The Special: the Adventure of Ricoletti of the Club Foot and His Abominable Wife?

  

I’ll admit the title may be a bit of a mouthful, but what it means could be very interesting…
So, now we know the title of the Special and the air-date, but we know little else so far. What we can glean from the trailer is that the special promises all of the humour, drama and excitement of the series, and that this seems to be the first meeting of this pocket-universe version of John and Sherlock (or Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes, if you prefer). 

It also seems to be wholly original and not based on a pre-existing tale from Doyle’s original stories. Or is it? Close inspection of the short story “The Adventure of the Musgrave ritual” offers this little nugget:

“Here’s the record of the Tarleton murders, and the case of Vamberry, the wine merchant, and the adventure of the old Russian woman, and the singular affair of the aluminium crutch, as well as a full account of Ricoletti of the club foot and his abominable wife.” 

It is quite a sparse description, but definitely an intriguing premise and I  cannot wait to see what Moffat and Gatiss will weave with it.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a throwaway reference from one of the original stories influenced the modern incarnation, the “giant rat of Sumatra”, mentioned in Sir Athur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire” showed up as a sly reference in the series 3 opener “The Empty Hearse” (about which I’ll go into greater detail in a later post).

Whilst this knowledge still reveals little about the forthcoming special, it does tease it wonderfully and I, for one, cannot wait to see it. Roll on New Years Day.
“the Musgrave Ritual” appears in the short story collection “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” and is a great story, well worth checking out.

On Location: The Lie of Leinster Gardens

Sherlock has filmed in plenty of interesting locations around London, but it is such a huge and disparate city. This unfortunately means it is impossible to squeeze every location into a two hour tour and some, sadly, fall by the wayside. Posts titled “On Location” will focus on these. First up: 23-24  Leinster Gardens.

  

“The lie of Leinster Gardens, hidden in plain sight. Hardly anyone notices. People live here for years and never see it. No door knobs, no letterbox, painted windows. 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens, the empty houses.”

So says Sherlock in s03e03, “His Last Vow”, about one of London’s most intriguing addresses. At first glance 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens don’t appear any different from the real houses they are sandwiched between, but if we observe rather than merely see, a closer look reveals their secret.  

  

In the 1860’s work was well underway on the Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway, when a problem arose. Luckily Victorian ingenuity afforded a suitably eccentric solution:

“They were demolished years ago to make way for the London Underground, a vent for old steam trains. Only the very front of the house remains. It’s just a façade.”

In the episode Sherlock is using the “empty houses” to illustrate a point to Mary and to attempt to draw the truth out of her. In real life, however, the addresses have mainly been used to lend verisimilitude to lies, being favourite false abodes given by con men to help them swindle honest people out of their hard-earned money. Well, surely you would have to be as smart as Sherlock not to fall for their tricks.

   
The façade, seen from the back on neighbouring Porchester Terrace.

 

The houses are situated in leafy Bayswater, where the architecture is just stunning, and a stones throw from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Nearby Notting Hill is also worth a visit.

The name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221b Baker Street

Greetings and welcome to the SHERLOCKED London Tour blog, the only tour dedicated solely* to the award-winning BBC Drama Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson.

It is my aim to not only provide the most up to date information regarding the tours, but also to provide news, features and reviews on all things Sherlock related. I’m a huge fan of the show and would love to share this enthusiasm with like-minded Sherlockians, so please feel free to get involved in the comments as things move forward. I’d love to hear from you.

So don’t just sit their idly, come along! The game, dear reader, is on…

*To the best of my knowledge