The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Hound of the Baskervilles
It can be tricky to talk with passion about a book or a movie without giving any spoilers. Especially when the goal is to review a figure covering one of the key scenes. So this week’s review will have to be a bit more vague and mysterious as we take a look at the WoD070 - Sherlock Holmes & The Hound Of The Baskervilles set by King and Country.
The Hound of the Baskervilles, published in 1902, is one of the most famous novels with the cunning Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend Watson. The story takes place in 1889 when Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Reports of an unusually large beast in the area brings back an old legend about a pack with the devil and a mysterious supernatural hound that would become a curse to the Baskervilles. The whole investigation is always standing on the edge of the paranormal as gaps about his death are much more easily filled by local tales than solid facts. Therefore a hunt for the truth is opened by the consulting detective, in a literal and figurative way.
The first edition printed in 1902 with the hound illustrated on the cover.
So it’s not a big surprise to find Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson hunting a very uncanny hound here! Dr Watson hunts in a very British way, wearing a Harris Tweed Norfolk shooting jacket. He also carries with him an excessive single barrel percussion elephant gun. The weapon was designed to take down thick-skinned dangerous game in foreign countries and is quite fitting with the colonialist timeline of that scene.
The figure of Sherlock Holmes is more moderate in his approach, only holding a .44 caliber revolver in his hand. He also wears his classic deerstalker which is a hunter cap by itself and thus fitting nicely with that hunting theme. King and Country went for a blue coat on this version of Sherlock, giving more color than the previous brown, black and grey version. The subtle expression on his face is one of the most interesting features of this figure. Sherlock Holmes looks a bit disgusted by the vile creature and not scared at all, like only a hero could be. His body pose aiming downward might make this figure perfect for that specific scene, but a bit hard to reuse elsewhere or by itself. On another hand, Watson is much more flexible when it comes to put in other contexts.
The hound is as scary as it should be. His long fangs, feral look and large frame match, in a certain way, what is in the novel. By King and Country’s standards, it's also a one of a kind beast. K&C usually produces docile and realistic animals. Finding such a monstrous animal in one of their sets is quite unique and therefore it’s a very desirable figure. For those who like to be creative with their collection, this hound will give you plenty of fun. If combined with 18th century French militia, It would make a perfect Bête du Gévaudan!
Illustration from 1764 relating the latest attacks by the Bête du Gévaudan.
At this point, giving more details about the true nature of this hound might spoil things. This is why it would now be better to only continue with a few nightmare inducing images of that beast.
To conclude, Sherlock Holmes fans and those on the hunt for unconventional pieces will surely like this new set. Of course, knowing the story behind is also helping a lot to appreciate what King & Country came with here. This is why I would suggest to everybody concerned to read that book if they have the chance. And if you don't feel like reading the book, I leave you with the 1959 version; the first film adaptation of the novel to be filmed in colour. It is honestly not the best version ever done, but it is with Peter Cushing and Sir Christopher Lee, so it is worth watching…