Wednesday 26 March 1986

…This morning we went with Granny to the library.
We had a quick lunch and dashed off to see Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear at the cinema…

This film gave me nightmares.

It was probably, at that point in my life, the scariest thing I had ever seen (closely followed by that TV adaptation of the Body in the Library).

It wasn’t anything in general that was to blame. It wasn’t the tone of the film, or the characters, or even the plot.

Rather, it was one scene. One solitary scene.

It terrified me.

It terrified me then, and it still leaves me a little unsettled today.

Here it is:

24 hours earlier I had sat through, and been mildly distracted by, Peter Pan – a film I’d all but forgotten about when it was time to go to bed.

But Young Sherlock Holmes was not a film I had forgotten about when it was time to go to bed today. Nor would I forget about it that night, or many more nights for quite a while.

I don’t remember it keeping me awake. Instead it coloured my dreams with concepts and images I wasn’t yet old enough to handle. Typically, I mentioned none of this in my diary.

I think I also found Holmes a bit of an annoying posh twerp. Plus the bit where he kissed Elizabeth seemed terribly out of place.

Anyway, this sequence from Young Sherlock Holmes would remain the scariest thing I’d ever seen until the AIDS public information film arrived 12 months later.

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