Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.
Polite request: If you take extracts from this transcript for use elsewhere, and especially if you repost my own words, it would be kind if you would acknowledge the source and/or give a link back to this transcript. Thanks.
Sherlock, Season 3, episode 1 transcript: The Empty Hearse, part 2
Return to part 1 / Jump to Part 3
SHERLOCK (voiceover): London. It’s like a great cesspool into which all kinds of criminals, agents and drifters are irresistibly drained.
(In the living room of 221B, Sherlock – wearing a red dressing gown over his clothes – has been peering at the wall behind the sofa, and now he steps onto the sofa and begins to stick up maps, notes and paperwork.)
SHERLOCK (voiceover): Sometimes it’s not a question of ‘Who?’; it’s a question of ‘Who Knows?’
(Somewhere in London a man in his twenties or thirties with a shaved head is sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich.)
SHERLOCK (voiceover): If this man cancels his papers ...
(Near the bench, a scruffily dressed and rather grubby woman – presumably one of Sherlock’s Homeless Network – takes photos of the man on her phone.)
SHERLOCK (voiceover): ... I need to know.
(Keeping a wary eye on the man, the woman sends her photos to Sherlock, and he pins one of them onto the wall.
Elsewhere, a woman with a dog on a lead walks through a street market.)
SHERLOCK (voiceover): If this woman leaves London without putting her dog into kennels, I need to know.
(Another homeless woman photographs the dog owner and texts it to Sherlock, who again pins the photo onto the wall. He continues sticking up pictures of people and adding crosses and other marks to the pictures and the map underneath.)
SHERLOCK (voiceover): There are certain people – they are markers. If they start to move, I’ll know something’s up – like rats deserting a sinking ship.
John, now moustache-free, approaches and goes into the surgery in which he works.
221B. LIVING ROOM.
MYCROFT: All very interesting, Sherlock, but the terror alert has been raised to Critical.
(The brothers are sitting opposite each other in front of the unlit fire, Sherlock still in his dressing gown. We can see a chess set between them. Sherlock sits back from making a move, his eyes locked onto Mycroft’s.)
SHERLOCK: Boring. Your move.
MYCROFT: We have solid information. An attack is coming.
(He glances down towards the table between them.)
SHERLOCK: “Solid information.” A secret terrorist organisation’s planning an attack – that’s what secret terrorist organisations do, isn’t it? It’s their version of golf.
MYCROFT: An agent gave his life to tell us that.
SHERLOCK: Oh, well, perhaps he shouldn’t have done. He was obviously just trying to show off.
(Mycroft appears to hold back a sigh.)
MYCROFT: None of these markers of yours is behaving in any way suspiciously? (He glances down again and we hear him makes a move.) Your move.
SHERLOCK: No, Mycroft, but you have to trust me. I’ll find the answer. It’ll be in an odd phrase in an online blog, or an unexpected trip to the countryside, or a misplaced Lonely Hearts ad.
(He had only glanced down briefly before speaking, but out of view there’s a slight click as he moves his piece.)
SHERLOCK: Your move.
(Mycroft glances down briefly before raising his eyes to Sherlock’s again.)
MYCROFT: I’ve given the Prime Minister my personal assurance you’re on the case.
SHERLOCK: I am on the case. We’re both on the case. Look at us right now.
(On the table in between them, there’s a loud buzzing and a red light flashes.)
MYCROFT: Oh, bugger!
(He angrily drops the small tweezers he was using in their game of “Operation.” We realise that a clever perspective shot had lured us into believing they were playing chess, but the chess set is actually on the coffee table in front of the sofa.)
[More details about “Operation” here if you need them; and then do check out Redscharlach’s hilarious “Sherloperation”!]
(Mycroft returns the piece to the board.)
SHERLOCK (looking at which piece Mycroft had failed to remove successfully): Can’t handle a broken heart – how very telling.
(Looking smug, he sits back in his chair and crosses his legs.)
MYCROFT: Don’t be smart.
SHERLOCK: That takes me back. (In a little boy’s voice) “Don’t be smart, Sherlock. I’m the smart one.”
MYCROFT (glowering at him): I am the smart one.
(Sherlock looks off to the side reflectively.)
SHERLOCK: I used to think I was an idiot.
MYCROFT: Both of us thought you were an idiot, Sherlock. We had nothing else to go on ’til we met other children.
SHERLOCK: Oh, yes. That was a mistake.
MYCROFT: Ghastly. What were they thinking of?
SHERLOCK: Probably something about trying to make friends.
MYCROFT: Oh yes. Friends. Of course, you go in for that sort of thing now.
SHERLOCK (looking at him closely): And you don’t? Ever?
MYCROFT: If you seem slow to me, Sherlock, can you imagine what real people are like? I’m living in a world of goldfish.
(Sherlock steeples his fingers in front of him and looks at his brother.)
SHERLOCK: Yes, but I’ve been away for two years.
SHERLOCK (shrugging): Oh, I don’t know. I thought perhaps you might have found yourself a ... goldfish.
MYCROFT (looking appalled): Change the subject – now!
(He stands up and walks over to the fireplace.)
SHERLOCK: Rest assured, Mycroft – whatever this underground network of yours is up to, the secret will reside in something seemingly insignificant or bizarre.
(Mrs Hudson, carrying a tray of tea things, walks into the room with her traditional “Ooh-ooh!”)
MYCROFT: Speaking of which ...
MRS HUDSON (happily, putting the tray on the dining table): I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it! Him – sitting in his chair again!
(She looks at Mycroft.)
MRS HUDSON: Oh, isn’t it wonderful, Mr Holmes?
MYCROFT: I can barely contain myself(!)
SHERLOCK: Oh, he really can, you know.
MRS HUDSON: He’s secretly pleased to see you underneath all that ... (she pulls a sour face).
MYCROFT: Sorry – which of us?
MRS HUDSON: Both of you.
(She leaves the room.)
SHERLOCK: Let’s play something different.
MYCROFT (with an exasperated sigh): Why are we playing games?
SHERLOCK: Well, London’s terror alert has been raised to Critical. (He flails his legs over the table in front of him and stands up.) I’m just passing the time. Let’s do deductions.
(He walks over to the dining table and picks up a woollen bobble hat which has earflaps [It’s an ear hat, John!] and a dangly woollen pom pom hanging from each flap.)
SHERLOCK: Client left this while I was out. What d’you reckon?
(He tosses it to his brother.)
MYCROFT (catching it): I’m busy.
SHERLOCK: Oh, go on. It’s been an age.
(Mycroft lifts the hat to his nose and sniffs, then looks across to Sherlock.)
MYCROFT: I always win.
SHERLOCK: Which is why you can’t resist.
MYCROFT (quick fire): I find nothing irresistible in the hat of a well-travelled anxious sentimental unfit creature of habit with appalling halitosis ...
(He stops when he notices Sherlock’s widening smile.)
(He throws the hat back to Sherlock.)
SHERLOCK: Isolated, too, don’t you think?
MYCROFT: Why would he be isolated?
SHERLOCK: Why? Size of the hat?
MYCROFT: Don’t be silly. Some women have large heads too.
(Sherlock flinches slightly, possibly at Mycroft’s insult to his intelligence.)
MYCROFT: No – he’s recently had his hair cut. You can see the little hairs adhering to the perspiration stains on the inside.
(Sherlock looks down at the hat, pouting slightly.)
SHERLOCK: Some women have short hair, too.
MYCROFT: Balance of probability.
SHERLOCK: Not that you’ve ever spoken to a woman with short hair – or, you know, a woman.
MYCROFT: Stains show he’s out of condition, and he’s sentimental because the hat has been repaired three, four ...
SHERLOCK: Five times. (He throws the hat back to his brother.) Very neatly. (Quick fire) The cost of the repairs exceeds the cost of the hat, so he's mawkishly attached to it, but it’s more than that. One, perhaps two, patches would indicate sentimentality, but five? Five’s excessive behaviour. Obsessive compulsive.
MYCROFT: Hardly. Your client left it behind. What sort of an obsessive compulsive would do that?
(He throws the hat back to Sherlock, who grabs it with an exasperated grimace.)
MYCROFT: The earlier patches are extensively sun-bleached, so he’s worn it abroad – in Peru.
MYCROFT: This is a chullo – the classic headgear of the Andes. It’s made of alpaca.
SHERLOCK (smirking): No.
SHERLOCK: Icelandic sheep wool. Similar, but very distinctive if you know what you’re looking for. I’ve written a blog on the varying tensile strengths of different natural fibres.
MRS HUDSON (coming back into the room with a teapot): I’m sure there’s a crying need for that.
(Sherlock pauses for a moment, then turns back to his brother.)
SHERLOCK: You said he was anxious.
MYCROFT: The bobble on the left side has been badly chewed, which shows he’s a man of a nervous disposition but ...
SHERLOCK (talking over him): ... but also a creature of habit because he hasn’t chewed the bobble on the right.
(Sherlock lifts the hat and sniffs it before lowering it again, grimacing.)
SHERLOCK: Brief sniff of the offending bobble tells us everything we need to know about the state of his breath.
(He turns away.)
SHERLOCK (sarcastically): Brilliant(!)
SHERLOCK: But you’ve missed his isolation.
MYCROFT: I don’t see it.
SHERLOCK: Plain as day.
SHERLOCK: There for all to see.
MYCROFT: Tell me.
SHERLOCK: Plain as the nose on your ...
MYCROFT: Tell me.
SHERLOCK (turning back to him): Well, anybody who wears a hat as stupid as this isn’t in the habit of hanging around other people, is he?
MYCROFT: Not at all. Maybe he just doesn’t mind being different. He doesn’t necessarily have to be isolated.
(He looks down at the hat again. Mycroft blinks several times, apparently confused.)
MYCROFT: I’m sorry?
SHERLOCK (looking at him): He’s different – so what? Why would he mind? You’re quite right.
(He lifts the hat and perches it on the top of his head, then looks pointedly at his brother.)
SHERLOCK: Why would anyone mind?
(Mycroft opens his mouth but seems to struggle to speak for a moment.)
MYCROFT: ... I’m not lonely, Sherlock.
(Sherlock tilts his head down and looks closely at him, then steps nearer with an intense expression on his face.)
SHERLOCK: How would you know?
(Taking off the hat, he turns away. Mrs Hudson, who has been pottering in the kitchen, comes to the doorway and smiles.)
MYCROFT: Yes. Back to work if you don’t mind. Good morning.
(Looking a little wide-eyed as a result of the recent conversation, he heads for the door. Behind him, Sherlock winks at Mrs Hudson, who giggles happily.)
SHERLOCK (turning to face the wall of information behind the sofa): Right. Back to work.
JOHN’S SURGERY. Mary knocks on the door and looks in.
MARY: Mr Summerson.
MARY: Undescended testicle.
JOHN: ... Right.
(Mary leaves again. The clock shows 10 past 10.)
221B. Sherlock holds up his phone and looks at the latest photos of one of his ‘markers.’ Mrs Hudson comes to the door of the living room and watches while Sherlock draws a cross over the photo of the man which is pinned to the wall.
MRS HUDSON: Sherlock.
SHERLOCK (absently): Mm?
MRS HUDSON: Talk to John.
SHERLOCK: I tried talking to him. He made his position quite clear.
In his surgery, John has his hand held up in front of him with the middle finger pointing upwards. With his other hand he pulls a medical glove tighter down onto his fingers. His patient is standing in front of him, naked from the waist down and looking awkward.
JOHN: Just relax, Mr Summerson.
(He walks towards him.)
MRS HUDSON: What did he say?
(He is cradling Mr Summerson’s testicles with his gloved hand.)
MRS HUDSON: Ooh dear!
(She turns away.)
Later, John sits looking at his computer in his surgery. The intercom beeps and he switches it on.
MARY (over intercom): Er, Mrs Reeves. Thrush.
(John lowers his head momentarily.)
(The clock shows 4 minutes past 1.)
At 221B, Sherlock is standing at the window. He grimaces slightly as Molly walks into the room behind him.
MOLLY: You wanted to see me?
SHERLOCK (turning to face her): Yes.
(He starts to walk towards her.)
SHERLOCK: Would you ...
(He stops, looking down, then slowly starts to walk closer.)
SHERLOCK: Would you like to ...
MOLLY: ... have dinner?
SHERLOCK (simultaneously): ... solve crimes?
MOLLY (awkwardly): Ooh.
John writes out a prescription while talking to the patient sitting behind him.
JOHN: Absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, Mrs Reeves. It’s very common ... (he turns and hands the prescription to her) ... but I’m recommending a course of ...
SHERLOCK: ... monkey glands.
(He is looking at the wall, while Molly sits on a dining chair beside Sherlock’s armchair. She bites back a smile as Sherlock turns towards the two clients in the room. A woman is sitting in what was John’s chair and a man stands beside her.)
SHERLOCK: But enough about Professor Presbury. Tell us more about your case, Mr Harcourt.
(Molly speaks quietly to him as he walks past her.)
MOLLY: Are you sure about this?
MOLLY: Should I be making notes?
SHERLOCK: If it makes you feel better.
MOLLY: It’s just that that’s what John says he does, so if I’m being John ...
SHERLOCK (sitting down in his chair): You’re not being John – you’re being yourself.
(Molly smiles proudly.)
MR HARCOURT: Well, absolutely no one should have been able to empty that bank account other than myself and Helen.
(Sherlock looks closely at him, zooming in on his jacket, then his hairline and then the skin above his eyes. He stands and walks closer to him.)
SHERLOCK: Why didn’t you assume it was your wife?
MR HARCOURT: Because I’ve always had total faith in her.
SHERLOCK: No – it’s because you emptied it. (He points at the three areas on the man at which he had just looked and speaks rapidly.) Weight loss, hair dye, Botox; affair. (Whipping out a business card, he holds it out to Mrs Harcourt.) Lawyer. Next!
Mary shows the next patient into the room and looks at John.
MARY: This is Mr Blake. (Whispering) Piles.
(John nods politely. The clock shows half past 3. John turns and smiles at his patient.)
JOHN: Mr Blake, hi.
Sherlock is sitting on a stool close to a young woman who is sitting on the sofa. He is clasping her hands and patting them sympathetically while he talks softly to her.
SHERLOCK: And your pen pal’s emails just stopped, did they?
(The woman nods, whimpering as she cries. Molly looks across to her but then continues writing notes at the dining table. An older man is sitting beside the woman.)
SHERLOCK (softly): And you really thought he was the one, didn’t you? The love of your life?
(As the woman takes off her glasses and cries harder, Sherlock turns and looks at Molly for a moment, then stands and walks across to her. Keeping his back to the clients, he speaks quietly.)
SHERLOCK: Stepfather posing as online boyfriend.
MOLLY (shocked): What?!
SHERLOCK: Breaks it off, breaks her heart. She swears off relationships, stays at home – he still has her wage coming in.
(He turns to the man and addresses him sternly.)
SHERLOCK: Mr Windibank, you have been a complete and utter ...
JOHN: ... piss pot.
(He is holding up a small plastic cylinder used for collecting urine samples. He hands it to his latest patient who is sitting facing him.)
JOHN: It’s nothing to worry about. Just a small infection by the sound of it. Er, Doctor Verner is your usual GP, yes?
(The man speaks in a rough voice with a thick accent.)
MR SZIKORA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
(John looks startled. The man appears to be in his sixties, has long white hair and a white beard and is wearing very dark glasses and a black knitted hat.)
MR SZIKORA: He looked after me, man and boy.
(He beckons John closer and talks confidentially.)
MR SZIKORA: I run a little shop, just on the corner of Church Street.
JOHN: Oh, right.
MR SZIKORA (picking up a plastic bag from the floor): Er, magazines, DVDs. Brought along a few little beauties that might interest you.
(Taking a DVD from the bag, he shows it to John.)
MR SZIKORA: “Tree Worshippers.” Oh, that’s a corker. It’s very saucy.
(John nods in a bemused way, looking closely at the man as if he is beginning to suspect something. The man gets out a magazine and holds it up.)
MR SZIKORA: “British Birds.” Same sort of thing.
(The magazine cover shows two glamorous women in skimpy clothing, and some of the captions around the photograph read, “We’re a real handful,” “Hot British Birds! XXX” and “Knocker Glory.”)
JOHN: I’m fine, thanks.
MR SZIKORA (holding up another DVD and translating its foreign title): “The Holy War.” Sounds a bit dry, I know, but there’s a nun with all these holes in her habit ...
JOHN: Jesus. Sherlock ...
MR SZIKORA: Huh?
JOHN: ... what do you want?
MR SZIKORA: Huh?
JOHN: Have you come to torment me?
MR SZIKORA: What are you talking about?
JOHN (impersonating his accent): “What are you talking ...” (He stands up and walks closer.) What, d’you think I’m gonna be fooled by this bloody beard?
(He tugs at it while the man flails in panic.)
MR SZIKORA: Are you crazy?!
(John straightens a little and imitates his flaily hands, mockingly saying, “No, no, no, no!” in the man’s accent, then leans into his face.)
JOHN: It’s not as good as your French. Not as good as your French. It’s not even a good disguise, Sherlock!
(He rips off the man’s hat and glasses. The man stares up at him with a terrified look on his face.)
JOHN: Where’d you get it from? A bloody joke ... sh-shop ...?
(Staring at the man with dawning horror, he reaches out and pulls his head forward to confirm that he genuinely is bald on top.)
JOHN: Oh my God.
(The man whimpers as John gently puts his glasses back onto his face.)
JOHN: I am so sorry. Oh my God.
(Mary comes in, having presumably heard the noise. John puts the man’s hat back onto his head.)
JOHN: Please for... (He looks across to Mary, speaking a little plaintively.) It’s fine.
(Clearing his throat, he sits down again. Mary goes out and closes the door.)
Greg Lestrade tears down the police tape sealing a door inside a building.
LESTRADE: This one’s got us all baffled.
SHERLOCK: Mmm. I don’t doubt it.
(Greg opens the door and leads Sherlock and Molly down the stairs into the basement. At the foot of the stairs, a large hole has been knocked through the brickwork of one wall. They go through the hole and Greg switches on the mobile lighting which has been set up in the room. As he switches on more lights, the “skeleton mystery” which Sherlock had been reading earlier is revealed. A white-painted wooden table is at the far end of the room and seated on a chair behind it is a skeleton dressed in an old-fashioned suit. There is a carafe and a glass and what looks like a writing set on the table in front of it. The corpse is holding a syringe in one skeletal hand. Frowning, Sherlock is already zooming in on details of the scene before he walks across the room, lays his pouch of tools on the table and gets to work, examining the corpse in minute detail. Molly stands nearby, her notebook open and pen poised. Sherlock sniffs at the body and tries to decide what he is picking up:
The writing in his mind turns into mothballs and bounces away. Moving on, he sniffs again:
He sniffs more deeply:
The writing burns away. He straightens up and shuts his magnifier.)
MOLLY: What is it?
(Sherlock gets out his phone and holds it up high to try and get a signal.)
MOLLY: You’re on to something, aren’t you?
SHERLOCK: Mm, maybe.
(John’s voice sounds in his head and the words he speaks appear in Sherlock’s mind.
SHERLOCK (in a whisper): Shut up, John.
(Greg’s eyes flicker across to him.)
SHERLOCK: Hmm? Nothing.
(He walks around to the other side of the table and continues his investigations.)
At the surgery, Mary walks into John’s office wearing her coat and scarf. She goes across to where he is sitting at his desk.
MARY (smiling): Hello.
MARY: You sure?
JOHN: I’m sure.
MARY: Okay. I’m late for Cath. I’ll see you later.
(She bends down and kisses him, then turns and leaves.)
CRIME SCENE. Sherlock carefully uses tweezers to lift the lapel of the skeleton’s jacket. Molly still stands some distance away waiting to write anything down. Greg leans close to Sherlock and speaks softly.
LESTRADE (glancing towards Molly): This gonna be your new arrangement, is it?
SHERLOCK: Just giving it a go.
LESTRADE: Right. So, John?
SHERLOCK: Not really in the picture any more.
(He moves away from the table and turns back to look at the whole picture. Cement dust drifts down from the ceiling as a distant rumbling can be heard.)
(He drops into a squat and calls up a mental compass showing the orientation of the room. Steepling his fingers in front of his mouth he zooms in on the corpse. Molly walks across to the body and starts to look closely at the bones in its neck. Sherlock stands up and walks over to join her.)
MOLLY: Male, forty to fifty.
(She looks round at Sherlock.)
MOLLY: Ooh, sorry, did you want to be ...?
SHERLOCK: Er, no, please. Be my guest.
(John’s voice sounds in his mind again.)
JOHN (voiceover): You jealous?
(His second word appears simultaneously in front of Sherlock’s mind’s eye.)
SHERLOCK (angrily, through gritted teeth): Shut up!
(Molly glances nervously at Greg. Sherlock takes out his magnifier to look more closely at the hand holding the syringe while Molly continues investigating the skeleton.)
MOLLY: Doesn’t make sense.
LESTRADE: What doesn’t?
(Sherlock gently blows away the dust around the hand and continues blowing towards the edge of the table.)
MOLLY: This skeleton – it’s ... it can’t be any more than ...
SHERLOCK and MOLLY (simultaneously): ... six months old.
(Sherlock has found a hidden compartment in the side of the table and he opens it and slides out a book from inside it. He blows the dust from the cover, gives it a sarcastic glance and shows it to Molly. Scrawled across the cover are the words:
How I Did It
Jack the Ripper
(He flamboyantly drops the book onto the table. Greg leans forward to peer at the cover.)
LESTRADE: “How I Did It” by Jack the Ripper?!
MOLLY: It’s impossible!
SHERLOCK: Welcome to my world.
(Greg grins with delight. As Sherlock leans down to repack his pouch of tools, John’s voice sounds in his head.
Sherlock grimaces, flailing towards his own head.)
SHERLOCK (quietly, through clenched teeth): Get out.
(Continuing to repack his pouch, he talks more loudly to Molly and a grinning Greg.)
SHERLOCK: I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining it to you.
LESTRADE: No, please – insult away!
(Sherlock has already picked up his pouch and is heading for the door but he stops when his internal John throws in another comment:
You forgot to put your collar up
Appearing confused and disoriented by this internal commentary, Sherlock turns back to the others.)
SHERLOCK: The-the-the corpse is-is six months old; it’s dressed in a shoddy Victorian outfit from a museum. It’s been displayed on a dummy for many years in a case facing south-east judging from the fading of the fabric. It was sold off in a fire-damage sale ... (he gets out his phone and shows the screen to Greg) ... a week ago.
LESTRADE: So the whole thing was a fake.
(He turns and heads out of the room.)
LESTRADE: Looked so promising.
SHERLOCK (already out of sight): Facile.
MOLLY: Why would someone go to all that trouble?
SHERLOCK (offscreen): Why indeed, John?
(Molly looks awkwardly at Greg.)
LATER. Sherlock – with Molly at his side – pushes the doorbell to a flat. Instead of the bell ringing or buzzing, it plays a recording of a London Underground announcement of a male voice saying, “Mind the gap. Mind the gap.” Molly giggles quietly. A young man answers the door and Sherlock immediately holds out the bobble hat towards him.
HOWARD: Oh. Thanks for hanging on to it.
SHERLOCK: No problem.
(Taking the hat, Howard leads them inside.)
SHERLOCK: So, what’s this all about, Mr Shilcott?
(They go into a room which is mostly taken up by a train set with model Tube trains running round it. On the wall is a photo of Howard, wearing his bobble hat, grinning happily and doing a thumbs-up to the camera while he stands in front of a train which doesn’t seem to be in Britain. The rest of the room is full of all sorts of different train memorabilia.)
HOWARD: My girlfriend’s a big fan of yours.
SHERLOCK (chuckling sarcastically): Girlfriend?!
(Howard looks round indignantly and Molly throws Sherlock a look.)
SHERLOCK: Sorry. Do go on.
HOWARD: I like trains.
HOWARD: I work on the Tube, on the District Line, and part of my job is to wipe the security footage after it’s been cleared.
(He sits down at his computer.)
HOWARD: I was just whizzing through and, er, I found something a bit bizarre.
(He turns towards the computer and Sherlock throws a silent and quirky “Ooh!” at Molly, who smiles. Howard pulls up the relevant footage and the others walk to either side of him to look at the screen, which shows the platform of a Tube station. A train is stationary and its doors are open. There is only one man on the platform. He looks like a business man and is carrying a briefcase.)
HOWARD: Now, this was a week ago. The last train on the Friday night, Westminster station, and this man gets into the last car.
HOWARD: They’re cars, not carriages. It’s a legacy of the early American involvement in the Tube system.
(Molly turns and throws a look at Sherlock.)
SHERLOCK: He said he liked trains.
HOWARD: And the next stop ... (he shows the appropriate footage) ... St James’s Park station ... and ...
(The footage shows the doors of the last car opening – and nobody gets out. Suddenly Sherlock is more interested. The doors close again.)
HOWARD: I thought you’d like it.
(He replays the earlier footage.)
HOWARD: He gets into the last car at Westminster, the only passenger ...
(He switches to the later footage.)
HOWARD: ... and the car is empty at St James’s Park station. Explain that, Mr Holmes.
MOLLY: Couldn’t he have just jumped off?
(Sherlock shakes his head. Molly looks away from the video footage and watches him.)
HOWARD: There’s a safety mechanism that prevents the doors from opening in transit. But there’s something else. The driver of that train hasn’t been to work since. According to his flatmate, he’s on holiday. Came into some money.
SHERLOCK (turning to look at Molly): Bought off?
(Molly has been gazing at him for the last few seconds and now looks startled by his question.)
MOLLY (blankly): Hmm?
(Sherlock looks disapprovingly at her for a moment, then turns to Howard. Molly looks embarrassed.)
SHERLOCK: So if the driver of the train was in on it, then the passenger did get off.
HOWARD: There’s nowhere he could go. It’s a straight run on the District Line between the two stations. There’s no side tunnels, no maintenance tunnels – nothing on any map. Nothing. The train never stops, and the man vanishes. Good, innit?!
(Sherlock closes his eyes, replaying a close-up of the passenger on the platform as his head turned towards the camera.)
SHERLOCK: I know that face.
(His eyes snap open, but now he’s in his Mind Palace, calling up footage of trains travelling along Tube lines, racing along the various lines on the Tube map, and generally recalling everything he can about the London Underground. Some time during the process he physically relocates to the stairs outside the flat, presumably so that he can concentrate better, but he frowns when he realises where he is, as if he doesn’t remember moving. Shutting his eyes to get back into the zone, he continues his search, mentally walking down a long flight of stairs beside escalators in an Underground station. Briefly the face of the disappearing man appears in his mind before more images from the Tube network and maps flash though his brain, and then the man’s face appears again.)
BAKER STREET. John walks towards the front door of 221 and stops a couple of feet away from the doorstep, looking thoughtfully at the door. A man comes around the corner and walks along the road, barging past him and bumping roughly into his shoulder. John turns to look at him as he continues onwards without speaking.
JOHN (sarcastically): ’Scuse you.
(The man glances over his shoulder at him but doesn’t stop. Behind John, another man walks up to him, grabs his left wrist and instantly jabs the needle of a syringe into the right side of his neck. John tries to grab at him but the drug is already starting to take effect and his weakening struggles are in vain. The first man comes back and they both hold him as he starts to fall. They carefully lower him to the ground and he lies there, still vaguely conscious but unable to move.)
HOWARD’S BUILDING. Molly looks up the stairs and slowly walks up them towards Sherlock as he stands there with his eyes closed. After a moment he opens his eyes but can see only a ticking clock, followed by a journey through a Tube tunnel.
SHERLOCK (quick fire, his eyes rapidly flickering back and forth): The journey between those stations usually takes five minutes. That journey took ten minutes – ten minutes to get from Westminster to St James’s Park. (He looks down at Molly.) So I’m going to need maps – lots of maps, older maps, all the maps.
SHERLOCK (walking past her and continuing down the stairs): Fancy some chips?
SHERLOCK: I know a fantastic fish shop just off the Marylebone Road. The owner always gives me extra portions.
MOLLY (following him): Did you get him off a murder charge?
SHERLOCK: No – I helped him put up some shelves.
(She giggles and he smiles briefly.)
(He stops at the bottom of the stairs and turns back to her.)
MOLLY: What was today about?
SHERLOCK: Saying thank you.
MOLLY: For what?
SHERLOCK: Everything you did for me.
MOLLY: It’s okay. It was my pleasure.
(She reaches the bottom of the stairs and starts towards the door but turns back as he speaks.)
SHERLOCK: No, I mean it.
MOLLY: I don’t mean ‘pleasure.’ I mean, I didn’t mind. I wanted to.
SHERLOCK (stepping closer and speaking intensely but softly): Moriarty slipped up. He made a mistake. Because the one person he thought didn’t matter at all to me was the one person that mattered the most. You made it all possible.
(He draws in a breath.)
SHERLOCK: But you can’t do this again, can you?
(She smiles, and when she speaks her voice is a little choked.)
MOLLY: I had a lovely day. I’d love to – I just ... um ... (She looks down.)
SHERLOCK (following her gaze): Oh, congratulations, by the way.
(Molly is wearing a diamond solitaire engagement ring.)
MOLLY: He’s not from work.
MOLLY: We met through friends, the old-fashioned way. He’s nice. We ... he’s got a dog ... we-we go to the pub on weekends and he ... I’ve met his mum and dad and his friends and all his family. I’ve no idea why I’m telling you this.
SHERLOCK: I hope you’ll be very happy, Molly Hooper. You deserve it. After all, not all the men you fall for can turn out to be sociopaths(!)
(Stepping closer to her, he gives her a beautiful smile, then leans in and kisses her on the cheek. She closes her eyes and keeps them closed as he turns and walks out of the front door. After a moment she turns and looks at his disappearing back.)
MOLLY: Maybe it’s just my type.
(Outside it’s snowing. Sherlock walks down the path, sighing a little and pulling his coat around him. He turns to the right and walks off down the road. Molly follows down the path, pulling out her gloves and putting them on. She stops at the pavement and watches Sherlock walk away, then turns and walks off in the opposite direction.)
NIGHT TIME. There’s a full moon in the sky. John slowly starts to regain consciousness. He seems to be surrounded by foliage, and the flickers of moonlight coming through the greenery seem like a flashlight being shone on him. Choking, he tries to move his hands but finds that he can’t. He opens his mouth to cry out but no sound will come. He tries to raise his head but eventually sinks back down again. There is a bleeding wound on the right side of his head just at his hairline.
Elsewhere, Mary is walking along a street but stops to take out her phone when it beeps a text alert. Taking off her glove to activate the phone, she sees the message:
Save souls now!
John or James Watson?
She flicks to the next screen:
Saint or Sinner?
James or John?
The more is Less?
Frowning, she lowers the phone and hurries on.
Some time later she is at the door of 221. Mrs Hudson opens the door to her knock.
MARY: Oh, Mrs Hudson.
(Mrs H frowns as Mary gently pushes her way in.)
MARY: Sorry – I-I think someone’s got John – John Watson.
(Upstairs in 221B’s living room, Sherlock – still in his coat and holding a bag of chips just inside the door – turns at the sound of her voice. Mrs H follows her.)
MRS HUDSON: Hang on! Who are you?
MARY (stopping partway up the stairs and turning back to her): Oh, I’m his fiancée.
MRS HUDSON (smiling): Ah!
(Sherlock is already coming onto the landing as Mary hurries up the stairs.)
SHERLOCK: Mary? What’s wrong?
MARY (taking her phone from her pocket): Someone sent me this. At first I thought it was just a Bible thing, you know, spam, but it’s not. It’s a skip-code.
(Sherlock looks at her closely, then turns his attention to her phone as she shows him the first part of the message:
Save souls now!
John or James Watson?
SHERLOCK: First word, then every third. Save ... John ... Watson.
(Mary pulls up the next message:
Saint or Sinner?
James or John?
The more is Less?
The unimportant words seem to fade, leaving just the vital ones:
SHERLOCK (urgently): Now!
(Dropping his chips to the floor, he races down the stairs with Mary following.)
MARY: Where are we going?
SHERLOCK: St James the Less. It’s a church. Twenty minutes by car.
(He pelts out into the street.)
SHERLOCK: Did you drive here?
MARY: Er, yes.
SHERLOCK (pacing about in the middle of the road): It’s too slow. It’s too slow.
(He is oblivious to the approach of a car, which swerves around him, the driver blaring his horn.)
MARY (frantically): Sherlock, what are we waiting for?
(Sherlock turns towards a single oncoming headlight.)
(He steps directly into the path of the approaching motorcycle and holds up an imperious hand. The driver slams on the brakes and the bike skids to a halt just in time.)
Shortly afterwards Sherlock and Mary – wearing the helmets of the driver and his pillion passenger – are racing through the streets on the bike. In Sherlock’s mind, he is calculating how long it will take to get to St James the Less Church. Currently the journey will take 10 minutes. Mary’s phone sounds a text alert and she checks it. It reads:
Getting warmer Mr Holmes
You have about ten minutes
They drive on.
MARY: What does it mean? What are they going to do to him?
SHERLOCK: I don’t know.
Wherever John is, he is struggling to move. The sound of children’s voices can be heard some distance away. He grunts as he frantically strains to escape but he can make no louder noise.
On the motorcycle, Mary holds her phone over Sherlock’s shoulder so that he can see the latest message:
Sherlock turns his attention back to the road and accelerates, but shortly afterwards they approach a roadblock. The road ahead is cordoned off with police tape, and two police officers are explaining the situation to stopped cars.
SHERLOCK (slamming on the brakes and halting the bike): Damn!
(He looks to his left and rapidly works out an alternative route which he overlays onto the original route. The original one has an ETA of 8 minutes; the new, more direct route shows an ETA of 5 minutes. Sherlock turns the bike and heads up onto the pavement and into a walkway between two buildings. One of the police officers uselessly chases after him.)
POLICE OFFICER: Oi! Oi! You can’t go down there!
(On the other side of the buildings, the path descends down a long flight of steps but Sherlock heads straight down them and turns onto the road at the bottom, which happens to be The Mall. They race onwards towards Buckingham Palace.)
Elsewhere, a fireworks party is starting in a small park in a square near a church. Children wave their sparklers around, and some people are playing small drums. One little girl, Zoe, gazes at the gigantic bonfire which has been piled up in the middle of the park, made up of broken wooden pallets, furniture and anything else which has been scavenged. She looks up at the Guy Fawkes guy which has been perched on the top, completely unaware that John is lying on the ground in the middle of the bonfire, out of sight of all the people nearby. The children gather near, perhaps knowing that it is not long until the fire will be lit. John opens his mouth and tries again to cry out but all he can manage is a faint moan. He thrashes, trying to push himself up and continuing to moan quietly. And now a man approaches the bonfire carrying a flaming brand of wood. The children watch him delightedly. John manages to produce some slightly louder croaks but they cannot be heard above the excited chatter of the children and the drumming. Smiling cheerfully, the man lowers the brand to the foot of the fire.
On the motorcycle, Mary receives a new message:
hotting up here...
They continue onwards but their speed is impeded when they cross a bridge and are blocked by a slow-moving lorry.
At the park the man with the brand, trying to light the bonfire without any success, looks round and shakes his head.
MAN: No. It’s not gonna work. Bit damp. I’ll get something to help it along, yeah?
(He walks away. Part of the bonfire is smouldering and the smoke drifts across John, who continues to try and cry out. His voice is getting a little stronger and he manages to let out a couple of louder but wordless cries. Standing nearby, Zoe frowns at the sound, looking in concern at the guy on top of the fire as the noises continue.)
On the motorcycle, Mary shows Sherlock the newest message:
Stay of execution.
you’ve got two
Sherlock checks his mental map, which shows that if he continues by road, their ETA is 3 minutes. However, if he goes in a straight line it will only take 1 minute. He swerves the bike off the road and heads straight down into a pedestrian underpass.
At the bonfire, Zoe’s father – the one who tried to light the fire – comes back with a small can of petrol. Zoe turns to him.
ZOE (plaintively): He doesn’t like it, Daddy.
ZOE (pointing up at the guy): Guy Fawkes – he doesn’t like it!
DAD (unscrewing the lid of the can): Stay back, Zoe. Back. Now.
(She stares at him as he starts to splash fuel over the wood of the bonfire. Inside, John’s cries are getting louder.)
The motorcycle charges on through the underpass.
Zoe’s dad continues pouring petrol over the fire.
Sherlock forces the bike up a steep flight of steps and out onto the street again. They are finally driving along beside the fence surrounding the park. Mary receives one more text:
What a shame
John is quite a Guy!
She holds the phone over Sherlock’s shoulder to show him.
MARY: What does it mean?
(Smiling, Zoe’s dad takes his flaming brand to the fire and tosses it onto the petrol-soaked wood. Sherlock’s head whips round as the bonfire begins to blaze and all the onlookers cheer.)
SHERLOCK: Oh my God.
(He accelerates around the square towards the only gap in the fence surrounding the park. The onlookers continue to celebrate the ignition of the fire. John’s voice finally comes to him and he yells as loudly as he can.)
(Zoe screams, and now others can hear John’s voice and react with horror. Her father runs to hold her back and to comfort her.
Sherlock races the bike into the park and hurls himself off.)
SHERLOCK (to Mary): Jump off!
(She quickly steps off as he drops the bike onto its side. The fire is really taking hold now, and John wails as the heat increases. Throwing off his helmet, Sherlock runs towards the fire, shoving people out of his way.)
SHERLOCK: Move! Move! Move! Move! Move!
(He reaches the front of the crowd and races on towards the bonfire.)
MARY (running behind him): John! Get out, John!
(Sherlock crouches down, peering through the flames and trying to see where John is while throwing some of the wood aside. He and Mary continue to cry John’s name and he hears them.)
(Now Sherlock has a location and he plunges his arms into the inferno, throwing pieces of the bonfire aside and creating a path into it. At last he is able to reach in and he grabs John’s arms and hauls him out, pulling him across the ground to safety before rolling him over onto his back. John lies there, looking extremely dazed as Sherlock looms over him.)
SHERLOCK: John? John!
(He gently pats John’s face.)
MARY (covering her mouth and crying): John.
SHERLOCK (softly): Hey, John.
(John gazes up at them blankly and their faces fade out for a moment. He blinks as if trying to force his vision to work.)
221B. DAY TIME. Wearing a suit but without the usual dressing gown over it, Sherlock sits in his armchair with his eyes closed, sighing quietly and occasionally drumming his fingers on the arms of the chair. A grey-haired couple are sitting on the sofa and the woman appears to have been talking for some time.
WOMAN: ... which wasn’t the way I’d put it at all. Silly woman. Anyway, it was then that I first noticed it was missing. I said, “Have you checked down the back of the sofa?”
(Sherlock screws his face up, then tilts his head forward a little, almost nodding off to sleep until his head jerks back up again. He steeples his fingers in front of his face as the woman looks round at her husband.)
WOMAN: He’s always losing things down the back of the sofa, aren’t you, dear?
MAN: ’Fraid so.
(Sherlock glares towards the kitchen.)
WOMAN: Keys, small change, sweeties. Especially his glasses.
WOMAN: Blooming things. I said, “Why don’t you get a chain – wear ’em round your neck?” And he says, “What – like Larry Grayson?”
MAN (almost simultaneously): Larry Grayson.
(Sherlock rises quickly to his feet, buttoning his jacket as he walks towards the couple.)
SHERLOCK: So did you find it eventually, your lottery ticket?
(He steps onto the coffee table and then onto the sofa between the couple. The woman leans to the side to get out of his way, and the man stares up at him as he starts idly flicking through the paperwork stuck to the wall.)
WOMAN: Well, yes, thank goodness. We caught the coach on time after all. We managed to see, er, St Paul’s, the Tower ... but they weren’t letting anyone in to Parliament.
(Sherlock frowns and looks down at her.)
WOMAN: Some big debate going on.
(The living room door opens and John walks in. Sherlock looks round in surprise.)
JOHN: Sorry – you’re busy.
SHERLOCK (stepping off the sofa and reaching down to pull the woman to her feet): Er, no-no-no, they were just leaving.
WOMAN: Oh, were we?
JOHN: No, no, if you’ve got a case ...
SHERLOCK: No, not a case, no-no-no. (To the woman) Go. ’Bye.
WOMAN: Yeah, well, we’re here ’til Saturday, remember.
SHERLOCK: Yes, great, wonderful. Just get out.
(He herds the couple towards the door.)
WOMAN: Well, give us a ring.
SHERLOCK: Very nice, yes, good. Get out.
(Bundling them onto the landing, he tries to close the door but the woman turns and sticks her heavy shoe into the doorway to stop the door from shutting. Sherlock pulls the door open a little, staring down at her foot.)
WOMAN (quietly): I can’t tell you how glad we are, Sherlock. All that time people thinking the worst of you.
(Sherlock glances round at John, who has walked over to the window and is deliberately keeping his back to the others.)
WOMAN: We’re just so pleased it’s all over.
(Grimacing, Sherlock tries to slam the door on her foot to make her remove it. She doesn’t budge.)
MAN: Ring up more often, won’t you?
SHERLOCK (hurriedly): Mm-hm.
MAN: She worries.
(Again Sherlock glances round towards John as if to ascertain that he can’t hear him, then he leans close to the woman.)
SHERLOCK (quietly): Promise.
(Smiling, she reaches up to stroke his cheek.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, for God...
(He shoves the door closed and lets out a deep sigh before turning to John.)
SHERLOCK: Sorry about that.
JOHN: No, it’s fine. Clients?
SHERLOCK (hesitating briefly): ... Just my parents.
JOHN: Your parents?
SHERLOCK: In town for a few days.
JOHN: Your parents?
SHERLOCK: Mycroft promised to take them to a matinee of “Les Mis.” Tried to talk me into doing it.
JOHN: Those were your parents?
(He goes to the window to look out.)
JOHN: Well ... (He chuckles briefly.) That is not what I ...
(He turns to look at Sherlock, then looks out of the window again.)
JOHN: I-I mean they’re just ... so ...
(He looks at Sherlock who directs a hard gaze at him, narrowing his eyes.)
JOHN: ... ordinary.
(He smiles. Sherlock tuts disparagingly.)
SHERLOCK: It’s a cross I have to bear.
(John chuckles, then slowly takes a few steps across the room before turning back.)
JOHN: Did they know, too?
(Sherlock won’t meet his eyes.)
JOHN: That you spent the last two years playing hide and seek.
(Sherlock picks an imaginary piece of fluff off the keyboard of his laptop which is open on the dining table.)
JOHN: Ah! So that’s why they weren’t at the funeral.
SHERLOCK (defensively): Sorry. Sorry again.
JOHN (cynically): Mm.
(He slowly steps towards the door. Sherlock watches him for a moment, then lowers his head.)
SHERLOCK (softly): Sorry.
(Drawing in a deep breath, John meets his eyes for a second and then looks down, breathing out slowly.)
SHERLOCK: See you’ve shaved it off, then.
JOHN: Yeah. Wasn’t working for me.
SHERLOCK: Mm, I’m glad.
JOHN: What, you didn’t like it?
SHERLOCK (smiling): No. I prefer my doctors clean-shaven.
JOHN: That’s not a sentence you hear every day!
(He has been slowly walking across the room again and is now in front of his old chair. He sits down in it, grunting a little. There are healing cuts and gashes on the side of his head where it was scratched by the foliage while he was thrashing about under the bonfire.)
SHERLOCK: How are you feeling?
JOHN: Yeah, not bad. Bit ... smoked.
(John looks at him seriously.)
JOHN: Last night – who did that? And why did they target me?
SHERLOCK: I don’t know.
JOHN: Is it someone trying to get to you through me? Is it something to do with this terrorist thing you talked about?
SHERLOCK: I don’t know. I can’t see the pattern. It’s too nebulous.
(He walks towards his wall of information.)
SHERLOCK: Why would an agent give his life to tell us something incredibly insignificant? That’s what’s strange.
JOHN: “Give his life”?
SHERLOCK: According to Mycroft. There’s an underground network planning an attack on London – that’s all we know.
(He looks down and frowns as an apparently random memory comes to him of the dust trickling down from the ceiling in the ‘Jack the Ripper’ room. He turns and gestures to the paperwork on the wall.)
SHERLOCK: These are my rats, John.
SHERLOCK: My markers: agents, low-lifes, people who might find themselves arrested or their diplomatic immunity suddenly rescinded. If one of them starts acting suspiciously, we know something’s up. Five of them are behaving perfectly normally, but the sixth ...
(He points to the relevant photograph.)
JOHN (pointing to that photo): I know him, don’t I?
(If we hadn’t already realised it, the photograph is of the man who got into the disappearing Tube car.)
SHERLOCK: Lord Moran, peer of the realm, Minister for Overseas Development. Pillar of the establishment.
SHERLOCK: He’s been working for North Korea since 1996.
SHERLOCK: He’s the Big Rat. Rat Number One. And he’s just done something very suspicious indeed.
Later, Sherlock is showing Howard’s footage of the mysterious Tube train disappearance to John, who has taken off his coat and is sitting at the dining table.
JOHN (looking at the screen): Yeah, that’s ... odd. There’s nowhere he could have got off?
SHERLOCK: Not according to the maps.
SHERLOCK: There’s something – something, something I’m missing, something staring me in the face.
(He turns to the wall again but then his phone beeps. He takes it out of his pocket.)
JOHN (sitting down in front of the computer): Any idea who they are – this underground network?
(Sherlock looks at a sequence of photos taken of Lord Moran walking along a road next to the Houses of Parliament. The sequence seems to indicate that he has just come up from Westminster Tube station.)
JOHN (looking at the computer screen): Intelligence must have a-a list of the most obvious ones.
SHERLOCK: Our rat’s just come out of his den.
JOHN: Al-Qaeda; the IRA have been getting restless again – maybe they’re gonna make an appearance ...
SHERLOCK (triumphantly): Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I’ve been an idiot – a blind idiot!
SHERLOCK (pacing across the room): Oh, that’s good. That could be brilliant.
JOHN: What are you on about?
SHERLOCK: Mycroft’s intelligence – it’s not nebulous at all. It’s specific – incredibly specific.
JOHN (firmly): What do you mean?
SHERLOCK: Not an underground network, John. It’s an Underground network.
JOHN: Right. ... What?
SHERLOCK: Sometimes a deception is so audacious, so outrageous that you can’t see it even when it’s staring you in the face.
(He leans over John’s shoulder to replay the Tube footage of the lone passenger – Lord Moran – getting into the train at Westminster.)
SHERLOCK: Look – seven carriages leave Westminster ... (the footage switches to show the next station) ... but only six carriages arrive at St James’s Park.
JOHN: But that’s ... I ... it’s-it’s impossible.
SHERLOCK: Moran didn’t disappear – the entire Tube compartment did. The driver must have diverted the train and then detached the last carriage.
JOHN: Detached it where?! You said there was nothing between those stations.
SHERLOCK: Not on the maps, but once you eliminate all the other factors, the only thing remaining must be the truth. (He points at the screen.) That carriage vanished, so it must be somewhere.
JOHN: But why, though? Why detach it in the first place?
SHERLOCK (pacing): It vanishes between St James’s Park and Westminster. Lord Moran vanishes. You’re kidnapped and nearly burned to death at a fireworks par...
(He stops. He’s got it.)
SHERLOCK (turning to John): What’s the date, John – today’s date?
JOHN: Hmm? November the ... My God.
(Sherlock looks at the information wall and walks slowly towards it.)
SHERLOCK: Lord Moran – he’s a peer of the realm. Normally he’d sit in the House. Tonight there’s an all-night sitting to vote on the new anti-terrorism Bill.
(He stops in front of the sofa and smiles.)
SHERLOCK: But he won’t be there. Not tonight. (He turns to look down at John.) Not the fifth of November.
JOHN: “Remember, remember.”
SHERLOCK: “Gunpowder treason and plot.”
[More information about the rhyme they’re reciting here]
On to part 3