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Richard Roxburgh and Ian Hart head an all-star cast as Holmes and Watson in Allan Cubitt's dramatisation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic tale. The mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville leads the detective duo to investigate an alleged family curse and forces of evil at work on Dartmoor.
Hound of the Baskervilles 9.00pm BBC1
Turn off the lights, turn up the central heating, find a big box of chocolates and prepare to be spooked by this new television dramatisation of arguably the greatest detective story of all time.
Richard Roxburgh is Sherlock Holmes and Ian Hart is his faithful chronicler and companion Dr Watson, in Conan Doyle's ripping yarn about the cursed Baskerville family and the legend of the hound that stalks Dartmoor, savaging its prey at will.
Holmes and Watson are drawn into this curious tale after the death of Sir Charles Baskerville, apparently from heart failure. His heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, arrives from the USA, but he's in the sights of an unknown stalker and soon receives an ominous and threatening letter: "As you value your life or your reason, keep away from the moor." Naturally, Holmes's curiosity is tweaked and he dispatches Dr Watson to Baskerville Hall, where he's to keep a a close watch on Sir Henry, a man who's in obvious great danger. Soon Watson makes the acquaintance of Sir Henry's neighbours, the charming Stapleton (Richard E Grant) and his lovely wife. But soon the mists roll in and howls echo across the starkly beautiful moors as death visits Dartmoor once more.
One of the big problems with adapting such classics is that everyone who has ever read the book has their own mental picture of Holmes and Watson. Roxburgh is suitably austere, and Hart, in his commendable efforts to throw off the quite erroneous perception that Watson was a bit of a buffoon, ends up being colourless. And the computer-generated hound isn't actually as scary as you might expect. For some reason its eeriest feature is missing- the hound doesn't glow in the dark (in the book the beast was daubed with phosphorous to give it an unearthly look).
But any television version of such a wonderful story is welcome, though if you are tempted to sit down as a family to watch, be aware that there are some bloody moments that might frighten very young children. (Alison Graham)
Sir Charles Baskerville:
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