Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) and Dr. John Watson (Edward Hardwicke) are visited by Dr. Mortimer (Alastair Duncan) with an unusual story. Mortimer is friend and physician to the Baskerville family. Recently Sir Charles Baskerville (Raymond Adamson) died under mysterious circumstances. The family lore tells of a 200-year-old curse when a Sir Hugo Baskerville was killed on the moor by a spectral hound. Since then, the curse has been visited on each subsequent squire of the estate.
Since Sir Charles’ death his next, and last, relative is his nephew, Henry Baskerville (Kristoffer Tabori). Henry was raised in America and is returning to England to take up his post as squire of the manor. Dr. Mortimer is concerned for Henry’s life. Holmes dismisses the curse but there were some aspects of the doctor’s story that point to a natural cause for Sir Charles’ death. As such it raises Holmes’ interest in the case. The detective agrees to help.
Holmes says that he is currently involved with another case but sends Dr. Watson to protect Henry and keep an eye on him. He also instructs Watson to send reports back to keep him up to date on whatever events happen. On the way to the estate Watson sees quite a few police. He is told that an escaped criminal named Selden (William Ilkley), is in the area. At the manor Sir Henry and Watson meet the caretakers of the manor Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore (Ronald Pickup and Rosemary McHale). The manor and the people in the area all seem a little depressed and withdrawn.
Watson begins his reports and brings them to the post office. On the way back to the estate he meets a neighbor, Mr. Stapleton (James Faulkner). Stapleton is an entomologist. He invites Watson to meet his sister Beryl (Fiona Gillies). In front of the house Stapleton runs off chasing after a butterfly specimen. While Stapleton is occupied elsewhere Beryl comes running from the house. Mistaking Watson for Henry, she urges him to leave the moors and run back to London. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what Sir Henry should do. With Holmes seemingly out of the picture for a while Watson is on his own, and it appears he has his work cut out for him. It seems that everyone has a secret in this depressive place, and there are more things to be afraid of on the moors than just a 200-year-old curse.
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” was released in 1988 and was directed by Brian Mills. It is a British television movie and a horror mystery based on the third novel by Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was produced by Granada Television. The movie is actually episode 26 of the Granada television, Sherlock Holmes series. It is the second of two movies done for the series. The first series ran from 1984 to 1985 with thirteen episodes. The next series ran from 1986 to 1988 and was thirteen episodes. The third series ran from 1991 to 1993 and was comprised of nine episodes. Finally, the fourth series ran in March and April 1994 and was 6 episodes long. The first movie or full-length episode was “The Sign of Four” 1987 episode 21. The two films were part of the second series. The entire production starred Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes and Edward Hardwicke as Dr. Watson.
The movie was good and very moody, but it is not my favorite “Hound of the Baskervilles” film nor is it my favorite Jeremy Brett film either. Budgetary problems caused the film to receive less attention than it should. The hound was also less impressive than, say, the drug induced specter that Benedict Cumberbatch had to deal with, but then the BBC took a lot of liberties with the entire story. This hound was glow-in-the-dark green and then only sometimes. Despite not being the best Granada production, it was still interesting and very atmospheric.