TPLoSH and the Shspesh Trailer

The curved pipe

Watson mentions The Hounds of Baskerville case

In my lifetime, I have recorded some sixty cases demonstrating the singular gift of my friend Sherlock Holmes – dealing with everything from The Hound of the Baskervilles to his mysterious brother Mycroft and the devilish Professor Moriarty.

The dog one? 

Do you mean The Hound of the Baskervilles?

Opening onto street


Mrs. Hudson greets them after a long extended stay

It was August of 1887, and we were returning from Yorkshire, where Holmes had solved the baffling murder of Colonel Abernetty.

Mrs. Hudson complains of no warning of their arrival

I do wish you’d give me a little more warning when you come home unexpected. I would have roasted a goose – and had some flowers for you.

Mr. Holmes. I do wish you’d let me know when you’re planning to come home.

Holmes gives his excuse while brandishing things

My dear Mrs. Hudson – criminals are as unpredictable as head-colds. You never quite know when you’re going to catch one.

I hardly knew myself Mrs. Hudson. That’s the trouble with dismembered country squires - they’re notoriously difficult to schedule.

Watson’s stories are complained about

Oh, come now, Watson, you must admit that you have a tendency to over-romanticize. You have taken my simple exercises in logic and embellished them, exaggerated them…

I never enjoy them.

Well I never say anything do I? According to you I just show people up the stairs and serve you breakfast.

Watson blames the illustrator

That’s not my doing. Blame it on the illustrator.

Oh, blame it on the illustrator - he’s out of control!


“My version of Mycroft is entirely extrapolated from Christopher Lee’s version [in ‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’ by Billy Wilder]…”

Mark Gatiss on the character of Mycroft Holmes in Timeshift - How to be Sherlock Holmes [x]


But there can be no grave for Sherlock Holmes or Doctor Watson. Shall they not always live in Baker Street? Are they not there this moment, as one writes? Outside, the hansoms rattle through the rain, and Moriarty plans his latest devilry. Within, the sea-coal flames upon the hearth and Holmes and Watson take their well-won case…


The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

This is the film Mark Gatiss says he and Stephen Moffat used as “a template” when they created the BBC adaptation.

“The relationship between Sherlock and Watson is treated beautifully; Sherlock effectively falls in love with him in the film, but it’s so desperately unspoken. There’s an amazing scene where, to get out of a situation where a Russian ballerina wants Sherlock to father her child, he claims Watson and he are gay.”

Read the full script here

"Dr. Watson is the handsome one"

Martin Freeman admitted in the London Apple store interview that he was really surprised to see the scene in the final cut because he only did the whistling (and pointing?) to make Benedict Cumberbatch laugh.

And that’s why I’ve got this nebulous feeling that they acutally erased a line. The original script might have looked something like this:

TESSA: Which one of you is Sherlock Holmes?

SHERLOCK: Dr. Watson is the handsome one… so I’m Sherlock Homes.

This would have been a perfect reference to a line in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes:

GABRIELLE: Which of you is Mr. Holmes and which is Dr. Watson?

HOLMES: Dr. Watson is the handsome one.

Rethink this. In the Rizla game Sherlock is unable to deduce that he has written his own name at his forehead. And when Tessa asks “Which one of you is Sherlock Holmes?” Sherlock concludes “John (Dr. Watson) is the handsome one” (or “John is the pretty lady”…) “so I must be Sherlock Holmes”. He would have answered Tessas (and John’s!) question and finished the game at the same time.

That this is only a head canon makes me kind of sad.


“Our favourite [influence] is the Billy Wilder film, The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes. It’s absolutely wonderful. It plays fast and loose with some of the most revered concepts but, in the end, it is an incredibly nuanced, moving piece of cinema.”

Mark Gatiss, 2010. [x]

As we all know, Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is considered to be Mark Gatiss’ and Steven Moffat’s template for their version of Sherlock Holmes, as well as their favorite adaptation. Gatiss considers Wilder and Diamond to be “among the best screenwriters in the world”.

What they don’t mention is that the commonly-available version of the film is, in fact, heavily edited, largely due to censorship laws and Wilder’s conflicts with the Doyle estate at the time of filming

The original screenplay was what Wilder consider a symphony with four movements, including multiple cases and an expansion on Holmes’ relationship with drugs, an extended prologue, as well as more personal conversations with Dr. Watson.

The final release only included two of those four movements.

Some of those deleted scenes are included in the special features of the TPLoSH DVD.

However, there is no way to fully grasp the arc of Wilder’s original, uncensored vision of the film without viewing the full screenplay.

Luckily for us, there’s an elderly Sherlockian out there with an impressive screenplay archive, a love of Wilder films, and a generous spirit. All credit to him for this find. 

I’ve included a free download link for the full roadshow version of the TPLoSH script below. I hope to see some good meta come out of it, and that it sparks some interesting fandom discussions. 



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