In 2010, fans of the timeless fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, were delighted to find Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary works adapted for modern television. Co-created by Doctor Who writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the show quickly generated high critical acclaim and spawned a devoted faction of followers.
The second season, which aired in 2012 (Holmes sends out text messages instead of telegrams), followed the essence of the cynical sleuth remains the same.
Moffat and Gatiss are no strangers to writing television drama, as their first two seasons clearly demonstrate. Although the show so far only contains six episodes, viewers have watched Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) move into 221B Baker Street and begin doing what they do best.
Together, they meet classic characters like Irene Adler and Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft (played by Gatiss). Holmes and Watson also come face-to-face with Sherlock’s archenemy, criminal mastermind Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott). The finale of the second season featured a pulse-pounding showdown between Holmes and Moriarty, with an ending that left fans absolutely dumbfounded.
Sherlock’s second series aired two years ago, and the lead actors have been busy since. Over the hiatus, moviegoers have seen Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness” and portraying Julian Assange in “The Fifth Estate.” Meanwhile, Martin Freeman played the adventurous Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Desolation of Smaug.”
Although they have journeyed into darkness and misty mountains, the stars share the fans’ excitement for the dynamic duo’s return to Baker Street. The third season picks up two years after the events in the second season transpired, to the satisfaction of viewers who have been waiting the same amount of time. Most of the supporting characters have barely changed: Mrs. Hudson has kept the apartment in the same condition, Detective Inspector Lestrade continues to try solving cases, and Mycroft Holmes still works for the British government. However, not everybody remains the same. In the two years since, John Watson seems to have completely changed his life, with a new apartment, job, girlfriend and mustache. Despite all this, he remains emotionally numb until Sherlock’s return revives his enthusiasm.
In previous seasons, Watson is portrayed as a relatively well-adjusted individual to establish a baseline which Holmes proceeds to tear apart with his exceptionally peculiar genius.
This season will shift its attention to Watson and his newfound companion, leaving his old friend trailing ever so slightly behind.
Overall, this season serves as a welcome homecoming of what is possibly fiction’s most memorable partnership. The new episodes will be broadcast in the United States on PBS starting Sunday, January 19th at 10 p.m. As questions from the previous season become answered, fans will begin asking a new one about this season: Was it worth the wait?