Five reasons why Sherlock will be back
The latest series of Sherlock finished last night. We asked Sherlock Holmes expert Daniel Smith to let us know why it’s bound to be back for a third series…
So we bid farewell once more to the residents of 221B Baker Street as the all-too-short second series of Sherlock comes to an end. Holmes’s creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, once attempted to kill-off his most famous creation by having him thrown from the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland by his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty. But the public would have none of it and Conan Doyle was forced to resurrect him. So what of the chances that Sherlock will similarly be back on our screens by popular demand? Here are five reasons why it should happen.
Sherlock Holmes is cool again. Who would have thought that the man who started his sleuthing career in print way back in 1887 would be enjoying a new lease of life 125 years later? Not only do we have the TV series, but Robert Downey Jnr has done a fine job of playing him in two Hollywood blockbusters while Anthony Horowitz’s new Holmes novel, The House of Silk, is flying off bookshelves and downloading on to e-readers.
A fresh twist on an old tale
Sherlock takes an original and fresh approach to characters that we thought we knew inside out. In the 1980s and 1990s the magnificent Jeremy Brett starred as Sherlock Holmes in a TV series that sought to reproduce Conan Doyle’s stories as closely as possible. They are unlikely ever to be surpassed so the makers of Sherlock have sought to do something quite different, giving us a defiantly 21st-century take on the character (he even texts more than your average teen arranging their social calendar).
The show has great casting. Benedict Cumberbatch is all brooding moodiness one moment, and then full of manic energy the next as he gets to grips with some knotty problem. He epitomises geek-sexiness as viewers try to decide whether he has model-like cheekbones or is just a bit funny looking. Meanwhile, Martin Freeman cements his place as the nation’s favourite everyman, his pitch-perfect Watson the ideal foil to Holmes. To mention nothing of the beautiful performances of Mark Gatiss, Una Stubbs, Andrew Scott and Rupert Graves.
The writing is just so damned smart. They really do know their Holmes heritage. For instance, in the Hounds of Baskerville episode, there is a supporting character called Fletcher, a neat allusion to Fletcher Robinson, the man credited with giving Conan Doyle the original idea for the spectral hound. When Holmes extracts information from Fletcher in that episode by pretending that he has made a bet with Watson, Mark Gatiss as scriptwriter lifts a plot device from The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, written by Conan Doyle in 1895. Indeed, in the first episode of the new series, Holmes’s website counter is stuck at 1895, a nod to a comment by esteemed Sherlockian scholar Vincent Starrett that Holmes inhabits ‘a nostalgic country of the mind where it is always 1895′. Intertextuality is not a word to over use but I’m going to use it here!
We need our heroes
Times are tough and we need our super heroes now more than ever. And in a culture forever being accused of dumbing down, it’s great that Holmes’s super power is nothing other than that he has a remarkable brain. Come back soon – we miss you already.
Daniel Smith is author of The Sherlock Holmes Companion: An Elementary Guide.
What did you think of this series of Sherlock? Let us know below.
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