Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.
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Sherlock, pilot episode transcript: A Study in Pink, part 2
Return to part 1 / Jump to part 3
Shortly afterwards Lestrade leads them up the stairs, illuminating the way with a flashlight.
LESTRADE: Footprint analysis says that the only other person in this room in the last twelve hours was a man of about five foot seven. It seemed that he and the victim arrived together by car. All identification’s missing from the body, just like the others. Have no idea who she is or where she’s from.
(Pushing open a bedroom door, he leads the boys inside. John stops in the doorway at the sight that greets him. A woman’s body is lying face down on the bare floorboards in the middle of the room. She is wearing a bright pink overcoat and high-heeled pink shoes. Her left hand is flat on the floor beside of her head; her right arm is at her side. John’s face fills with pain and sadness.)
SHERLOCK: Well, she’s from out of town, clearly. Planned to spend a single night in London before returning home. So far, so obvious.
SHERLOCK: Yes, obvious. Back of the right leg.
(He points in the direction of the woman’s legs before turning towards John.)
SHERLOCK: Doctor Watson, what do you think?
JOHN: What do I think?
SHERLOCK: You’re the medical man.
LESTRADE: We have a whole team right outside.
SHERLOCK (irritably): They won’t work with me.
LESTRADE: Look, I’m breaking every rule letting you in here.
SHERLOCK (a little aggressively): Yeah ... ’cause you need me.
(Lestrade stares at him for a moment, then lowers his eyes in reluctant despair.)
LESTRADE: Yes, I do, God help me.
(He nods towards the body. John turns his gaze towards Lestrade, silently seeking his permission.)
LESTRADE (a little tetchily): Oh, just do as he says. Help yourself.
(Sherlock and John walk over to the body. Sherlock drops to one knee on the right-hand side of it and John painfully lowers himself to one knee on the other side, leaning heavily on his cane to support himself. Putting his cane down, he leans forward on one hand to look more closely at the body.)
(John straightens up a little.)
JOHN (softly): What am I doing here?
SHERLOCK (softly): Helping me make a point.
JOHN (softly): I’m supposed to be helping you pay the rent.
SHERLOCK (softly): Yeah; this is more fun.
JOHN: Fun? There’s a woman lying dead.
SHERLOCK: No, there are two women and three men lying dead. Keep talking and there’ll be more. (Louder, so that Lestrade can hear him) Now, cause of death.
(Staring at his new acquaintance for a long moment, John eventually leans forward, puts his head close to the victim’s and sniffs, then straightens up and looks across to Sherlock.)
JOHN: Asphyxiation, probably. She passed out and choked on her own vomit. I can’t smell any alcohol on her. Could be a seizure; possibly drugs.
SHERLOCK: It was poison.
JOHN: How do you know?
SHERLOCK: Because they were all poisoned.
JOHN: By who?
SHERLOCK: By themselves.
LESTRADE: We’ve identified the drug ...
SHERLOCK (holding his hand out to stop him): Doesn’t matter; it was poison.
(Lestrade rolls his eyes.)
SHERLOCK: Same pattern each time.
(He picks up the woman’s right hand and looks closely at it.)
SHERLOCK: Each one of them disappears from their normal lives ... (he bends closer and sniffs at her palm and nails) ... from the theatre, from their home, from the office, from the pub ...
(Standing up, he moves around to the other side of the body. John stands and gets out of his way and Sherlock kneels down again.)
SHERLOCK: ... then turn up a few hours later somewhere they’ve no reason to be ...
(He picks up the woman’s left hand, looks closely at the rings on her ring finger, then sniffs her hand.)
SHERLOCK (softly): ... dead.
(He pulls back her coat sleeve to look at her wrist, then shifts position slightly and pulls her coat collar back to look at her necklace.)
SHERLOCK: No marks of violence on the body, no suggestion of compulsion.
(He lifts her hair away from the side of her face to look at her earring, then drops the hair gently back into position again. Reaching into the left pocket of her overcoat, he pulls out a pink folding umbrella.)
SHERLOCK: Each of them has taken the same poison – and, as far as we can tell, taken it voluntarily.
LESTRADE: Sherlock – two minutes, I said. I need anything you’ve got.
(Sherlock has stood up, taken out his phone and is typing on it. Grinning at what he sees on the screen, he puts the phone away again.)
SHERLOCK: Okay, take this down.
LESTRADE (tetchily): Just tell me what you’ve got.
SHERLOCK: I’m not gonna write it down.
LESTRADE (angrily): Sherlock!
JOHN (taking out a notebook and pen): It’s all right. I’ll do it.
SHERLOCK: Thank you. The victim is in her early thirties. A professional person, going by her clothes; I’d guess something in the media, going by the frankly alarming shade of pink. She’s travelled from Cardiff today, intending to stay in London for one night. That’s obvious from the size of her suitcase.
SHERLOCK: Her suitcase, yes.
(John looks around the room and frowns when he can’t see a suitcase anywhere.)
SHERLOCK: She’s been married several years, but not happily. She’s had a string of lovers but none of them knew she was married.
LESTRADE: For God’s sake, if you’re just making this up ...
SHERLOCK (pointing down to her left hand): Her wedding ring – look at it. It’s too tight. She was thinner when she first wore it; that says married for a while. Also, there’s grime in the gem setting. The rest of her jewellery’s recently been cleaned; that tells you everything you need to know about the state of her marriage.
(Writing in his notebook, John shakes his head with an admiring smile.)
SHERLOCK (down on his knees again, moving the woman’s fingers to show the rings to John): Inside of the ring is shinier than the outside – that means it’s regularly removed. The only polishing it gets is when she works it off her finger but it can’t be easy, so she must have a reason. Can’t be for work; her nails are too long. Doesn’t work with her hands, so what or rather who does she remove her ring for? Clearly not one lover; she’d never sustain the fiction of being single over time, so more likely a string of them. Simple.
JOHN (admiringly): Brilliant.
(Sherlock looks at him in surprise.)
JOHN (apologetically): Sorry.
(As he looks back to his notebook, Sherlock looks round almost sheepishly at Lestrade.)
SHERLOCK (standing up again): Obvious, isn’t it?
JOHN: It’s not obvious to me.
SHERLOCK: Dear God. What’s it like inside your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
(Squatting once more, he points down at the body.)
SHERLOCK: Her coat: slightly damp. She’s been in heavy rain in the last few hours. No rain anywhere in London until the last few minutes. Under her coat collar is damp, too. She’s turned it up against the wind.
(Again John shakes his head in amazement while he continues writing.)
SHERLOCK: There’s an umbrella in her left pocket but it’s dry and unused: not just wind, strong wind – too strong to use her umbrella. We know from the suitcase that she intended to stay a night, so she must have come a decent distance but she can’t have travelled more than two or three hours because her coat still hasn’t dried. So, where has there been heavy rain and strong winds within the radius of that travel time?
(Standing up, he gets his phone from his pocket and shows to Lestrade the webpage he was looking at earlier, displaying today’s weather for south Wales.)
JOHN (grinning as he continues to make notes): Fantastic!
SHERLOCK: D’you know you do that out loud?
JOHN (looking up at him): Sorry. I’ll shut up.
SHERLOCK (putting his phone away): No, it’s ... it’s fine.
LESTRADE: There was no suitcase.
SHERLOCK: I’m sorry?
LESTRADE (looking a little smug): You keep saying ‘suitcase.’ There wasn’t one.
SHERLOCK (looking round in surprise): Oh. I was assuming you’d taken it away.
LESTRADE: She had a handbag. Why’d you say she had a case?
SHERLOCK: Because she did. Her handbag – was there a mobile phone in it?
SHERLOCK: That’s odd. That’s very odd.
SHERLOCK: Never mind. We need to find her case.
JOHN: How do you know she had a case?
SHERLOCK (pointing down to the body, where her tights have small black splotches on the lower part of her right leg): Back of the right leg: tiny splash marks above the heel and calf, not present on the left. She was dragging a wheeled suitcase behind her with her right hand. Don’t get that splash pattern any other way. Smallish case, judging by the spread. A case that size, woman this clothes-conscious: could only be an overnight bag, so we know she was staying the night.
JOHN: Maybe she checked into a hotel, left her case there.
SHERLOCK: She never made it to a hotel. Look at her hair. Colour-coordinates her lipstick and her shoes. A woman like that would never leave the hotel with her hair still looking that ...
(He stops talking as he makes a realisation.)
(His eyes widen and his face lights up.)
(He turns and hurries out of the room.)
LESTRADE (hurrying out after Sherlock and stopping at the top of the stairs): What? What is it? What, what, what?
SHERLOCK (turning back as he strips off his gloves and coverall): Serial killers – always hard. Have to wait for them to make a mistake.
LESTRADE: Well, we can’t just wait!
SHERLOCK: Oh, we’re done waiting! When she was found, she couldn’t have been here long, is that right?
LESTRADE: No, not long at all – um, less than an hour.
SHERLOCK (thoughtfully): Less than an hour. (His eyes widen.) An hour!
(He looks up at Lestrade.)
SHERLOCK: News blackout: can you do that? Don’t say that you’ve found her; nothing for a day.
SHERLOCK: Look at her, really look! Houston, we have a mistake.
(As Lestrade and John automatically turn and look back towards the victim, Sherlock trots off down the stairs.)
SHERLOCK: Back in a moment!
LESTRADE (turning and calling after him): But what mistake?!
SHERLOCK (turning back and yelling up the stairs): PINK!
(He hurries off. Lestrade sighs in exasperation and calls out.)
(Anderson and his team are already on their way out of a downstairs room and now head up the stairs.)
ANDERSON: I’m here.
(He stops at the top of the stairs.)
ANDERSON: So? What was the point in all that?
LESTRADE: We’re after a psychopath.
ANDERSON: So we’re bringing in another psychopath to help?!
LESTRADE: If that’s what it takes.
(He gestures towards the room.)
LESTRADE: All yours.
(John comes out of the doorway and steps aside as Anderson gestures to his team.)
ANDERSON: Right, come on.
(The team goes into the room and Lestrade turns to follow them.)
JOHN: My notes – d’you want me to, er ...
LESTRADE: Sorry, you’re ...?
JOHN: Doctor Watson.
LESTRADE: Well, you’re gonna have to go, Doctor Watson. Don’t need your notes.
(He follows the forensic team into the room.)
LESTRADE: Okay, let’s get on with it.
(John hesitates on the landing for a moment and then slowly starts making his way down the stairs.
Shortly afterwards he has removed his coverall, and now walks out onto the street. It’s still pouring with rain. Sergeant Donovan is nearby, leaning into the window of a police car and talking to the driver.)
DONOVAN: Okay, look, we’re gonna need Jones and Adams at the top of the road. There’s so many people around ...
(John looks around but he sees no sign of Sherlock. Donovan straightens up and notices him.)
DONOVAN: He’s gone.
JOHN: What, Sherlock Holmes?
DONOVAN: He just took off. He does that.
JOHN: Is he coming back?
DONOVAN: Didn’t look like it.
(He lowers his head and shakes it angrily.)
JOHN: Right ... Yes.
(He limps towards Donovan.)
JOHN: Um, sorry, where am I?
DONOVAN (holding up the police tape to allow a colleague past): Brixton.
JOHN: Right. D’you know where I’d, er, get a cab? It’s just, my leg.
DONOVAN (still holding the tape up): Yeah, try the main road.
(John sighs and ducks under the tape before starting to walk down the road.)
JOHN: (stopping and turning back to her): Hmm.
DONOVAN: You’re not his friend – he doesn’t have friends – so who are you?
JOHN: Me? I’m ... I’m nobody. I just met him.
DONOVAN: Right, bit of advice then: stay away from that guy.
DONOVAN: You know why he’s here? He’s not paid or anything. He likes it. He gets off on it. The weirder the crime, the more he gets off. And you know what? One day just showing up isn’t gonna be enough. One day we’ll be standing round a body and Sherlock Holmes’ll be the one who put it there.
JOHN: Why would he do that?
DONOVAN: Because he’s a psychopath. And psychopaths get bored.
LESTRADE (calling from the entrance to the house): Donovan!
DONOVAN (turning and calling to him): Yeah, coming.
(She turns back towards John.)
DONOVAN: Stay away from Sherlock Holmes.
(She walks away towards the house. John watches her go for a moment, then turns and looks down the road before turning back and calling out towards her.)
DONOVAN: No worries.
(John turns again and begins to limp up the road, leaning heavily on his cane. He glances up towards the sky on his left, then looks up at the rooftops on the right. He stops and stares at the sight that greets him. Standing on the top of a nearby tall Victorian building which has many ornate chimneypots on its roof, Sherlock is lit by an almost full Moon. John gazes up at the sight admiringly before looking round furtively to see if any of the police are watching this but there’s no-one around. He looks back up to the roof as Sherlock, possibly oblivious to being watched, is looking all around the area from his high vantage point. Eventually he turns and heads away.)
Some time later John limps tiredly into his bedsit. Switching on the light and sighing, he walks across to the bed and sits down on the side. Putting his cane down beside him, he briefly closes his eyes, sighing wearily, before reaching down to undo one of his shoes. Just then his phone sounds a text alert. Grimacing as he lowers his foot to the floor again, he takes the phone from his jacket pocket and looks at the message. It reads:
Text from +44 7544680989
BAKER STREET. COME AT ONCE,
IF CONVENIENT. SH.
John looks up thoughtfully, then puts the phone away in his pocket again before once again bending to undo his shoe. Almost immediately the phone trills another text alert. John glares into the distance for a moment before again lowering his foot to the floor and rooting in his pocket for his phone. The new message reads:
Text from +44 7544680989
IF INCONVENIENT COME ANY
John lifts his head and looks towards the door thoughtfully as if considering leaving to answer the summons, but after a few seconds he puts the phone onto the bed beside him, then picks up his cane and leans on it as he stands up and walks across the room to the window. He stops and stares through the blinds. Behind him, the phone lights up and sounds another text alert. John stays facing the window, though he can’t help turning his head slightly. For several seconds he tries to ignore the temptation but eventually he can’t resist and angrily stomps across the room to pick up the phone. The latest message simply reads:
Text from +44 7544680989
COULD BE DANGEROUS.
John looks at the message for a moment, then lifts his head, his gaze alert.
Not long afterwards he is in the back of a taxi, sitting upright and rocking backwards and forwards slightly as if urging the vehicle to go faster. He looks anxiously at his watch. The taxi driver sees what he’s doing in the rear view mirror.
TAXI DRIVER: You late or something?
JOHN (leaning forward and looking anxiously out of the window): No, not particularly. Why?
TAXI DRIVER: Sorry. You just look a bit ... wired.
JOHN (snappily): Wired? What d’you mean, wired?
(The taxi driver glances nervously in the mirror but doesn’t reply. John continues to look urgently out of the side window as the cab continues.)
221B BAKER STREET. Upstairs in the living room of the flat, Sherlock is lying stretched out on the sofa with his feet towards the window. A laptop is open on top of the back of the sofa, showing the press report and photograph of Inspector Lestrade which John had been reading in the newspaper earlier. Sherlock has his jacket off and his shirt sleeves unbuttoned and pushed up his arms, and he is pressing the palm of his right hand firmly onto the underside of his left arm just below the elbow. After a moment he drops his head back onto the arm of the sofa, then he sighs out a noisy breath and relaxes. John hobbles up the stairs and comes through the door, then stops and looks at the sight of Sherlock gazing blankly upwards towards the ceiling.
JOHN: What are you doing?
(Sherlock turns his eyes in his direction briefly.)
SHERLOCK: Nicotine patch. Helps me think. Impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days. Bad news for brain work.
JOHN: Well, it’s good news for breathing.
SHERLOCK (dismissively): Oh, breathing.
(He releases his left arm and lets it flop downwards, revealing three square nicotine patches stuck to the lower part of his arm.)
SHERLOCK: Breathing’s boring.
(John frowns and walks further into the room.)
JOHN: Is that three patches?
SHERLOCK: It’s a three-patch problem.
(John nods, looks around the room for a moment, then looks down at Sherlock again.)
(Sherlock doesn’t respond, continuing to gaze up at the ceiling.)
JOHN: You asked me to come. Took me an hour to get here. I assume it’s important.
(Sherlock still doesn’t respond instantly, but eventually he raises his head.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, yeah. Can I borrow your phone?
(John stares at him in disbelief.)
JOHN: My phone?
SHERLOCK: Don’t wanna use mine. Always a chance the number will be recognised. It’s on the website.
JOHN: Mrs Hudson’s got a phone.
SHERLOCK: Yeah, but she’s downstairs. I tried shouting but she didn’t hear.
JOHN (beginning to get angry): I was the other side of London!
SHERLOCK (mildly): There was no hurry.
(John glares at him as he gazes serenely into the distance. Eventually John digs his phone out of his jacket pocket and holds it towards him.)
JOHN: Here. Here.
(Sherlock takes the phone from him. Shaking his head angrily, John turns and walks a few paces away before turning around again.)
JOHN: So what’s this about – the case?
SHERLOCK: Her case.
JOHN: Her case?
SHERLOCK: Her suitcase, yes. The murderer took her suitcase. First big mistake.
(John frowns in confusion. Sherlock grimaces and gets to his feet and walks across to the window.)
SHERLOCK: It’s no use, there’s no other way. We’ll have to risk it.
JOHN: Risk what?
SHERLOCK (turning towards him): There’s a number, over there on the table.
(He tosses the phone back to John.)
SHERLOCK: I want you to send a text.
JOHN: Who am I texting?
SHERLOCK: Never mind. On the table, the number, now, please.
(He turns away to look out of the window. John again shakes his head in disbelief and walks to the small table near the chairs. There’s a small address label on it and he starts to type the number into his phone.)
JOHN: Maybe Sergeant Donovan was right about you.
SHERLOCK (briefly glancing over his shoulder): What did she say?
JOHN: Said you were a psychopath.
SHERLOCK: Oh! Didn’t think she was that smart!
JOHN: She said one day they’re gonna show up at a murder scene and you’ll have provided the body.
SHERLOCK (ignoring what he just said): These words exactly: “What happened at Lauriston Gardens? I must have blacked out.”
(Shaking his head in frustration, John rests his cane against his leg and starts to type. Sherlock continues his narration.)
SHERLOCK: “Twenty-two Northumberland Terrace. Please come.”
(Still typing, John glances across the room momentarily, then does a double take. His eyes widen at the sight of a small pink suitcase standing on the floor. As John takes hold of his cane and leans heavily on it, looking shocked, Sherlock looks over his shoulder.)
SHERLOCK: Well? Send it.
(As John stumbles backwards, Sherlock walks across the room and picks up the case.)
SHERLOCK: Have you sent it?
JOHN (vaguely): Just a moment.
(He finishes typing the message as Sherlock brings the case across to the table, puts it on top and unzips it.)
SHERLOCK: Take a look at the impossible.
(He flips the lid open.)
SHERLOCK: The contents of her case.
JOHN: How did you get this?
SHERLOCK: By looking.
SHERLOCK: We know the killer drove to Lauriston Gardens. We know the killer is a man. No man could be seen with this case without attracting attention to himself, so obviously he’d feel compelled to get rid of it the moment he knew it was still in his car. Wouldn’t have taken him more than five minutes to realise his mistake.
(Cutaway shot of Sherlock standing on the roof of a garage looking around as he searches for a glimpse of anywhere the case might have been hidden.)
SHERLOCK: I checked every back street wide enough for a car within five minutes of Lauriston Gardens ...
(Cutaway shot of Sherlock back on the ground. He has climbed inside a large skip and is throwing objects out of it haphazardly.)
SHERLOCK: ... and looked for anywhere you could easily dispose of a bulky object without being observed.
(In the cutaway shot Sherlock finds the pink suitcase amongst the rubbish.)
SHERLOCK: Took me less than an hour to find the right skip.
(In the cutaway shot Sherlock grins with delight, then checks the name on the luggage tag before clapping his hands triumphantly and leaping out of the skip with the suitcase and running off into the night.)
(In the flat, John has now sat down and is staring at the case in awe.)
JOHN: Pink. You got all that because you realised the case’d be pink?
SHERLOCK (who has sat down opposite him): Well, it had to be pink, obviously.
JOHN (to himself): Why didn’t I think of that?
SHERLOCK: Because you’re stupid.
(John looks across to him, startled.)
SHERLOCK: Oh no, don’t look like that. Practically everyone is.
(He smiles at him briefly, then points towards John’s phone.)
JOHN (looking down at his phone): Sent, yes. What was that about?
(Sherlock slides the address label back into the luggage tag.)
SHERLOCK: The contents of her case – look at them.
(Sighing, John puts his phone into his jacket pocket and sits forward as he starts to rummage through the woman’s unmentionables.)
JOHN: What am I looking for?
SHERLOCK: The impossible. The one impossible thing.
JOHN: There’s a change of clothes, a make-up bag, a washbag and a novel. (He sits back.) What’s impossible?
SHERLOCK: Her mobile phone.
JOHN: There isn’t a mobile phone.
(Sherlock slams his hands onto the arms of the chair and pulls his feet up under him so that he’s perched on the seat.)
SHERLOCK: That’s what’s impossible. No mobile in her case, no mobile in her coat pocket.
JOHN: Well, maybe she doesn’t have one.
SHERLOCK: She has a string of lovers. Of course she has one.
JOHN: She could have left it at home.
SHERLOCK: Again, string of lovers. She never leaves her phone at home.
JOHN: And so where is it?
SHERLOCK: You know where it is. More importantly, you know who has it.
JOHN: The murderer?
SHERLOCK (smiling): The murderer.
(Standing up on the chair, he steps off and onto the floor. John rummages frantically in his jacket pocket for his phone.)
JOHN: Who did I just text?
SHERLOCK: Maybe she just dropped it in the back of his car; maybe she planted it on purpose to lead us to him, but the murderer has her phone.
(As if on cue, John’s phone begins to ring. He looks at the screen, which reads:
Sherlock stares intently at the phone while it continues to ring.)
SHERLOCK: A few hours since his last victim. Now he’s received a text which can only be from her. An innocent man would ignore a text like that; assume it was a mistake. A guilty man ...
(The phone stops ringing and the screen goes blank.)
SHERLOCK (grinning): ... would panic.
(He turns to pick up his jacket and puts it on.)
JOHN: Have you spoken to the police?
SHERLOCK: Five people are dead. There isn’t time to talk to the police.
JOHN: Then why are you talking to me?
SHERLOCK: You’re here.
(John looks down at his phone again.)
JOHN: Well what?
SHERLOCK: Well, you could sit there and watch telly.
(John laughs and sits back in his chair.)
JOHN: Sergeant Donovan.
SHERLOCK: What about her?
JOHN: Said you get off on this. You enjoy it.
SHERLOCK (putting on his greatcoat and scarf): And I said “danger,” and here you are.
(He walks out of the door. John grits his teeth, then angrily leans onto his cane to push himself to his feet and head for the door.)
JOHN: Damn it!
Downstairs, John catches up to Sherlock and follows him into the street. Sherlock turns and pulls the front door closed and they head off down the road.
JOHN: Where are we going?
SHERLOCK: Northumberland Terrace is a five-minute walk from here.
JOHN: What, you think he’s stupid enough to go there?
SHERLOCK: No – I think he’s brilliant enough. I love the brilliant ones – so desperate to get caught.
SHERLOCK: Appreciation. At long last the spotlight. To you it’s an arrest; to them it’s a coming-out party. That’s the frailty of genius: it needs an audience.
(He looks pointedly at an oblivious Sherlock.)
JOHN: Yes. I suppose it does.
Continue to part 3