Watch the latest of our exclusive Sherlock trailers - S3E2: The Sign of Three
We’re very pleased to announce the first round of Locations from Sherlock S3 are now available to view on our website, with more updates to come soon!
Head to www.sherlockology.com/locations now!
Here’s our latest blog for Metro UK, our further, deeper, SPOILER-FILLED reaction to Sherlock S3E3 His Last Vow.
Sherlock S3E3 His Last Vow was once again the most watched television programme of the day in the UK yesterday, bringing in 8.77m viewers in initial overnight ratings.
This is a drop of 70k viewers from the previous episode, still a far smaller drop than the viewer loss from episodes 2 and 3 of previous series.
By way of comparison, S2E3 The Reichenbach Fall pulled in 7.9m viewers in overnight ratings in January 2012.
Steven Moffat, co-creator, executive producer and writer of Sherlock said: “It isn’t supposed to be like this. Sherlock began life as a surprise hit, and now in its third series, it’s rating higher than ever. This show, which we all thought would be our vanity project destined for 3 million in the ratings and possibly an award from an obscure European festival, has become a barnstorming international phenomenon. If I live to be a very old man, I might be able to explain how any of that happened - drop me a line in about forty years, I’ll do my best. Till then, on behalf of Mark and Sue and myself - who started all this, not so very long ago – thank you all for the very best of times!”
Presenting ‘Sherlockology on Set: A Day on Location In Cardiff’, our second behind the scenes look at The Empty Hearse, this time on a closed set visit during filming with Benedict Cumberbatch and Louise Brealey!
Please note, as with our last set report, this article contains some spoilers for Sherlock S3E1 The Empty Hearse.
After so long a wait, we’re already here.
Following the unique preceding episodes, Sherlock takes another distinct tonal turn with the finale of Series Three. This time, we’re heading into far more mature territory in terms of the characterization and plotting, Steven Moffat’s script taking the viewer on a relentless rollercoaster of emotion and jaw dropping, unexpected twists.
Make no mistake, this is arguably the darkest episode in the series’ history, going to places it has never trodden before. It is emotionally devastating in ways completely different from The Reichenbach Fall, while retaining a vein of tight, fierce humour that relies explicitly upon character based incident and wordplay that is also markedly different from the comedy that appears in The Sign of Three, for example.
Paramount to the harder edge that defines His Last Vow is Charles Augustus Magnussen, magnificently played by Lars Mikklesen. Magnussen is a repellent, icy foe, a man so assured of his personal power over others it gives him the justification to behave how he likes. Completely different from Andrew Scott’s volatile yet insanely endearing Jim Moriarty, this is a luridly predatory, genuinely skin crawling and frightening villain, someone who can stand toe to toe with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes and yet, shockingly, dominate the room.
Without any specifics, the deployment of this striking new antagonist induces a case - from the very start of the episode - that causes the leading characters to be placed into situations that we have never seen them. Some we have potentially been anticipating for a long time, others come out of nowhere. This is not what some have cited as the ‘fan service’ that has appeared in The Empty Hearse and The Sign of Three, more a logical follow-through from previously established events and a fulfillment of some possibly long held suspicions that coalesce into some dramatic final closing scenes.
That said, His Last Vow continues the trend of this third run of episodes in defying the expectations of an audience, a grand adventure that raises the series to striking new heights. Steven Moffat’s script is magnificently Canon-laden, reverential asides and cunning deviations running throughout in full effect, and it also features plenty of further expansion and development. As some of the events in The Sign of Three may have signposted, these are now very much Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ versions of these beloved characters, true yet not slavish to the originals written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the character based aspects of the narrative here flow from developments that we have already seen.
Visually, this is another stunning episode, the use of location in particular giving it a scale that eclipses the previous two installments. Nick Hurran has been handed a gift of a screenplay and certainly doesn’t squander it, turning established rules on their head at times and extrapolating others to new places. The Art of Deduction, in particular, undergoes a striking and extended renovation within the visual context of one showpiece, uniquely dramatic sequence. David Arnold and Michael Price’s score somehow keeps getting larger and more expansive. It’s impossible to wonder how much higher and - dare we say it - operatic the pair could take the themes they have developed across the three series of Sherlock from here, but by now familiarity with the motifs they have created is not a problem but an utter boon, not reliance but distinctive calling cards that heighten the emotional response to what you are seeing.
Yes, as we’ve already said, His Lost Vow is an emotional experience. To say anymore of the how’s and why’s that that is the case would be churlish and wrong. Like The Empty Hearse, this is an experience that should be Experienced, unsullied with prior knowledge or spoilers of what is coming. Though there is one thing we will say, to ensure your viewing of this barnstorming finale to the third series of Sherlock is complete.
When the end credits start, do not turn off your television or change the channel. Watch to the very close.
And that is the only Clue we will give you.
Here’s our latest blog for Metro UK, where we dig deeper into The Sign of Three.
Please note the blog contains some SPOILERS.
Read the Blog on the Metro UK website.
An unusual and unique instalment of Sherlock, The Sign of Three is a complex, rip-roaring and extremely funny episode that takes the series into tonally new territory, while preserving many of the elements that we all love from the past.
It’s no secret that the second episode of Series Three is centred on the wedding of John Watson and Mary Morstan. It forms the backbone of the narrative and setting, with the entire duration dipping in and out of a critical part of the happy day through a complicated branching structure that leads the characters, and us, to some wildly unexpected places. Perhaps more so than any other episode of Sherlock, this is the one that demands a repeat view to truly appreciate the intricate nature of the events we’re shown. The script is credited to all three writers for the first time in the series’ history, with Steve Thompson leading, and elements of the style of each are evident throughout the duration.
Following on from The Empty Hearse, the emphasis remains on the relationship between the characters. There is delightful interplay between the supporting cast, and a genuine further deepening of the friendship between John and Sherlock, all expertly played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The events at the end of The Empty Hearse have solidified them. While we may have become used to the notion of these characters living in the modern day, The Sign of Three is the first time we see the pair fully enmeshed in modern social culture - with surprising and utterly hilarious results that may possibly provide more talking points than anything in the series opener.
Like the preceding episode, while there is a central case in the narrative, it is not immediately apparent, with over a third of the duration of the episode running past until it fully forms. When it does though, it’s a story element that isn’t engineered to serve the characters in the same way that the terror plot of The Empty Hearse is. Instead it’s a good old fashioned mystery, a very cleverly constructed piece of writing that allows both Sherlock and John to shine in their unique ways, and highlights how dependent they both are on the other now when placed into dangerous situations. Mary continues to be an excellent addition to the cast as well, Amanda Abbington a warm, wonderful presence who continues to effortlessly interact with both the leading characters and is utterly accepting of the wild and strange adventures the pair find themselves thrust into.
The Sign of Three is visually astonishing to look at, featuring true visual pizazz thanks to director Colm McCarthy. The entire episode is infused with stand-out moments, including a memorable and quite beautiful new introductory shot for 221B, a striking use of split screen editing, and a dramatically different and new visualisation of Sherlock’s deductions. It also goes without saying that the scoring of David Arnold and Michael Price continues to be sonic delight, going into pulse-pounding and dramatic new places that are unique to this instalment.
The warmest, funniest episode of Sherlock in existence, The Sign of Three sees the series stepping quite boldly into broader comedic tones and more emotional themes. The friendship of Sherlock and John is clearly the front and centre of this new series, and Sherlock’s overt (and covert) reactions to the changes in John’s life give everything a subtly moving, powerful undercurrent. But despite all the lightness and fun that infuses the episode, the close brings us a few tiny flecks of foreboding for the series finale in His Last Vow, and we can’t help but feel the humour that has defined the opening two parts of Sherlock Series Three is a very clear and conscious presence due to what may lie ahead…
Here’s our latest blog post for Metro UK, where we dive deeper into The Empty Hearse now it has aired on UK TV.
Please note the article contains SPOILERS.
Outside St Bart’s Hospital