TV | Sherlock – Once again a weekly dose of Cumberbatch is taken from us too soon

I, like many of my fellow Britons, am suffering from a serious case of Sherlock withdrawal symptoms. Like a whirlwind love affair, season three of the hit show flew onto our screens and departed almost as quickly, with just enough time to squeeze in a return from the dead, three unbelievable explanations, one Sherlockian stag-do, one wedding, several shocking revelations and an evil super-villain. Not bad for three episodes.

The series kicked off at full speed with ‘The Empty Hearse’, which succeeded in engaging with the show’s huge fan base by playing with a few of the plethora of conspiracy theories which have saturated the internet since the legendary Reichenbach fall. However, writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss refused to confirm how the chiseled detective survived the deathly plunge, which despite being mildly irritating, nonetheless added a tense edge to the episode. Further fueled by the added mystery of an underground terrorist network, and the small matter of someone trying to turn poor Martin Freeman into a human effigy. Even the moustache didn’t warrant that sort of treatment.

The show took a decidedly cuddlier approach with its second installment, featuring the emotional centre piece of John Watson’s marriage to Mary (newcomer Amanda Abbington). There admittedly could have been a bit less soppy speech-making and a bit more razor-sharp crime-solving genius, but all was forgiven with the spectacle of an adorably drunk Sherlock accompanied by an equally inebriated John vomiting on a crime scene.

As for the final episode, I will unashamedly abandon any pretence of being an unbiased, ‘proper’ critic in order to say it was pure brilliance. A perfectly cast Lars Mikkelsen (The Killing) chilled as newspaper magnate Charles Magnussen, whilst the rapid series of twists that pervaded the plot left me unwilling to tear my gaze away from the screen, for even the few seconds it would take to devour the last Quality Street.

Too soon was the excitement over, leaving me once more without a regular fix of Benedict Cumberbatch in my life. At least I remembered to steal my brother’s box sets of season one and two before returning to Leeds.

Read our LSi teaser review of Sherlock here

Sarah Weir

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