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Monday, 3 February 2014

Sherlockathon - The Blind Banker

The Blind Banker was the second story from the BBC's Sherlock, and was broadcast back in August 2010. The plot involves a series of murders and at each scene a mysterious cipher is left behind. This baffles police but it doesn't stop them concluding that the first murder was suicide.

However Holmes eventually discovers that the ciphers are based on an ancient Chinese numeral system.  Several stories from the original canon as by Conan Doyle are used for this locked room mystery - the ciphers are coded messages which are a similar plot device as used by Doyle  in both The Valley of Fear and The Adventure of the Dancing Men, and the fact that a victim is found in a locked room which is only accessible by climbing is an allusion to The Sign of Four. There are other nods to the original canon in the story and a great blog for detailing all of these references can be found HERE - the author knows the canon far better than I and regularly list the references to the original Holmes canon which makes his blog essential reading for Holmes fans both old and new.

Towards the last quarter of the episode there is a scene where Holmes and Watson visit a Chinese circus and it is then that a familiar face pops up - yep that's me! I had a day's work on this episode, helping to make up the audience at the circus. However I may have only been an extra but I've got a knack of getting myself in the right place and as the camera swung around I found myself standing next to Holmes and Watson as can be seen in the picture to the left.

If I remember correctly the scenes inside the Chinese theater were actually filmed deep in the Cynon Valleys - the Abercynon Institute I think it was -  a disused cinema. The thing that sticks in my mind about the day is looking around the old cinema and reading the  posters on the walls, some of these went back to the early days of cinema. It was an enjoyable day and although I only appear on screen for just under a minute the scene took most of the day to film. Of course at that time I didn't realize that Sherlock would become such an iconic series. I think at that time I was still smarting at the show depicting our beloved Holmes without the famous pipe and as far as I was concerned it was just another job, in just another show that would be quickly forgotten. How wrong I was.

Now that the basic characters have been set up this second story is propelled totally by the mystery to be solved, and whilst I don't think the episode was quite as good as A Study in Pink it is still damn good television.

1 comment:

Buddy2Blogger said...

Thanks Gary for the shout-out.

"The Blind Banker" is definitely not as well scripted as "A Study in Pink". It still has its moments and I would gladly take it any day over CBS Elementary.