I watched the third and final episode of Sherlock last night. Like the others, it was entertaining and kept me engaged. It also ended with a two teasers (one major and one minor) that suggest that a fourth season is in the works. The way the major teaser was presented, like the previous episode, seemed to be drawn from the film V for Vendetta. It has been two years since the previous season so one does not know how long it will be until the next one is released, especially since the two lead actors are now in high demand for other work.
While I am enjoying the series, the stories are getting a little wild and over-the-top in terms of plotting. I am also not a big fan of arch-villains with grandiose plans, which seems to be the direction in which the series is headed. Much of the appeal of the original Conan Doyle stories (for me at least) was in the smaller crimes, sometimes not even crimes at all but merely puzzles. I used to prefer them to the stories involving the evil genius Moriarty or international espionage. But perhaps those stories, often taking place in small towns involving ordinary people, lack the potential for action and glamor and exotic settings that modern TV seems to require.
There are a couple of amusing touches in the casting that reflect reality. The two people who play Sherlock’s parents are the real-life actor parents of Benedict Cumberbatch. The actor who plays Mary Marston is the real-life partner of Martin Freeman. You almost expect to learn that series co-creator Mark Gatiss, who plays Mycroft Holmes, is Cumberbatch’s real life brother under a stage name, though they don’t look at all alike.
Many of the best British TV series tend to contain very few episodes per season. I think that this enables them to be tighter and have higher production values but it also means much longer waits for fans. But if the quality is good, then people are willing to wait and then come back. I myself tend not to watch normal TV series because I don’t like to commit myself to watch a show for 22 weeks, which is what a normal US TV season consists of. But setting aside three Sunday nights to watch Sherlock was not a problem. I am not sure I would watch as faithfully if it went on and on.