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The View from Sherlock Peoria . . . September 6, 2015

Back to the Sherlock Peoria blog

  West of Baker Street . . . the leaked pilot.

Oh, you’re not going to believe this one. I got to see the leaked pilot from AUN’s new show West of Baker Street at long last, and after Sherlock and Elementary set a new “anything goes” standard for Sherlock Holmes television, it seems like the producers of this show took that example to heart.

The pilot of West of Baker Street opens with a long shot of a stage coach getting ready to leave a town in the old Southwest, and a disclaimer. The disclaimer?

“The events depicted hereafter are somewhat based on things that might have, in part, actually happened. This is pretty much the way things worked in the early days of the American West, so don’t believe too much of it . . .

“. . . and always question a man from England, especially if his name is Conan Doyle.”

As we close in and the driver whips up the horses, we get to see the five occupants of the stage coach: a fellow with his nose in a book, an attractive maternal figure, and a teenage boy on one side, and on the other, a thin card-sharp with a thousand mile stare and a genial fellow who smiles at the widow and her boy.

The friendly fellow starts introductions: Archibald Stamford’s his name, and the widow is Marta Von Kramm, travelling with her son Renny. The card sharp next to Stamford reluctantly joins in, giving his name as . . .

“John Henry . . . Watson.”

The man with the book is still ignoring the rest of the passengers, so Archibald makes up for it with “And this is my friend Sander Sigerson. He’s come up from Mexico to explore the Rocky Mountains.”

Sigerson glances up from his book, shoots a look at Watson, and gives the line any devout Sherlockian has been waiting for:

“You have been in Tombstone, I presume.”

The response, however, is something else entirely.

“It’s a popular place,” Watson replies, and leaves it at that. When Sigerson finally looks up from his book, the look Watson returns very much says “don’t mess with me.” Guess these two aren’t moving in together anytime soon!

Stamford starts to chat up the widow Von Kramm when the stage coach comes to an abrupt stop and we hear gunfire. It’s being robbed.

 The passengers of the coach are all invited to step outside, and exit to find themselves with the barrels of several guns pointing directly at them, guns held by masked Mormons. The men from the coach each react to the sight with hands in the air, the widow with nervous bag-clutching, and the teenaged boy with barely-contained adolescent rage.

“We’re being robbed by church-folk?” the boy mocks. “You Mormons only got nine commandments in that book of yours?”

One of the seeming Mormons kicks the boy to the ground. Their leader is paying the most attention to Marta Von Kramm, grabbing her by the chin for a good hard look.
Sander Sigerson puts one hand on John Watson’s forearm and observes coolly, “They don’t appear to be interested in stealing things. We should be back on the road shortly.”

“I will defer to your judgment,” Watson quietly replies to Sigerson. “But we will be conversing.”
“Too old!” the gang’s really nasty-looking leader declares when his scrutiny of Mrs. Von Kramm is done, and turns to the part of his gang that are going through the baggage they’ve thrown down from the stage’s roof.

“You have guns, why didn’t you use them!” the boy shouts at the male passengers. “Is this the way women and children are treated in Colorado?”

“You can kick him again,” John Henry Watson tells the ringleader, who shouts at them all to shut the hell up.  He anxiously asks his men again if they’ve found anything, and when they reply in the negative, he whistles and gestures for them to leave.

The driver, the widow, and Stamford set about gathering up the luggage, while the angry teen confronts Sigerson and Watson. He outs Watson as John Henry “Doc” Holliday, and berates him for not using his skills with a gun, then turns on Sigerson.

“And YOU . . . don’t think I don’t know you’re the reason they came for us!”

Sigerson protests his innocence, but Renny Von Kramm is having none of it.

“You can find your own way to Leadington,” Renny finally says. “Goodnight, Mr. Sherlock Holmes!”

And then the teenaged boy punches “Sigerson” in the face and knocks him out.

The credits spring into action, a nice period thing a little more Hell on Wheels than Deadwood, perhaps owing a little to the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes, but with a fiddle bit all its own.  A lot of scenery of both distant and close-up of Leadington, sans humans.

We come back from the credits from Sherlock Holmes’s point of view, as he regains consciousness to see Doc Holliday sitting cross-legged on the ground next to him. He groggily gets up.

“They took the coach and left us here, I take it?”

“They left you,” Holliday replies. “I just stayed to make sure the coyotes didn’t nibble on you.”

“We should probably be properly introduced, I suppose. You’re no Watson.”

“And you’re no Sigerson, from what the kid said.”

“Kid be damned, that was a trickster named Irene Adler. But I am, indeed, Sherlock Holmes, formerly of London.”

“Holliday. John H. Holliday, formerly of a lot of places.”

The two start walking up the road.

Holliday asks Holmes what he had to do with the stage coach robbery. Holmes says he had nothing to do with it, but that he and those gentlemen may have been on the same mission. And then he goes on to tell Holliday a little story.

It’s the story of a Mormon elder named Wilhelm who went to San Francisco on business and became very smitten with a music hall singer named Irene Adler. Adler was the illegitimate daughter of a Jersey minister, and seemed to find something of home in Elder Wilhelm, it seemed. Their courtship was a whirlwind, and when Elder Wilhelm finally asked Miss Adler to return to Salt Lake City with him, Adler only said she would do so as his wife. A marriage was arranged and took place, only to have the bride disappear when she went to change into her travelling clothes.

A letter appeared soon after, detailing how the now Mrs. Wilhelm had discovered Elder Wilhelm was a married man back in Salt Lake City. Since polygamy was made a federal crime this very year, she threatened to take their marriage certificate to federal marshals and have Elder Wilhelm arrested and thrown in prison should he attempt to pursue her.

Elder Wilhelm began to fear Miss Adler had only married him to later extort him with the new anti-bigamy law, and wanted to have any record of their short-lived union destroyed. He hired an amateur consulting detective whom he had met in his San Francisco hotel to find that marriage certificate.

“. . . and speak of the devil,” Holmes says, as a carriage and horsemen approach.

They all stop when they get to Holmes and Holliday, and Elder Wilhelm gets out of the carriage.

“Have you taken to following her tracks on foot, Mr. Holmes?” he asks.

“The new Mrs. Wilhelm is travelling disguised as a quite convincing teenage boy,” Sherlock explains. “I’m ashamed to admit that she had me completely taken in, as well as my friend Watson here. And as a result, we find ourselves without transportation.”

“What a woman! Oh, what a woman!” Elder Wilhelm does his King of Bohemia impression, that being his apparent role in this adaptation. “Did I not tell you how quick and resolute she was? Would she not make an admirable matriarch? What a pity she was not born a Mormon! But she will adapt.”

Holmes expresses surprise at that last bit, restating that he was hired to reclaim the documents of Elder Wilhelm’s marriage to Irene Adler, not the lady herself. Elder Wilhelm goes on to explain that the best way to deal with the situation completely will be to just take Irene back to Salt Lake City, where she will learn to live as God intended.

Elder Wilhelm they offers Holmes and “Watson” a ride to Leadington, that being the least he can do for Sherlock putting him on the woman’s trail. Sherlock declines, even as Holliday protests, saying that the walk will be good for his soul and give him time to consider his errors in the handling of the Irene Adler matter. Elder Wilhelms’s party heads on.

Holmes asks Holliday why he didn’t get a ride with the Mormons, and Doc replies that Sherlock has got him curious about what he’s up to, and he’s sticking around to see.

So they walk some more.

Eventually two more riders gallop up on them, pulling guns. They aren’t Mormons.

“Johnny Ringo and Tom Dennis,” Doc announces, keeping his hands in plain sight. “I suppose you would be a branch party of that county posse I heard about. Come a long way haven’t you?”

“Not too far to drag your body back, Holliday,” Ringo replies.

Sherlock whips up his most official British accent and tells them Holliday is in his custody, and that he’s wanted for crimes against the Crown, and that an ample bounty awaits at the embassy in Denver. Holmes pulls out an official-looking paper for them to read. Ringo gestures for him to hand it up, keeping his gun on Holliday, and when he reaches for it, Holmes grabs his arm and yanks him from the horse, cold-cocking him as soon as he’s on the ground. Dennis turns his attention to Holmes but is frozen in place by the sound of a gun cocking, as Holliday already is poking him in the ribs with a short shotgun that seemingly came out of nowhere.

“What did I ever do to offend the Queen?” Holliday asks Holmes.

“It is Queen Victoria,” Holmes replies, “I’m sure there’s plenty about you that would offend her. Nothing worth giving up a family land deed for, however.” Holmes carefully folds the official paper up, pockets it, and pats his pocket.

Ringo and Dennis swear to have the pair hanged as horse thieves as Holmes and Holliday mount up, taking the two mens’ weapons with them. Sherlock Holmes tells Johnny Ringo that their horses will be in the next town, then tosses him a flask. “In case you want to explain where your horses went – being a little drunk can explain a great many things.”

“You are a generous man, Mr. Holmes!” Holliday shouts as the pair start riding off.

“Small investments, Dr. Holliday, small investments!”

“Chances are they’ll try to kill us anyway!”

“Half of the American West is out to kill me, Mr. Holliday! And from what I’ve heard, the other half is out to kill you! Yah!” Holmes whips up his horse and races ahead. Holliday looks puzzled for half a moment, then races off after him.

This is probably the first commercial break, but this being a leaded pilot episode, there isn’t one. I pause it to wander in the kitchen and look for a snack anyway. Peanuts in the shell seem good for this one.

The show picks up again with Holmes and Holliday sitting down to a meal at the Easton Grand Hotel in Leadington with Sheriff Lestrade.

“So a pair of drunkards lent you their horses after you were kicked off the stagecoach by a boy after being held up by Mormons . . . your adventures never fail to be worth hearing, Mr. Holmes,” Lestrade is saying. “Any rewards to be collected by the local constabulary this time around?”

“Not yet, Lestrade, not yet. But the business of Elder Wilhelm’s wife is far from over. Who knows what may come of it?”

After a bit more banter, Lestrade excuses himself and says he’s pleased to make “Dr. Watson’s acquaintance” with an obvious wink. Holliday comments on Holmes’s interesting relationship with the local law enforcement, and Holmes replies that it’s such things are a necessary part of maintaining a base of operations in the West, as Holliday well knows.
“So if you don’t mind my asking, Holmes,” Holliday finally asks, “what sort of game is it that you’re playing here?”

 “Well, you might say I’m building a trade of my own,” Sherlock replies. “I suppose I am the only one in the world. I’m a consulting detective, if you can understand what that is. In London, we had a lot of Government detectives and a lot of private ones. But it always seemed to me that those fellows needed a little help from an expert now and again. So I came to America to finish making myself that expert. This is a place where new ideas seem to grow, and I want to gather all from those ideas that I can.”

Holliday asks if Holmes is studying the Pinkertons, and Holmes calls them bunglers and bully-boys, as worthless at investigation as any London copper on the beat.

“To the student of crime, the more appropriate study is the criminal,” Holmes remarks, “and this new land is full of them, in a quite charming variety.”

Holliday seems to consider Holmes’s statements for a moment, then proposes a partnership of sorts. He could serve as Holmes’s handy guide to the locals, while he could take a break from some recent unwanted attention by spending some time in Leadington as John H. Watson. Holmes admits that he has been looking for a partner to watch his back in his little explorations, and agrees that such a situation might be worth a try.

As they finish this conversation, two mean looking Mormons come strolling into the hotel dining room, and one is immediately recognizable as the leader of the gang that held up the stagecoach. He surveys the room and when he sees Holmes, he walks directly over, steals a chair from a nearby occupied table without a word to the occupants, and sits with Holmes and Holliday.

“So have you found the woman yet?” he demands. “Elder Wilhelm says you were on the damned stage coach with her and she still got away from you.”

“If I remember correctly, you actually kicked her to the ground, Mr. Shumway. A poor way to treat the wife of an elder, I must say.”

“You don’t mean to tell me that devil’s harlot can change her shape, do you, Holmes? That was no woman I kicked.”

“Irene Adler is an accomplished actress, as well as a singer. You just got to see the same play that I did. Such a woman requires a stage, and will inevitably step in front of the curtain, you can count on that. And when she does so again, I will be there to recover the marriage certificate, as Elder Wilhelm has enlisted my services to do.”

“You just be sure you let us know if you find her again. That’s all you need to worry about. Church business is best handled inside the church, and not by some Englisher. I’ll see that she’s taken care of.”

Shumway pushes off the table and walks out, his henchman in tow. Holmes gives Holliday an amused look.

“Like I said, criminals in a charming variety. The new Mrs. Wilhelm isn’t the only one we have to be on the lookout for in all this.”
“So why is it we’re having a nice lunch here and not looking for her?” Holliday asks.

“Who said I’m not looking?” Holmes asks in return. “An observant man has more than one set of eyes. Would you care for some dessert? The peach pie here is delightful.”

Holmes waves over one of the hotel staff and asks for some pie.

“Don’t try telling a man who was Georgia-born that you can make a good peach pie from tinned peaches,” Holliday says.

“You plainly didn’t have Mrs. Turner baking for you in Georgia,” Holmes replies. “Martha Turner has a way with pie that I suspect will change your mind.”

A woman comes out of the kitchen carrying two plates of pie. The woman is the one we last saw on the stagecoach as “Marta Von Kramm.”

“As promised, Sherlock,” she says sweetly as she sets the pie on the table. “Baked fresh as soon as I got back to my kitchen.”

Holiday looks puzzled and absently puts a fork-full of pie into his mouth, and then is overcome with a look of happy surprise.

“This IS good pie!”

“Indisputably,” Holmes replies. “Mrs. Turner, I’d like you to meet . . . well, we’ll stick with John H. Watson. Watson, meet the genuine Martha Turner.”

“A pleasure, dear lady.” Even though he’s not wearing his hat, Holliday raises it to tip it.

Mrs. Turner actually does a shy little curtsy and scurries back into the kitchen.

“You’ve made an impression,” Holmes observes.

“So you knew that the boy . . .”

“There’s a larger game being played here, my friend. One that I shall need your assistance with in the next move.”

Here is where we get a really good look at the difference between the John H. Watson we know and the John H. Holliday/Watson of West of Baker Street.

“You’ve told me one story, Mr. Holmes. Now tell me the real story.”

Doc Holliday says that line in a way you’d expect to hear the sound of a gun cocking along with it. The words hold no threat. He’s sitting calmly in his chair. But the threat of violence comes through in every bit of his tone.
“Everything I’ve told you is the truth,” Holmes replies hastily and quietly. “I am retained by Elder Wilhelm to find the wedding certificate. I just haven’t given it to him yet.”

Holmes slips the paper he formerly claimed was a family deed out of his coat enough for Holliday to recognize it.

“I also have an agreement in place with Mrs. Wilhelm, who would most strongly desire to not spend the rest of her life in Salt Lake City as a domesticated female.”

Holliday doesn’t change his look, not satisfied with the answers. “And . . .?” he asks after a beat.

Holmes explains that some part of Elder Wilhelm’s party is working for an organizing power whose threads he has been following during his travels across the West. And that the Mormon church is the key to Utah, and a few well-placed wolves among the flock could have a powerful influence upon the civilization being built here. Elder Wilhelm stands in the way of that, and his impulsive marriage to Irene Adler is wanted by those malign influences as a tool against him. After an unfortunate incident in the San Francisco courthouse records, the wedding certificate is all that remains of that tool.

“So why not just throw it into the cookstove and be done with it?” Holliday asks.

“Because I want a look at someone,” Holmes replies, and looks at his watch. “There are a pair of fine rockers out on the porch of this establishment, Watson, my friend. I think we should avail ourselves of them for a bit.”

When we next see the pair, Holmes is drowsily rocking in one of the aforementioned chairs and Holliday is just looking slightly confused and mostly perturbed.

“You do like your mysteries, Sherlock Holmes,” he says. “But you seem to be about making more of them than solving them.”

Holmes just nods and continues to rock contentedly.

Holliday notices the Mormon Mr. Shumway and his two bully boys coming down the boardwalk across the street, taking up a station opposite them. Shumway just gives one scowl in their direction and leaves it at that. They’re not his primary focus.

A less-than-hygenic-looking prostitute, a mass of awkward bulging female garments and tangled hair, makes an attempt to flirt with Shumway who waves her off with language one would not expect from a religious man.

Eventually a stagecoach rolls in. A few random passengers get out, then the most dangerous-looking man we’ve seen in the show thus far steps out. Shumway and company hustle around the coach to meet him, showing extreme deference.

“And there’s the creature I hoped to pull out into the light,” Holmes says. “You’re good at cards, aren’t you Watson?”

“I might be,” Holliday replies.

“Spatulate finger-ends give you away, good fellow. You’ve dealt many a hand. Faro, I’d wager.”

“I might have spent time in a tiger alley or two.”

“Our new arrival might be hunting that very same tiger . . . or similar prey, from what I’ve heard. It might be a good way for one to make his acquaintance.”

“Are you familiar with how many acquaintances I’ve made over cards that are playing their cards in Hell now? It’s not the healthiest place to meet up. But a game is a game.”

The messed-up prostitute has made her way to Holmes and Holliday’s side of the street, and cozies up  to Sherlock Holmes.

“You look like a stallion in sore need of pasture,” she says. “Not like those geldings across the way there . . . one pretty boy shows up on the stage and we see the who they favor.”

Holmes pulls out a silver dollar and hands it to her. “I’ll be in room B at the 221 in ten minutes. See if you can pretty yourself up a bit by then.”

“Oh, you’re getting everything you see here, you fancy Dan,” the harlot laughs and snuggles up against him before flouncing off.

Holliday just grins. “You British have different tastes, I’d heard. Like it from the bottom of the barrel, do you?”

“You never know what you might find when you rinse the dirt off, my dear Dr. Watson. A precious gem could be well hidden in a clod of dirt.”

“The same precious gem that punched you in the face earlier today?”

“I certainly hope so. Otherwise . . . if you’d like to step in . . . ?”

“I think you have things well in hand, Holmes.”

“I appreciate your confidence, Watson. So if you will excuse me . . .”

“By all means. Enjoy yourself.”

Holmes heads back down the street, Holliday watching him go with a smirk. Once Holmes is gone, Holliday gets up and strolls across to the Golden Eagle saloon. There’s a poker game going on, just one in the mostly-empty saloon, and as Holliday approaches, the dealer asks him to join in. He looks over the players and replies, “I’m currently looking for a fella I thought came in here, but another time, gentlemen. Definitely, another time.”

Holliday heads out to the street, and as he starts to cross, Martha Turner stumble-runs desperately out of an alley beside the hotel. Her hair is mussed, her dress torn, and she shows signs of being beaten. As she nears Holliday, she collapses.

Holliday kneels beside her to find she’s stone cold dead. Blood is pooling from the back of her head. His hand goes to his gun, and his eyes quickly scour the surrounding area. As others come up, he tells them to find something to cover her and darts down the alley route she came from. He finds the kitchen door at the rear of the hotel open and goes inside to find the place torn up, with the waiter from earlier trying to clean up.

“Did you see what happened here?” Holliday asks the man, only to get a confused “no” in reply. He heads through to the front of the hotel and back to the street, where he finds Holmes and Sheriff Lestrade bending over the body.

“She was shot in the back of the head,” Lestrade says to Holliday. “You saw it?”

“There was not shot,” Hollday replies. “She must have gotten away from her attackers and only made it this far before she died.”

“Not with this head wound,” Holmes tells him. “A bullet in the brain like this kills instantly. Enters the skull, ricochets around inside. The only move you can make is the one gravity makes for you. She was shot here on the street.”

“There was no gunshot. I’m a tad sensitive to loud noises like that. There was no gunshot.”

“I was afraid of that,” Holmes says, and stands up. Across the street, he sees Shumway and his cronies. They give Holmes a bland look and move away.

“Any advice on how we catch who did this to her?” Lestrade asks him.

“If it’s the same man who was behind the last wound I saw like this, I don’t know that we do, Sheriff. Our best hope may be to just stop him from killing again.”

“And how do we do that?”

“Tonight, we all go to church.”

“Resorting to prayer?” Holliday says, giving Holmes a sanity-questioning look.
“Prayers aren’t the only thing that happens in a church, my good Watson. There are other last resorts that happen there as well. Eight o’clock, gentlemen. Until then, good afternoon, and I would suggest you come appropriately outfitted.”

With that, Holmes walks off, leaving Lestrade and Holliday alone. Holliday looks down at Martha Turner’s body.

“Sherlock Holmes can play whatever game he feels the need to play,” Holliday says. “I’m going to make sure somebody pays the piper for this one, Mr. Lestrade.”

“You’re a grown man, Mr. Watson. You know which lines you can cross. And which ones need to be crossed elsewhere.”

“I’ve spent the better part of my life elsewhere. It’s not hard to get to.”

Holliday walks off determinedly as the music rises and it feels like a commercial break should come about now.

When we see John H. Holliday again, he’s in his hotel room, finding places for guns on the parts of his wardrobe that didn’t already have guns. Once he’s finished, he heads down to the street and walks to the church at the end of town.

Sherlock Holmes meets him at the door.

“I expected you might dress up a little more for a wedding,” the detective says.

“I’m wearing what I need to be wearing,” the dentist replies. (Wonder if there’s going to be many dentist plotlines on this show?)

Holliday follows homes into the simple frontier chapel, lit only with alter candles. They walk down the aisle to the front of the church where a minister waits. It’s Lestrade.

“The sheriff and the reverend are the same man in this town? It’s smaller than I thought.”

“Justice of the peace. But I’ve preached a sermon or two as needed,” Lestrade says.

“Where’s the bride?” Holliday asks.

“Waiting for the guests to arrive . . . ah, here they come.”

Elder Wilhelm and his party arrive. The Elder joins the men up front, the rest of his men take seats in the bench-pews. 

“I hope you haven’t brought me here for foolishness, Mr. Holmes. I have begun to grow very tired of this wild goose chase.”

“We’re all putting our trust in merciful angels tonight, Elder Wilhelm. Have faith.”

One of Elder Wilhelm’s men comes up from the back of the church and whispers something in his ear. He is startled, but soon nods.


“Are you going to take him?” Lestrade asks.

Elder Wilhelm’s man nods. “Yes.”

“Are you going to take her?” Lestrade asks.

“Yes,” Sherlock Holmes replies. We get a front view of Wilhelm’s man. It’s Irene.

“Everybody sign the damn paper and lets have it done,” Lestrade says.

Irene signs. Sherlock signs. Elder Wilhelm signs as a witness, and Lestrade finishes it up.

“And the other?” Wilhelm asks. Holmes produces a marriage certificate from his pocket, shows it to the elder, and then sets it on fire from the candle. After it burns and its ashes crumbled into dust, Holmes takes the new wedding license from Lestrade, folds it carefully and hands it to Elder Wilhelm.

“We entrust this to your safekeeping, Elder.”

“Thank you, Mr. Holmes. Thank you, Mrs. Holmes. I think we can all safely and legally go on with our lives now, as God’s will surely intended. Congratulations.”

Elder Wilhelm and his party leave.

“I suspect I might have some small idea of what happened here just now,” Holliday says. “But just so I’m clear, would you mind spelling out the details?”

Irene is the one to speak up first. “It was my new husband’s plan. He can explain it.”

“As long as any evidence of his marriage to Irene Adler remained, getting arrested for bigamy was going to be a threat certain people could hold over Elder Wilhelm’s head. With the courthouse record in San Francisco having met with an accidental demise, the bit of ash you see here was the sole remaining evidence, aside from the lady herself. The document could be destroyed easily enough, but the lady? She could still be used against him, were she not under a similar threat of being charged with bigamy . . . or at least married to another man at a ceremony where someone might have mistaken Elder Wilhelm for a groom when he was merely a witness.”

“I would not have said you were a marrying man, Mr. Holmes,” Holliday replies.
“I doubt I will be after this,” Holmes replies. “That bigamy thing and all.”

“And what of Martha Turner’s killer?” Holliday asks.

“Sheriff! Sheriff!” one of the locals comes running in. “There’s been another murder!”

Lestrade, Holliday, and Holmes follow the man in a hurry. Irene Adler hangs back, then slips away in the opposite direction.

Down the street, Lestrade, Holliday, and Holmes find Shumway laying dead on the street with a fresh head wound.

“No one heard any shots,” the local tells Lestrade.  Holmes examines the body, going through pockets . . . he pulls out Martha Turner’s ivory dove pin. (Did I mention she had a dove pin back on the stagecoach? She did. Stamford commented on it.)

Holmes explains that after Shumway found out Irene had been on that stage with Mrs. Turner, he must have tried to get Irene’s whereabouts out of her back in the hotel kitchen. When she fought back and escaped, she was killed by the same quiet killer who got Shumway. Someone who liked to clean up loose ends and send a message to anyone who might be tempted to defy that killer’s bosses . . . which is why Irene Adler had put on male garb and slipped in behind Elder Wilhelms’ men earlier . . . to avoid being cleaned up as a loose end until after her usefulness in the bigamy scheme was over.

I suppose I could explain it better than that, but you’ll just have to see it, whenever this show ever makes it to a television in your area/dimension/delusional state.

The last scene of the pilot of West of Baker Street takes place in John H. Holliday’s hotel room, where we find him shaving off his famous moustache as a knock comes from the door. He yells for the knocker to enter without taking his eyes off his mirror.

“I’m surprised to find you so vulnerable to attack,” Sherlock Holmes says as he enters. “Back to the door, inviting a stranger in . . . .”

“I have a mirror to see you, a straight razor in one hand, and a gun behind this wash basin,” Holliday replies. “Go ahead and attack me.”

“A nice touch,” Holmes says after observing Doc’s handiwork. “John H. Watson doesn’t wear a moustache, I take it.”


“I also notice that John H. Watson doesn’t have tuberculosis, as I have heard the notorious Doc Holliday has suffered throughout his life. I’ve used a feigned illness or opium addiction myself on occasion when it suited my purposes.”

“Nothing better than a coughing fit to make a fella think you’re not about to shoot him,” Holliday replies.

“I was wondering if you’d like to join me in a drink. It seems my wife has left me.”

“You should be so lucky. If she’s anything like my Kate, she’ll be turning up again at the worst damned possible times.”

Holmes says nothing, looking toward the window.

“She’s got her hook in you deep, hasn’t she? I thought I saw a bit of the .”

“She is pretty much the woman, is she not? When she’s not being a boy with a mean jab, of course.” Holmes rubs his chin nostalgically.

“You’ve already got a partner, Holmes. And one who’s not looking for a three-way-split.”

“And a case as well. There’s this famed duelist named Isadora Persano down at the Golden Eagle whom friend Lestrade has asked me to take a look at.”

“A duelist, eh? Are we supposed to kill him, or has someone else already done it?”

“Oh, it’s much more interesting than that. Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot!”

The music swells as Holmes and Holliday head out the door, and the credits roll in. I don’t suppose we’re going to get to see Isadora Persano in the second episode, but that’s par for the course. And a show always has to leave something for the fan fiction. (Other than the sexual relationship between the two leads that’s plainly there behind the scenes. Yes, I’m kidding. Your mileage may vary, the motto of the firm.)