Author’s note: If you haven’t seen the most recent series of Sherlock then stop reading because I’m going into full spoiler territory.
The BBC released a new trailer for their Victorian era Sherlock special, and it made me realize two things. First, I’m very excited for what the special has in store for us and second, I’m far more exited for this special than I am at the prospect of series 4. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited for a new series of Sherlock. But through a combination of the way the last series ended and the length of time it takes for the series to be made, a stand-alone special seems far more interesting to me right now. I guess I’m writing this post in attempt to put my feelings into words as to why I’m right now not as excited for series 4 of Sherlock.
For starters, because of the way the third series ended I’m not as eager to see the story continue than I am about seeing something completely new. Perhaps what bothered me the most about the ending is the fact that instead of having Magnusson be the victorious big baddy, having Sherlock proverbially flip the table because he was out-smarted seemed like cheap way to get themselves out writing themselves into a corner. I think it would have been far more interesting to have Magnusson to continue to be this villain that actually got away with beating Holmes, thus setting up a great arc for series 4. Also while I like the idea of Moriarty coming back (he’s my favourite character), it’s probably not going to be him ultimately and I will feel left out of having a great villain like Moriarty or Magnusson. From how I write this it might seem like I didn’t like the last episode at all, which isn’t true. I did enjoy the last episode overall, it just wasn’t as satisfying (read good) as I thought it could be. It’s certainly possible that series 4 could be awesome despite this and I’m going eat my words later, but right I’m now looking forward to watching something with a new story rather than one that I think has lost its potential.
Then there’s the trailer itself, as well as the clip that was released back in July. What we see, apart from the awesome victorian setting, is a different Sherlock and Watson from what we’re used to. I’m not just talking in physical appearance, but emotionally as well. Watson seems far more sure of himself than his modern counterpart and Sherlock while as eccentric as always seems far more aggressive which is very refreshing. Then there’s the mystery at the heart of the special we don’t know much about but seems deeply personal based on the trailers. Combine that with Mary Morstan and Mrs Hudson making their own victorian appearances and we have all we need for a great one-off special.
I’m hoping that the special won’t make me want all future Sherlocks to take place, but rather will act as a palate cleanser so that series 4 will ‘taste’ better to me. I’m still looking forward to series 4, I’m just not eagerly waiting for it like I was with the earlier ones.