Sherlock is coming…back
After the fright wig situation Benedict Cumberbatch sported while filming the Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate just a couple months ago, he is back now the way I prefer him—with Sherlock Holmes’ longer, darker hair. This is Cumberbatch at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards in London, doing a lot to erase the horrors of the Assange look from my mind. Sigh of relief.
Production for Sherlock series three has just gotten underway, and Sherlock, as you know, is now a three-year obsession. Did you think I’d forgotten? No, of course not. It’s been in the back of my mind since last year—how did Sherlock do it, and how hard is Watson going to punch him when he finds out? I legit think about this off and on several times a week. But that’s the allure of Sherlock—the brevity of the seasons and the length between them leaves you wanting more. Would I love Justified so much if I had more of it? If The Walking Dead, with its “even this is too much” sixteen episode seasons is any kind of gauge, probably not. Increasingly, the shorter-seasoned shows are my favorites for the tightness and efficiency of their storytelling. And Sherlock is the best out of all of them.
Which is why I greeted the news that Sherlock will have a fourth series with mixed feelings. On the one hand YAY MORE SHERLOCK, but on the other, a huge part of the show’s mystique is that it is so very limited. I like(d) the idea of the narrative having a specific and finite arc, of feeling like we’re driving toward a pre-determined end. It brings a sense of destiny to the show that deepens the connections between events. But then, if Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the creators of Sherlock, feel like they have more story to tell, great. And there’s always the chance that series four ends up several years down the line, especially since scheduling series three production wasn’t easy, given how busy both Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman are these days. That might be intriguing, to check in with Sherlock and John several years down the line and see how they’re faring.
But with series three due at the end of this year (and I swear, I will cut a b*tch if PBS delays airing it like they have done in the past), we have a lot to look forward to: the fallout of Sherlock’s “death”, his return, the introduction of Sebastian Moran, and the arrival of Mary Morstan—it’s going to be a long nine months waiting to see the final product. Let us content ourselves for now with The Batch, in all his Sherlockian glory.