Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Game Is Afoot!

Sherlock Episode 3: The Great Game
Airdate: August 8th 2010. UK. BBC1

Well that’s three out of three I’ve really enjoyed. Shame this was the last one but I’d be surprised if we don’t get anymore of these sometime soon. Maybe even a Christmas special if the BBC can get themselves sorted... although that might not be appropriate given the ending of this episode.

This one was head and shoulders better than the last one (which I also really enjoyed) and at least as good as the first. The pace was typically high speed but the character studies were very much at the forefront again... that relationship between Holmes and Watson is really getting there. Both Lestrade and Mycroft were back... glad to see Lestrade who gets a very old, well-worn one-liner in but it’s a joy to hear it tripping off his tongue so merrily. Bit disappointed that, once again, Mycroft felt it necessary to leave his office... but I suppose if they keep visiting him “in situ” it would slow down the pacing somewhat. Quite getting used to seeing Gatiss in the role though.

There were some great classic Holmes homages in there... the old chestnut of shooting holes in the wall rears itself again... but that’s okay, it always works. Love that the old Orange Pips message has been replaced by the Greenwich meantime pips broadcast to a mobile phone. Really nice touch.

Very minor grumbles... asides from the “wandering Mycroft” would be the fact that they’ve not consistently followed through on the typographic, animated thought clues... texts yes, but they look kinda crude... they’ve ditched the clues for this episode. Also... would liked to have seen a lot more of Watson’s almost main squeeze Sarah! Can’t help it. I love to see the romantic stuff. More of her next time around please!

Still can't quite figure out what they're doing with those filters... but there were less of those this time around.

This episode revolved around Moriarty and, despite my protests at his inclusion in such an overbearing way on the series, this seemed to work really well and the guy they’ve got playing him certainly seems like he could be capable of giving Holmes a run for his money. The series ALMOST ended as I predicted with Holmes and Moriarty’s death at the Reichenbach Falls (downgraded to a swimming pool in this episode) but the creators have, disappointingly perhaps, gone the American route and left it on a cliffhanger (of sorts) as Holmes is about to blow up all the explosives and kill himself, Moriarty and Watson. Seriously people, you don’t need to do that to whip up demand for a second season... this was already a quality programme, such cheap tactics are beneath you.

Nevertheless, another really enjoyable episode and I’m greatly keeping my fingers crossed that the show’s creators won’t wreck it with the second series. This one gets my “three deerstalker” recommendation.

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