| Langdale Pike |
Sherlock Holmes (Granada)
|Occupation|| Gossip columnist |
Expert on celebrity scandals
|Behind the scenes|
|Appearances||Sherlock Holmes (Granada)|
|Portrayed by||Peter Wyngarde|
Portrayal in the series
Pike is in essence close to his Canon counterpart. However, his character is greatly expanded upon for the sake of the episode. The most obvious change is that he appears on screen, as a proper character, rather than being just mentioned by Holmes and Watson. Most of his characterisation comes from the short story, based on what information was revealed about him. As in the original story, Watson is deeply critical of Pike's career as a gossip columnist and shameless informant for tabloid newspapers and magazines of the time.
Though Watson is rather scathing about Pike, Holmes is more sympathetic towards him, suggesting that Pike is isolated, much like Holmes himself.
Pike's demeanour is patterned on Watson's description from the original short story, where he described Pike as "strange" and "languid". Pike is very fond of being comfortably seated, whether indoors or outdoors. Though lazy in movement, he is an intelligent and knowledgeable man, showing plenty of cunning in both overt and hidden ways. He also has odd tics and mannerisms, such as playing around with his monocle. Despite his behaviour coming across as intensely calm, he has a slightly sinister, gleeful side.
Some of Pike's invented characterisation includes that he's an old university friend of Holmes's, his challenging of Holmes to form a certain deduction, or Pike's claims that he's a benevolent counterpart of Charles Augustus Milverton, the blackmailer whom Holmes faced in the recent past. Pike sees himself as the opposite of Milverton, suppressing more confidential information than exposing it to the public, despite his near-encyclopedic knowledge of the latest gossip and scandals.
- The idea that Holmes and Pike know each other from the past might have been based on the characterisation invented for the late 1980s and early 1990s BBC radio drama adaptations of the Canon stories.
- At one point in this episode, Edward Hardwicke's Dr. Watson refers to Pike derisively as "that reptile". This is very similar to how an angry Mrs Hudson refers to Mycroft as "You reptile !" in the 2017 Sherlock episode The Lying Detective.