Any luck?
SHERLOCK (triumphantly): Oh, yes!
(As Molly comes over to look at the screen, a man in his thirties, wearing slacks and a T-shirt, comes in the door and then stops apologetically.)
JIM: Oh, sorry. I didn’t ...
MOLLY: Jim! Hi!
(Jim makes as if to leave the room but Molly stops him.)
MOLLY: Come in! Come in!
(Sherlock looks over at her briefly, running his eyes down her body and apparently making an instant deduction, then looks back into the microscope. Molly makes introductions as Jim closes the door and walks over to her.)
MOLLY: Jim, this is Sherlock Holmes.
(John turns towards them, and Molly looks at him blankly.)
MOLLY (apologetically): And, uh ... sorry.
JOHN: John Watson. Hi.
(His eyes are locked on Sherlock’s back as he gazes at him admiringly. He speaks in a casual London accent.)
JIM: So you’re Sherlock Holmes. Molly’s told me all about you. You on one of your cases?
(He walks closer to Sherlock, forcing John to step out of his way.)
MOLLY: Jim works in I.T. upstairs. That’s how we met. Office romance.
(She and Jim giggle. Sherlock glances briefly round at Jim before returning to look into the ’scope.)
(Molly’s smile fades.)
MOLLY: Sorry, what?
(Sherlock raises his head as he realises what he’s just done.)
SHERLOCK: Nothing. (He smiles round falsely at Jim.) Um, hey.
JIM (smiling admiringly at him): Hey.
(Lowering his hand, he knocks a metal dish off the edge of the table and scrambles to pick it up.)
JIM (giggling nervously): Sorry! Sorry!
(John turns away, face-palming, while Sherlock looks irritated. Jim puts the dish back on the table and then scratches his arm as he wanders back towards Molly.)
JIM: Well, I’d better be off. I’ll see you at The Fox, ’bout six-ish?
(He stops beside her, putting a hand on her back, and looks back towards Sherlock.)
MOLLY (softly): ’Bye.
JIM (to Sherlock): It was nice to meet you.
(Sherlock doesn’t respond, continuing to look into his microscope while Jim gazes wistfully at him. John breaks the embarrassing silence.)
JOHN: You too.
(Jim blinks at him, looking awkward, then turns and leaves the room. Molly waits until the door closes then turns to Sherlock.)
MOLLY: What d’you mean, gay? We’re together.
SHERLOCK (looking across to her): And domestic bliss must suit you, Molly. You’ve put on three pounds since I last saw you.
MOLLY: Two and a half.
SHERLOCK: Nuh, three.
JOHN: Sherlock ...
MOLLY (angrily): He’s not gay. Why d’you have to spoil ...? He’s not.
SHERLOCK (snorting): With that level of personal grooming?
JOHN: Because he puts a bit of product in his hair? I put product in my hair.
SHERLOCK: You wash your hair. There’s a difference. No-no – tinted eyelashes; clear signs of taurine cream around the frown lines; those tired clubber’s eyes. Then there’s his underwear.
MOLLY: His underwear?
SHERLOCK: Visible above the waistline – very visible; very particular brand.
(He reaches for the metal dish.)
SHERLOCK: That, plus the extremely suggestive fact that he just left his number under this dish here ... (he shows her the card that Jim left under the dish) ... and I’d say you’d better break it off now and save yourself the pain.
(Molly stares at him for a moment, then turns and runs out of the room. Sherlock looks startled by her reaction.)
JOHN: Charming. Well done.
SHERLOCK: Just saving her time. Isn’t that kinder?
JOHN: “Kinder”? No, no, Sherlock. That wasn’t kind.
(Looking fed up with the conversation, Sherlock puts down Jim’s card and then reaches over and moves one of the trainers on the desk closer to John.)
SHERLOCK: Go on, then.
SHERLOCK: You know what I do. Off you go.
(He sits back and folds his arms expectantly. John makes incoherent negative noises and looks at his watch.)
SHERLOCK: Go on.
JOHN: I’m not gonna stand here so you can humiliate me while I try and disseminate ...
SHERLOCK (interrupting): An outside eye, a second opinion. It’s very useful to me.
JOHN: Yeah, right(!)
(John turns back to him and the two of them have intense eyesex for several seconds. Eventually John nods unhappily
because eyesex is all he’s going to get for the time being.)
(Clearing his throat, he picks up the shoe and looks at it and its partner lying on the table.)
JOHN: I dunno – they’re just a pair of shoes. (He immediately corrects himself.) Trainers.
(He looks away and picks up his phone while John continues looking at the trainers.)
JOHN: Umm ... they’re in good nick. I’d say they were pretty new ... except the sole has been well-worn, so the owner must have had them for a while.
(Sherlock, who had started to look frustrated when John said they were new, breathes out a silent sigh of relief that his friend isn’t that stupid.)
JOHN: Uh, they’re very eighties – probably one of those retro designs.
SHERLOCK: You’re on sparkling form. What else?
JOHN: Well, they’re quite big, so a man’s.
SHERLOCK: But ...?
JOHN (looking inside both of the trainers and seeing blue smudges at the sides): But there’s traces of a name inside in felt-tip. Adults don’t write their names inside their shoes, so these belonged to a kid.
SHERLOCK (looking at him proudly): Excellent. What else?
JOHN: Uh ... (he looks again at the shoe he’s holding, then puts it down) ... that’s it.
SHERLOCK: That’s it?
JOHN: How did I do?
SHERLOCK: Well, John; really well.
(He pauses momentarily.)
SHERLOCK: I mean, you missed almost everything of importance, but, um, you know ...
(He lifts his hand and slowly rotates his wrist to turn his palm upwards, his expression full of sarcasm. With a look of frustration, John picks up the trainer and gives it to him. Sherlock looks at it closely as he goes into deduction mode.)
SHERLOCK: The owner loved these. Scrubbed them clean, whitened them where they got discoloured. Changed the laces three ... no, four times.
(John puts his hands on the desk and lowers his head in despair.)
SHERLOCK: Even so, there are traces of his flaky skin where his fingers have come into contact with them, so he suffered from eczema. Shoes are well-worn, more so on the inside, which means the owner had weak arches. British-made, twenty years old.
JOHN (straightening up): Twenty years?
SHERLOCK: They’re not retro – they’re original.
(He shows John an image on his phone.)
SHERLOCK: Limited edition: two blue stripes, nineteen eighty-nine.
JOHN: But there’s still mud on them. They look new.
SHERLOCK (looking thoughtfully at the trainer): Someone’s kept them that way. Quite a bit of mud caked on the soles. Analysis shows it’s from Sussex, with London mud overlaying it.
JOHN: How do you know?
SHERLOCK (nodding towards the computer screen): Pollen. Clear as a map reference to me.
(Two dots are flashing on a map of Britain, one around the borders of East and West Sussex and the other to the south-east of London.)
SHERLOCK: South of the river, too. So, the kid who owned these trainers came to London from Sussex twenty years ago and left them behind.
JOHN: So what happened to him?
SHERLOCK: Something bad.
(He looks up at John.)
SHERLOCK: He loved those shoes, remember. He’d never leave them filthy. Wouldn’t leave them go unless he had to. So: a child with big feet gets ...
(He trails off, staring ahead of himself.)
SHERLOCK (softly): Oh.
(John looks across the lab, trying to see what his friend is looking at.)
SHERLOCK (softly): Carl Powers.
JOHN: Sorry, who?
SHERLOCK (still staring into the distance): Carl Powers, John.
JOHN: What is it?
SHERLOCK: It’s where I began.
Continue to Part 2