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Slightly spoilery - My assessment of Sherlock series three

The last post by Silke has attracted some ire on Twitter with some thinking that I was the author. In view of this I thought I would offer my assessment of series three. It is slightly spoilery so you may find some surprises if you've not been watching all the trailers so beware.

So what are we to make of Sherlock series three? We had a two year wait during which the global fan base whipped itself into a frenzy of theories and fan fiction in an effort to work out (or perhaps influence) where the series would go upon its return.



When it did finally return on New Year's Day it certainly hit us squarely between the eyes. The first few minutes of episode 1 barely allowed you time to breathe let alone think. Those opening minutes were definitely a love letter to the Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter fandom and catered to many of their fantasies (as did other scenes later on). Was this a good idea? Part of me says no but then I struggle to think what else they could have done with it.

The first episode certainly divided opinion but, as I remarked, the episode that brings Sherlock back to us has to revolve mostly around the return rather than anything else that may be going on. The people who complained of a thin plot need to bear that in mind. Arthur Conan Doyle did exactly the same with The Adventure of the Empty House in 1903.

The original return


Episode 2 did nothing to placate those who were worried but provided much cheer for those who enjoyed the first episode. It continued the focus on the personal development of the characters and our knowledge of them as people. The first two episodes were very much about people rather than events and this was essentially the dividing line between the likes and dislikes.

Finally, yesterday, we had the finale. This was something of a curve-ball which everyone seems to agree was excellent regardless of whether they were pro or con the first two episodes. It balanced the people/events elements perfectly and was, in my opinion, the best episode of the series to date (across all three series).



I personally think that a lot of people who had issues with the first two episodes did so not so much because of their content but more because of the change of direction and/or tone from the previous two series. The problem for them being not that it was bad so much as it was different and they didn't want different.

I can see their point and there are elements of episodes 1 and 2 that I don't like. Then again I can find something I don't like in every episode of every dramatisation I've ever watched.

Unlike some though I'm not worried for the programme's future. We now have some much more fleshed out characters and the final episode showed us that the writers have not lost their touch.


Written by Alistair Duncan
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5 comments:

  1. "The last post by Silke has attracted some ire on Twitter with some thinking that I was the author."

    Sissy! Can't have a successful blog without being a little controversial.

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  2. Sissy my foot. I don't mind controversial posts but I'm not the person to throw the flack at for it unless I wrote it. That's only fair. I'm sure you can fight your own battles.

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  3. "Those opening minutes were definitely a love letter to the Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter fandom and catered to many of their fantasies (as did other scenes later on). Was this a good idea? Part of me says no but then I struggle to think what else they could have done with it." They could have realized they were writing a Sherlock Holmes mystery and not a love letter. Leave domestic plotline series to the sitcoms. Here's the thing--with Sherlock in the show having a large Twitter fanbase, can Mycroft and the government seriously believe that they can pull off a massive cover up of superrich media mogul Magnussen's murder by Sherlock? The plotline of EMPT maybe "thin", but that is what the whole story is about. Watson is single in April 1894. How? All we get is Watson mentioning Holmes saying that work is the best antidote to his sad bereavement. A passing reference. Leave the fan service to the fan's websites and concentrate on telling mystery stories, as Doyle did.

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  4. "Leave the fan service to the fan's websites and concentrate on telling mystery stories, as Doyle did."

    Play it again, Sherlock.

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