I have been a big fan of this series since its inception. It did well its first year, picked up steam in its second, and is now becoming a worldwide hit. As well it should. The characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have undergone an update into the 21st century, and the show’s success lies in its terrific writing with lots of humor and faithfulness to the original characters that have been with us for over 125 years.
I covered the first two seasons as they were shown. The third picks up right where Season 2’s mysterious cliffhanger ending left off: Sherlock, after jumping off a tall building, is lying dead on the ground in front of a heartbroken Dr. Watson. The big twist comes, SPOILER ALERT, at the very end, when Sherlock is alive at the cemetery where he was just buried.
Much like the 1980s series Dallas’ famous “Who Shot J.R.?” episode, the unexpected ending has stirred endless speculation for over a year. Keep in mind, each season contains only three 90-minute episodes, so we are only up to episode nine.
In fact, it’s better to think of this series as three full-length movies a year, or every other year because there’s been a big delay between two and three.
The delay was because its two main stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, have become increasingly bigger and busier stars. BC was in several big 2013 films, including a role as the villain in Star Trek: Into Darkness. MF is now in the Lord of the Rings sequel, the Hobbit trilogy (part three due this year), as the main Hobbit. So Sherlock had to be put on hold.
Was the wait worth it? You bet your deerstalker it was. All three new episodes are based on characters and stories from the Doyle canon of four novels and 56 short stories. Preceded by a short film last December, “Many Happy Returns,” the series proceeded to “The Empty Hearse” which chronicles the fact that Sherlock is not dead.
Next up, Dr. Watson marries Mary Morstan from the book, “The Sign of the Four,” in a episode called, “The Sign of the Three.” The series ends with Sherlock and Dr. W. facing off against a mean and nasty blackmailer in “His Last Vow,” a title taken from the short story collection called “His Last Bow.”
All three episodes are of quality as the first six, making this TV as good as it gets. And there is a jim-dandy surprise coming at the end of the last episode of the current season.
There are also three extra 14-minute features that focus on the making of each episode. But don’t watch them before watching the actual episodes – there are spoilers everywhere. Now I’m hoping they get to Season 4 before 2016.
Rated 4.0 out of 4.0 reasons this is all “Elementary,” which also is a good CBS series. The names have not been changed, so nobody is protected – or presumed innocent.