The Hound of the Baskervilles (TV serial)

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The Hound of the Baskervilles
Written byNovel:
Arthur Conan Doyle
Alexander Baron
Directed byPeter Duguid
StarringTom Baker
Terence Rigby
Country of originUK
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Barry Letts
Editor(s)Nigel Pardoe-Matthews
Original release3 October 1982

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1982) is a British television serial made by the BBC, produced by Barry Letts, directed by Peter Duguid and starring Tom Baker as Sherlock Holmes and Terence Rigby as Doctor Watson.[1] The serial is based on Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. The music score was composed and conducted by Carl Davis.


This production of Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles was the second multi-part BBC adaptation, following Peter Cushing's two-part episode for the 1968 television series.[1] The 1982 serial was part of the BBC's Sunday Classics strand of period dramas and literary adaptations.[2]

The serial was a reunion for star Tom Baker, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks[2] who had worked together on Doctor Who.[3] The film aired as a four-part serial in 1982.[3] As the Fourth Doctor, Baker had appeared in a 1977 serial entitled The Talons of Weng-Chiang wherein the Doctor was dressed as Sherlock Holmes complete with deerstalker.[1][3]

Terence Rigby, who portrayed Watson in this production, later played Inspector Layton in the 1983 version of The Sign of Four featuring Ian Richardson as Sherlock Holmes.[1]

The serial was shot in the BBC's Birmingham studios with exterior shots filmed on Dartmoor for film inserts.[1][4] In his later autobiography, Baker claimed "the dog who had been engaged by the BBC to play the hound was gentler than Mother Teresa"[2] and had to be coaxed with sausages to attack Nicholas Woodeson.[2]



The opinions of viewers at the time was divided[5] and it has not fared better over time.[6][7] Baker himself came to consider his performance a failure[1] saying: "I couldn’t lift the character into that special world that makes Holmes so funny and fascinating."[2] The Daily Telegraph described the adaptation as a "traditional take on Holmes's most famous adventure" and while it selected Baker as 15th in a countdown of "the 20 greatest Sherlock Holmes", it said Baker "may have been better off staying in the TARDIS", arguing that he gave "an oddly flat performance".[8] The Independent has been more favourable, stating "it was inspired casting to put the tall, pop-eyed, mad-voiced Baker into the Holmesian cape and hat", describing him as "a predictably larger-than-life Holmes".[9]


The serial was released in Australia on 20/08/2014 by Madman Entertainment. Special features include a commentary by Tom Baker.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Barnes, Alan (2011). Sherlock Holmes on Screen. Titan Books. pp. 85–87. ISBN 9780857687760.
  2. ^ a b c d e Appleton, Jonathan (16 January 2017). "Doctor Holmes – When Tom Baker Was Sherlock". The Doctor Who Companion. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Haining, Peter (1994). The Television Sherlock Holmes. Virgin Books. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-86369-793-7.
  4. ^ "The Hound of the Baskervilles". BBC. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  5. ^ Haining, Peter (1994). The Television Sherlock Holmes. Virgin Books. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-86369-793-7.
  6. ^ "A Study In Error: The Ten Worst Sherlock Holmes". Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  7. ^ Eyles, Allen (1986). Sherlock Holmes: A Centenary Celebration. Harper & Row. pp. 123. ISBN 978-0-06-015620-6.
  8. ^ "15. Tom Baker - Sherlock: the 20 greatest Sherlock Holmes". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Holmes Sweet Holmes: Literature's Greatest Sleuth". The Independent. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  10. ^ "The Hound of the Baskervilles". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 5 February 2018.

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