Season 1 Episode 1

A Study in Pink

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 25, 2010 on BBC



  • Trivia

    • When Sherlock and John are first seated at Angelo's restaurant, Angelo brings a candle for the table. In the next shot for John's conversation with Sherlock, John is chewing, although neither of the two placed an order for food, nor did we see Angelo bring anything else to the table. In the next full shot of the tabletop, we see an entre for John, a glass of wine, and a cup of tea before the two leave the restaurant.

    • The newspaper article seen four minutes into the episode about the dead student has multiple repeating paragraphs: the first paragraph from the first column matches the second paragraph in the third; also, the last five lines of the second column are repeated in the beginning of the third column.

  • Quotes

    • Molly: Listen, I was wondering. Maybe later, when you're finished...
      Sherlock: Are you wearing lipstick? You weren't wearing lipstick before.
      Molly: I, uh... I refreshed it a bit.
      Sherlock: Sorry, you were saying?
      Molly: I was wondering if you'd like to have coffee?
      Sherlock: Black, two sugars, please. I'll be upstairs.
      Molly: Okay.

    • Sherlock: Ah, Molly. Coffee, thank you. What happened to the lipstick?
      Molly: It wasn't working for me.
      Sherlock: Really? I thought it was a big improvement. Your mouth's too... small, now.
      Molly: Okay.

    • Watson: Is that it?
      Sherlock: Is that what?
      Watson: We've only just met, and we're going to go look at a flat.
      Sherlock: Problem?
      Watson: We don't know a thing about each other. I don't know where we're meeting, I don't even know your name.
      Sherlock: I know you're an army doctor and you've been invalided home from Iraq or Afghanistan. I know you've got a brother who's worried about you, but you won't go to him for help because you don't approve of him-possibly because he's an alcoholic, more likely because he recently walked out on his wife. And I know that your therapist thinks your limp's psychosomatic, quite correctly I'm afraid. That's enough to be going on with, don't you think? (he exits and pops back in) The name's Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street. Afternoon. (leaves)
      Stamford: Yeah. He's always like that.

    • Watson: Well this is a prime spot. Must be expensive.
      Sherlock: Mrs. Hudson the landlady is giving me a special deal. She owes me a favor. A few years back her husband got himself sentenced to death in Florida. I was able to help her.
      Watson: So you stopped her husband from being executed?
      Sherlock: Oh, no. I ensured it.

    • Watson: That's a skull.
      Sherlock: Friend of mine. Well, I say friend.

    • Sherlock: Brilliant! Yes! Ah, four serial suicides and now a note. Oh, it's Christmas.

    • Sherlock: You're a doctor. Actually, an army doctor.
      Watson: Yes.
      Sherlock: Any good?
      Watson: Very good.
      Sherlock: Seen a lot of injuries then, violent deaths.
      Watson: Well, yes.
      Sherlock: Bit of trouble too, I bet.
      Watson: Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime. Far too much.
      Sherlock: Want to see some more?
      Watson: Oh God, yes!

    • Sherlock: Possible suicides. Four of them. There's no point sitting at home when there's finally something fun going on.
      Mrs. Hudson: Look at you, all happy. It's not decent.
      Sherlock: Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!

    • Watson: That was amazing.
      Sherlock: You think so?
      Watson: Of course it was. Extraordinary. It was quite extraordinary.
      Sherlock: That is not what people normally say.
      Watson: What do people normally say?
      Sherlock: "Piss off."

    • Sherlock: Is your wife away for long?
      Anderson: Oh don't pretend you worked that out. Somebody told you that.
      Sherlock: Your deodorant told me that.
      Anderson: My deodorant.
      Sherlock: It's for men.
      Anderson: Well of course it's for men. I'm wearing it.
      Sherlock: So's Sergeant Donovan. Oof. I think it just vaporized.

    • Sherlock: Shut up.
      Lestrade: I didn't say anything.
      Sherlock: You were thinking. It's annoying.

    • Watson: What am I doing here?
      Sherlock: Helping me make a point.
      Watson: I'm supposed to be helping you pay the rent.
      Sherlock: Well, this is more fun.
      Watson: Fun? There's a woman lying dead.
      Sherlock: Perfectly sound analysis, but I was hoping you'd go deeper.

    • Sherlock: Dear God, what is it like in your tiny little brains? It must be so boring.

    • Sherlock: We've got ourselves a serial killer. Love those-there's always something to look forward to.
      Lestrade: Why are you saying that?
      Sherlock: Her case. C'mon! Where is her case, did she eat it? Someone else was here and they took her case.

    • Mycroft: You don't seem very afraid.
      Watson: You don't seem very frightening.
      Mycroft: Yes. The bravery of the soldier. Bravery is by far the kindest word for stupidity, don't you think?

    • Mycroft: I am the closest thing to a friend that Sherlock Holmes is capable of having.
      Watson: And what's that?
      Mycroft: An enemy.
      Watson: An enemy?
      Mycroft: In his mind, certainly. If you were to ask him, he'd probably say his archenemy. He does love to be dramatic.
      Watson: Well, thank God you're above all that.

    • Mycroft: What is your connection to Sherlock Holmes?
      Watson: I don't have one. I barely know him. I met him... yesterday.
      Mycroft: Hmm, and since yesterday you've moved in with him and now you're solving crimes together. Are we to expect a happy announcement by the end of the week?
      Watson: Who are you?
      Mycroft: An interested party.

    • Mycroft: Do you plan to continue your association with Sherlock Holmes?
      Watson: I could be wrong, but I think that's none of your business.
      Mycroft: It could be.
      Watson: It really couldn't.

    • Mycroft: I imagine people have already warned you to stay away from him, but I can see from your left hand that's not going to happen.
      Watson: My what?
      Mycroft: Show me.
      Watson: Don't...
      Mycroft: Remarkable.
      Watson: What is?
      Mycroft: Most people blunder around the city, and all they see are streets and shops and cars. When you walk with Sherlock Holmes, you see the battlefield. You've seen it already, haven't you?
      Watson: What's wrong with my hand?
      Mycroft: You have an intermittent tremor in your left hand. Your therapist thinks it's post-traumatic stress disorder. She thinks you're haunted by memories of your military service.
      Watson: Who the hell are you? How do you know that?
      Mycroft: Fire her. She's got it the wrong way around. You're under stress right now and your hand is perfectly steady. You're not haunted by the war, Dr. Watson. You miss it. Welcome back. Time to choose a side, Dr. Watson.

    • Watson: Listen, your boss. Any chance you could not tell him this is where I went?
      Anthea: Sure.
      Watson: You've told him already, haven't you?
      Anthea: Yeah.
      Watson: Hey, um, do you ever get any free time?
      Anthea: Oh, yeah. Lots. Bye.
      Watson: Okay.

    • Watson: What are you doing?
      Sherlock: Nicotine patch. Helps me think. Impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days. Bad news for brainwork.
      Watson: Good news for breathing.
      Sherlock: Ah, breathing. Breathing's boring.
      Watson: Is that three patches?
      Sherlock: It's a three-patch problem.

    • Watson: I just met a friend of yours.
      Sherlock: A friend?
      Watson: An enemy.
      Sherlock: Oh. Which one?
      Watson: Your archenemy, according to him. Do people have archenemies?
      Sherlock: Did he offer you money to spy on me?
      Watson: Yes.
      Sherlock: Did you take it?
      Watson: No.
      Sherlock: Pity, we could have split the fee. Think it through next time.

    • Watson: Have you talked to the police?
      Sherlock: Four people are dead. There isn't time to talk to the police.
      Watson: So why are you talking to me?
      Sherlock: Mrs. Hudson took my skull.
      Watson: So I'm basically filling in for your skull.
      Sherlock: Relax, you're doing fine.

    • Sherlock: I love the brilliant ones-they're always so desperate to get caught.
      Watson: Why?
      Sherlock: Appreciation. Applause. At long last, the spotlight. That's the frailty of genius, John. It needs an audience

    • Watson: People don't have arch-enemies.
      Sherlock: I'm sorry?
      Watson: In real life. There are no arch-enemies in real life. It doesn't happen.
      Sherlock: Doesn't it? Sounds a bit dull.
      Watson: So who did I meet?
      Sherlock: What do real people have, then, in their real lives?
      Watson: Friends. People they know, people they like, people they don't like. Girlfriends, boyfriends.
      Sherlock: Like I was saying, dull.
      Watson: You don't have a girlfriend?
      Sherlock: Girlfriend, no. Not really my area.
      Watson: Oh, right. Do you have a boyfriend? Which is fine, by the way.
      Sherlock: I know it's fine.
      Watson: So you've got a boyfriend?
      Sherlock: No.
      Watson: Right, okay. You're unattached. Like me. Fine. Good.
      Sherlock: John, I think you should know that I consider myself married to my work. And while I'm flattered by your interest...
      Watson: No.
      Sherlock: I'm really not looking for any...
      Watson: No. I'm not asking. No. I'm just saying, it's all fine.
      Sherlock: Good. Thank you.

    • Sherlock: Don't stare.
      Watson: Um. You're staring.
      Sherlock: We can't both stare.

    • Watson: That was ridiculous. That was the most ridiculous thing I've ever done.
      Sherlock: And you invaded Afghanistan.

    • Sgt. Sally Donovan: Are these human eyes?
      Sherlock: Put them back!
      Sgt. Sally Donovan: They were in the microwave.
      Sherlock: It's an experiment.

    • Sherlock: This is childish.
      Lestrade: Well, I'm dealing with a child.

    • Anderson: According to someone, the murderer has the case and we'll find it in the hands of our favourite psychopath.
      Sherlock: I'm not a psychopath, Anderson. I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.

    • Sherlock: Oh, look at you lot. You're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.

    • Sherlock: Anderson, don't talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.

    • Cabbie: Taxi for Sherlock Holmes.
      Sherlock: I didn't order a taxi.
      Cabbie: Doesn't mean you don't need one.

    • Cabbie: Oh yeah. I'll tell you what else. If you call the coppers now, I won't run. I'll sit quiet and they'll take me down, I promise.
      Sherlock: Why?
      Cabbie: 'Cause you're not going to do that.
      Sherlock: Am I not?
      Cabbie: I didn't kill those four people, Mr. Holmes. I spoke to them, and they killed themselves. If you get the coppers now, I promise you one thing: I will never tell you what I said.
      Sherlock: No one else will die, though, and I believe they call that a result.
      Cabbie: But you won't ever understand how those people died. What kind of result do you care about?

    • Sherlock: If I wanted to understand, what would I do?
      Cabbie: Let me take you for a ride.
      Sherlock: So you can kill me too.
      Cabbie: I don't want to kill you, Mr. Holmes. I'm gonna talk to you, and then you're going to kill yourself.

    • Cabbie: Sherlock Holmes. I was warned about you. I've been on your website too. Brilliant stuff. Loved it.
      Sherlock: Who warned you about me?
      Cabbie: Someone out there who's noticed.
      Sherlock: Who? Who would notice me?
      Cabbie: You're too modest, Mr. Holmes.
      Sherlock: I'm really not.

    • Watson: So why do you put up with him?
      Lestrade: Because I'm desperate, that's why. Because Sherlock Holmes is a great man, and I think one day-if we're very, very lucky-he might even be a good one.

    • Cabbie: One thing about being a cabbie. You always know a nice quiet spot for a murder. I'm surprised more of us don't branch out.

    • Cabbie: You ready yet, Mr. Holmes? Ready to play?
      Sherlock: Play what? It's a 50-50 chance.
      Cabbie: You're not playing the numbers, you're playing me. Did I just give you the good pill or the bad pill? Is it a bluff? Or a double-bluff? Or a triple-bluff?
      Sherlock: It's still just chance.
      Cabbie: Four people, in a row? It's not chance.
      Sherlock: Luck.
      Cabbie: It's genius. I know how people think. I know how people think I think. I can see it all, like a map inside my head. everyone's so stupid, even you. Or maybe God just loves me.
      Sherlock: Either way, you're wasted as a cabbie.

    • Sherlock: So. you risked your life four times just to kill strangers. Why?
      Cabbie: Time to play.
      Sherlock: Oh I am playing. This is my turn.

    • Sherlock: And because you're dying, you murdered four people.
      Cabbie: I outlived four people. That's the most fun you can have with an aneurysm.

    • Cabbie: When I die, they won't get much, my kids. Not a lot of money in driving cabs.
      Sherlock: Or serial killing.
      Cabbie: You'd be surprised.
      Sherlock: Surprise me.
      Cabbie: I have a sponsor.
      Sherlock: You have a what?
      Cabbie: For every life I take, money goes to my kids. The more I kill, the better off they'll be. You see? It's nicer than you think.
      Sherlock: Who'd sponsor a serial killer?
      Cabbie: Who'd be a fan of Sherlock Holmes?

    • (to Sherlock)
      Cabbie: I bet you get bored, don't ya? I know you do. Man like you. So clever. But what's the point of being clever if you can't prove it. Still the addict. But this... this is what you're really addicted to. You do anything-anything at all to stop being bored. You're not bored now, are ya?

    • Sherlock: Why have I got this blanket? They keep putting this blanket on me.
      Lestrade: Yeah. It's for shock.
      Sherlock: I'm not in shock.
      Lestrade: Yeah, but some of the guys want to take photographs.

    • Sherlock: Not now! I'm in shock. Look--I've got a blanket.

    • Sherlock: Are you all right?
      Watson: Yes, of course I'm all right.
      Sherlock: You have just killed a man.
      Watson: Yes, I know. It's true. But he wasn't a very nice man.
      Sherlock: No. No, he wasn't, really, was he?
      Watson: And frankly a bloody awful cabbie.

    • Watson: You were going to take that damn pill, weren't you?
      Sherlock: Of course I wasn't. Biding my time. Knew you'd turn up.
      Watson: No you didn't. That's how you get your kicks, isn't it? You risk your life to prove you're clever.
      Sherlock: Why would I do that?
      Watson: Because you're an idiot.

    • Mycroft: He's always been so resentful. You can imagine the Christmas dinners.
      Watson: Yeah… no! God, no!

    • Mycroft: For goodness sake! I occupy a minor position in the British Government.
      Sherlock: He is the British Government when he's not too busy being the British Secret Services or the CIA on a freelance basis. Good evening, Mycroft. Try not to start a war before I get home, you know what it does for the traffic.

    • Watson: What are you so happy about?
      Sherlock: Moriarty.
      Watson: What's Moriarty?
      Sherlock: I have absolutely no idea.

    • Watson: So. Dim sum.
      Sherlock: Mm. I can always predict the fortune cookies.
      Watson: No, you can't.
      Sherlock: Almost can. You did get shot, though.
      Watson: Sorry?
      Sherlock: In Afghanistan. There was an actual wound.
      Watson: Oh. Yeah, shoulder.
      Sherlock: Shoulder. I thought so.
      Watson: No you didn't.
      Sherlock: The left one.
      Watson: Lucky guess.
      Sherlock: I never guess.
      Watson: Yes, you do.

  • Notes

    • This episode was loosely adapted from A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, first published as A Tangled Skein in Beeton's Christmas Annual (1887).

    • Mark Gatiss is uncredited as Mycroft Holmes.

    • Injoke: The student who dies at the beginning is named James Phillimore, a reference to a character mentioned in passing in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Problem of Thor Bridge," "who, stepping back into his own house to get his umbrella, was never more seen in this world", just as the student disappears while fetching his umbrella.

    • International Airdates:
      The Netherlands: October 20, 2010 on KRO
      U.S.: October 24, 2010 on PBS (Masterpiece Theatre)
      Czech Republic: October 11, 2011 on AXN

  • Allusions

    • Shoulder Wound:

      At the end, Watson references being shot in the shoulder, despite being seen in the episode to have a limp. This is a clever reference to a continuity error in Doyle's writings, in which Watson was originally described as having shoulder wound, but later was described as having a leg wound.

    • Title: A Study in Pink

      This is a play on the the first Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called "A Study in Scarlet".

    • Jeff: You don't want to phone a friend.

      This is a popular saying from the show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." It is an option to get extra help with the questions along with "Ask the Audience" and "50/50".