When I was twelve I took drumming lessons. The first and last time I engaged in any extra-curricular activities. I was a keen drummer and had always wanted one a kit of my own. That same Christmas I was taken upstairs to find a shiny black and silver kit in the back bedroom. It literally seemed to glisten. After the initial shock had worn off I quickly positioned myself behind it and began to hit the drums, and create what my neighbours must have thought was a right racket. In the days that followed I got as much joy from simply looking at the shiny new kit as I did from playing it, but a week later I realised I hadn’t been drumming quite so much. Two weeks later I noticed the kit was starting to lose its shine, and gather dust, and a week after that I’m ashamed to say, I appeared to lose any interest in drums altogether. I Had the exact same feelings when Sherlock returned recently for a hugely anticipated third series.
The two years since Sherlock ‘fell off that roof’ and died in John’s arms seemed like an age! I was still as intrigued to find out how Sherlock had achieved such a feat and also how the series would develop once Holmes and Watson were reunited. Much like the drums though, I found the idea of Sherlock series 3 much more exciting in my mind than in practice. Looking back on the three episodes that made up the series my disappointment was a little unfounded. The show has admittedly lost some charm as the characters have moved on, but surely we need some character development to stop it feeling repetitive and stale.
It’s fair to say I wasn’t as engrossed this time. I felt there were too many occasions where Sherlock behaved differently to how I had thought he might, but again who am I to whinge as clearly Benedict Cumberbatch is incredible and inhabits this character. The best bits of this disjointed third outing for me were the moments that focused solely on the relationship between Sherlock and John. The introduction of Mary (played brilliantly by the wonderful Amanda Abbington). was a nice touch. What writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss did well with her was the fact they created a character that was part of the gang but who managed never to impinge too heavily on the relationship of our leads. The reunion scene I had longed to see for two years was done masterfully. As this review is to promote the forthcoming DVD (and if there’s anyone still left on the planet who hasn’t seen these three episodes) I shan’t spoil what happens when Watson finally discovers Sherlock is still living but it’s one of the best scenes of the entire series. Whilst most have commented that the writers have injected more humour this time around the second episode served, at least for me, to be the longest and most tedious episode of Sherlock ever! Some could argue that my funny bone is out of alignment but the best man speech and the stag do scenes were too much outside of Sherlock’s world for me to believe. I found myself clock watching several times willing something of true excitement to happen. It didn’t. It was an interesting episode because it divided fans of the show so widely. Our reviewer Vicky Prior for example said, “It was nice to see Sherlock being a bit cruel and introverted again, the last scene where he stood alone on a full dancefloor was quite beautiful.”
With my expectations slightly lowered I awaited the final installment“His Last Vow.” This episode went back to Sherlock at its best. John and Watson as a team solving crime and fighting a villain who was perhaps not as outrageous as our beloved Moriarty but equally creepy. The episode had the pace where I like it and was full of moments that sent social media into meltdown. I, on the other hand annoyingly underwhelmed by those ‘shock’ moments. I was genuinely concerned I must be broken. The scene that sees Sherlock shot left me a little bemused but not stunned. However, after watching the episode a second time I found myself warming more to the story. I think the problem (and it’s by no means the programme’s fault), is that my expectations were so ridiculously high that even I didn’t know what I wanted to see.
The third series arrives on DVD and Blu Ray on Monday the 20th of Jan and contains plenty of extras to keep fans happy. In Fans, Villains and Speculation Moffat and Gatiss discuss the difficulites of filming now that the show has become a worldwide phenomenon. In The Fall Benedict, Martin and even some fans look into Sherlock performed that now iconic rooftop stunt.
I stand by my comment that the third series seems disjointed but that’s not to say that it doesn’t still tower over every other drama on television as one of the best of my generation. The performances are flawless. The chemistry between our two leads is just wonderful and the scripts, although frustrating and sometimes self indulgent are amongst the best I have seen. The DVD is a must for any Sherlock fans and there’s even a special edition Series 1 -3 boxset on DVD and Blu Ray that contains a script from series 1 signed by Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
Sherlock Series 3 available Monday January 20th 2014. It contains The Empty Hearse, The Sign of Three and His Last Vow.
The Extras include
- Fans, Villains and Speculation
- The Fall
- Shooting Sherlock
The Series 1 – 3 boxset contains all 9 episodes with extras included on the original releases.