Oh, that sneaky Steven Moffat.
After THAT ending to season two of “Sherlock” – which, if you haven’t seen it, I wouldn’t dream of spoiling – Steven Moffat put on his best showman’s hat and confirmed that there will be a third season of the BBC Arthur Conan Doyle update. All that we have to do now is get two parts of “The Hobbit”, the next series of “Doctor Who” and “Star Trek 2” out-of-the-way and all concerned in front of (and behind) the camera can give the further adventures of Holmes and Watson their fullest attentions.
I think that this is a show which benefits from being revisited, so I don’t think that I can really properly review the last episode without seeing it again – so many twists, reversals, clever bits and devilish misdirection make it the kind of programme that you have to see again with the knowledge that you carry forward from an initial viewing.
It was tremendously exciting TV from the outset, with killer acting from Cumberbatch, who’s entirely prepared to be true to Holmes’ character and make him an insufferable ass, cruel to those to care for him but never so devoid of humanity that he becomes absolutely unsympathetic. In an age where reality TV wants to smooth out imperfections and make our heroes and heroines ciphers who don’t offer complex contradictions or, well, recognizable human quirks lest they not be immediately telegraphed for instant understanding, this iteration of Holmes is incredibly refreshing and compulsively watchable.
Fantastic, too, was Martin Freeman as Watson – he shows us that he cares deeply for Holmes (which his brilliant friend appears to misinterpret as caring more about the public perception of the duo – public image and the way in which it is manipulated by the tabloid press was a theme running throughout the storyline) but does this with tremendous subtlety and grace. He’s a far more accomplished dramatic actor than I gave him credit for, having really only seen him in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” film adaptation before he appeared in this film.
We only get three episodes of “Sherlock” every eighteen months or so, but when they are this consistently good it feels quite churlish to complain about perceived brevity – if the alternative is a generous abundance of mediocrity, I’ll take being (relatively) short-changed by the number of episodes in a series any day of the week.