It’s all done and dusted in the U.K., of course, but the third series of BBC and PBS’s hit, Sherlock, will return to U.S. television screens this Sunday after Downton Abbey on the ol’ Public Broadcasting Service. As it’s been two full calendar years since Series 2 was on our screens, it might be hard for people to remember what happened, so for you folks excited to get back to it, I’ll put this very SPOILERY series of pictures below.
Are you ready?
Here we go…
Or, at least that’s what John Watson thinks. We all know, because of the final shot of “The Reichenbach Fall,” that Sherlock Holmes is not dead. But how?!?! The internet has been teeming with ideas and theories about how the great sleuth faked his death so completely, which will surely be addressed in the newest episodes. So, as a way of getting you hyped about the new series (if, again, you’re watching it fresh on PBS this weekend), here’s some of what you can expect from the three new episodes.
Episode 1 is entitled “The Empty Hearse,” and true to its suggestive name, attempts to explain why Sherlock didn’t die, where he’s been for the past two years, how he’s going to be able to come back, and how John will take the news. Given John’s new found mustache, he hasn’t been dealing particularly well, though he has begun seeing a woman he likes very much, Mary Morstan. VERY much, in fact. With Sherlock coming back, with this throw a wrench in the works? What about the other friends Sherlock has left behind? Inspector Lestrade? Mrs. Hudson? Molly? Hell, even Mycroft.
If you know the Conan Doyle books at all, you know that Mary Morstan becomes John Watson’s wife, which is why it’s so awesome that she’s played in Sherlock by Amanda Abbington, who is Martin Freeman’s real-life missus. “The Empty Hearse” is a take-off of the short story title “The Empty House.”
This episode was written by series co-creator, and the man who plays Mycroft, Mark Gatiss, and was directed by Jeremy Lovering, a newcomer to the show. In fact, this is the first series to have zero episodes directed by Paul McGuigan, who had directed four of the previous six episodes.
For the second episode, “The Sign of Three,” which will air on January 26th, another few months have passed and it’s time for John and Mary’s wedding. Sherlock, of all people, is being called to serve as Best Man, which will lead to some very awkward and stilted moments, especially as he prepares to give a speech. However, this wedding reception becomes a little more crime-ish when Sherlock starts relaying tales of his and John’s exploits and figures out they’re all connected.
“The Sign of Three” was written by Stephen Thompson with contributions from Gatiss and Steven Moffat and directed by Colm McCarthy who also directed “The Bells of Saint John” on Doctor Who and a couple of episodes of Ripper Street.
And finally, on February 2nd, Groundhog Day, will see the finale episode, “His Last Vow,” written by Moffat. In it, Sherlock gets embroiled with the “Napoleon of Blackmailers,” who is squeezing a high-ranking UK official for quite a lot of money. Unfortunately, this baddie’s also got dirt on several people in Sherlock’s cadre which makes the stakes that much more important. This episode was directed by Nick Hurran, who has directed five of the best Doctor Who episodes of the past couple of seasons, including “The Day of the Doctor.”
This series will also have a few fun cameos, some of your usual twists and turns, and references to a lot more stories than the previous two series combined, methinks. It’s a different year, but one that’s equally fruitful if viewed through a different lens. I, of course, will be here to give you my two cents on each of the episodes after they air so you can get your discussion on in the comments.
Also, if you’ve seen the series already from its BBC airings, please don’t spoil things for people who are watching on PBS. Thank you. Now, everybody get ready, because beginning Sunday, the game is once again afoot.