BBC Online Press Release - November 2002
Richard Roxburgh, who played the Duke in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, leads a star-studded cast as Sherlock Holmes, opposite Ian Hart as Dr Watson, in a major new version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles from Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC ONE this Christmas.
The film also stars Richard E Grant as Stapleton and John Nettles as the Dartmoor physician, Mortimer.
Directed by David Attwood (Shot Through The Heart, Moll Flanders) and produced by Christopher Hall (The Lost World, Other People's Children), the film is written by Allan Cubitt (Prime Suspect II, Anna Karenina).
It portrays Holmes and Watson as young and athletic men in their mid-thirties, much closer to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original vision, in contrast to the mature and paternalistic figures of previous versions of the story.
The ancient legend of the Baskervilles has persisted in the family history for generations. It is Sir Charles' mysterious death in the grounds of Baskerville Hall that brings Holmes and Watson to the scene of one of their most famous and intriguing cases – the mystery of the legendary hellhound of Dartmoor.
The hound itself will be produced for the first time using state of the art animatronics and computer generated images (CGI).
Richard Roxburgh, as well as appearing in Moulin Rouge, was also seen in Mission Impossible II.
Ian Hart is best known for his roles as Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, as the father in Stephen Frears' Liam, and as a young revolutionary in Ken Loach's Land And Freedom.
Matt Day plays Sir Henry Baskerville, heir to Sir Charles; Neve McIntosh is Miss Stapleton; Geraldine James plays Mrs Mortimer; Ron Cook is Barrymore, the butler; and Liza Tarbuck is his wife.
Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, said: "Allan Cubitt's visceral adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's timeless classic is an atmospheric thriller for a 21st-century audience."
"Intended for an adult audience, it features a hound which has been created with the latest special effects technology, and follows in the footsteps of The Lost World broadcast last Christmas."
"The film is set when it was written in 1901, in a time of great flux and change. London is welcoming in a new age of electric light and the internal combustion engine, whilst the moorland of Dartmoor is like the Wild West – bleak, inhospitable and lawless."
The Hound Of The Baskervilles is developed and produced by Tiger Aspect Productions, one of the UK's leading independent production companies.
It reunites the same animatronics and visual effects teams – Crawley Creatures and FrameStore – which were behind BBC ONE's The Lost World (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's adventure about an epic search for an undiscovered world inhabited by prehistoric beasts, starring Bob Hoskins), as well as Walking With Dinosaurs and Walking With Beasts.
The Hound Of The Baskervilles, shot earlier this year on location in the Isle of Man, Liverpool and Cumbria, is a Tiger Aspect Production for BBC ONE in association with WGBH and The Isle of Man Film Commission.
The executive producers are Greg Brenman (Tiger Aspect), Gareth Neame and Sally Woodward Gentle (BBC), and Rebecca Eaton (WGBH).
Tiger Aspect's other recent credits include Murphy's Law, Murder, Bodily Harm, Teachers, Births Marriages And Deaths and Kid In The Corner.
The Hound Of The Baskervilles – A Filmography
• The BBC's last adaptation of The Hound Of The Baskervilles was a four-part serialisation in 1982 starring Tom Baker as Sherlock Holmes and Terence Rigby as Dr Watson.
• In 1968, Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock played the famous detective and his companion in a two-part story for the BBC.
• In the cinema, Basil Rathbone made his first appearance as Sherlock Holmes with Nigel Bruce as Watson in 1939 for 20th Century Fox, in a studio-based film written by Ernest Pascal and directed by Sidney Lanfield.
• In 1959, a Hammer re-make starred Peter Cushing as Holmes and Andre Morell as Watson, in a version written by Peter Bryan and directed by Terence Fisher.
• Most recently, Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke played Holmes and Watson on ITV in 1988.
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