"The Sign Of Things To Come" is the 1st episode of the 5th NPLH series. The episode originally ran in 4 parts between September 30th - October 4th 2015.
The episode starts with an Indian diplomat, Mr. Ashra (CJ Parmar) approaching Madeline Chambers to ask for her assistance on an archaeological dig to find the Agra Treasures, which bits of have recently been found near to The Thames. The Agra treasures at one point belonged to the family of Mr. Ashra, long before Captain Morstan and his gang stole them in the 1860's.
Madeline willingly agrees to temporarily suspend her pursuit of Sherlock Holmes in order to track the treasures down.
But she is not the only one seeking the treasure, for after running into financial difficulty, Holmes and Watson decide to also hunt down the treasure, after Holmes persuades Watson it technically belongs to him having been in the Morstan Family. However, in telling Watson this, he forgets that Miss Blake is present, and thus overhears the fact Watson was once married; something he had never mentioned in a bid to keep their past a secret from her.
Miss Blake is furious for his deception, but later relents when he explains that he never spoke of it due to the sadness of losing Mary through illness so young. He later joins up with Holmes and together they search for the treasure.
After much fruitless searching, a chance word uttered by Watson "maybe we should cut our losses" sparks Holmes outstanding memory recall, and he remembers that Jonathan Small (who claimed to have thrown the treasures in The Thames) had a cut on his hand when they caught him.
Watson fails to see how this is useful and tells Holmes his theory is a "pipe dream". This again sparks his memory. Holmes begins searching by the riverside for a disused sewer pipe, in which he eventually locates the Agra Treasures. He tells an astonished Watson that the pipe had a jagged entrance causing Small's cut, and Watson's utterance of "pipe dreams" helped connect the two together in his mind.
However the celebration is cut short after Madeline Chambers shoots Watson with a stun blow dart, causing him to faint and pass out.
After taking him to the safety of the camp base point, Holmes tries to find someone to help him with Watson, but instead runs into Madeline Chambers.
Madeline offers Holmes the cure for the stun-dart, but only if Holmes hands her the treasure. Seeing no other option Holmes hands them over to her and runs off to save Watson.
After administering the potion, Watson recovers, but is distraught to learn the treasures have been taken. Ashamed to tell Watson the truth that Madeline, is onto them, Holmes tells a story of "some heartless lad" must have taken them while he was distracted.
They return to tell Miss Blake the bad news of not being able to get the treasure, but are met halfway by her instead. She cheerfully tells them she has solved their financial problems by going through the bills with Auntie Pat over the phone. Together they have decided that if Watson does not gravy at every meal, this will save enough money over the year for at least one more pair of shoes for Miss Blake.
However, Holmes stops her trail of thought by asking about the financial implications of ringing Auntie Pat, who is presently abroad, for such extensive amount of times. Holmes remarks that he imagines international useage is expensive (similar to the Telegram or postal system.)
At that point, it dawns on Miss Blake that it is her mobile phone bill that is causing the financial problems for the household, not Watson's gravy consumption. Having now confiscated her phone, Holmes begins to lecture Watson about the dangers of women and their spending habits, and that he hopes after this occurrence and his 3 marriages, that he may have finally come to learn this.
But sadly for Holmes, he did not realise Watson never told Miss Blake about his other two marriages whilst explaining about his first. Watson tries to pacify Miss Blake by telling her that the other two meant nothing, and that he cannot even remember either of their names. But far from being satisfied, Miss Blake leaves and refuses to speak to Watson any further.
Watson subsequently blames Holmes for his part in this and furiously storms off away from him as well.
But just as things can't get any worse for Team Holmes, Madeline Chambers reappears, this time insisting on a restaurant date meeting with Holmes. Knowing Madeline knows something about his past that she is keen to share, Holmes has no choice but to agree. Satisfied, Madeline leaves, but not before remarking that Holmes should "wear something nice, but nothing new, as we both know that's not you at all."
DID YOU KNOW? Edit
- Gene Foad was supposed to have appeared in the episode as "Professor Fuddy Duddy" , but this ended up being cut due to restrictions of filming schedules.
- Tony Carpenter doubled up as Jonathan Small after the actor (Guy Barnes) was unable to make it on the day in question due to traffic problems.
- This was Angela Holmes final appearance as Rebecca, having left the show in January 2015 after filming of the episode.
- This episode is another rare show of emotion from Holmes to Watson when he thinks he might die from the dart. The only times he displays this level of care is when he thinks Watson is mortally wounded.