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Sherlock’s season 3 draws in huge American following

Contributing Reporter

Published: Monday, February 10, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 22:02


AP Photo/PBS/Masterpiece, Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films

Louise Brealey, left, as Molly Hooper and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, in a scene from Season 3, "The Empty Hearse" episode of Masterpiece's "Sherlock," which aired on Jan. 19, 2014, on PBS.

Note: This article contains spoilers.

Fans finally got the season finale they needed.

Despite the BBC drama “Sherlock” taking a two-year hiatus, the show has managed to attract a large legion of American viewers in its absence.

Three is the magic number when it comes to Sherlock. The season three finale aired on Feb. 2 on PBS Masterpiece, drawing another three-episode season to a close. The episode “His Last Vow”was brimming with plot twists, hilarity, and close encounters with death and blackmail plentiful.

In “His Last Vow,” Sherlock Holmes and John Watson faced off against the “Napoleon of blackmail” Charles Augustus Magnussen, depicted by Lars Mikkelsen.

The two-year break between seasons drew in a larger audience. It has been attributed to the growing fame of the show’s stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Cumberbatch recently appeared as the villain Khan in “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” Freeman has appeared in both installations of the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” as Bilbo Baggins.

The season’s summation can be spelled out in the final twenty minutes of the season finale. As Sherlock and Watson face off yet another, seemingly tactically flawless villain, the series completely catches the audience off guard with the revelation of how tactically comprehensive this villain is. The vault that the heroic duo has spent season three focused on is nothing more than the innermost memories of a madman.

A villain truly fit to battle Mr. Holmes and match him at wits does so by working just like the titular character, by memorizing everything. At that revelation, the question of, “How do you destroy a vault that is only metaphorical?” comes to fruition, as Holmes puts Magnussen out of the world’s misery and ends the season with a literal bang.

Despite such an irreversible finale that sees Sherlock being banished from the United Kingdom instead of being brought up on murder charges, the series yet again takes the audience by surprise when Moriarty himself broadcasts a message to the whole of London: He’s back and by demand so is Sherlock.

Due to Sherlock’s growing fame, Massive Events has decided to launch SHERLOCKED, an official 3-day Sherlock convention that will be taking place in the US and the UK in 2014. No official dates or locations have been announced as of yet, but people who are interested can sign up for e-mail updates at Massive Event’s official page.

People all across America tuned into PBS Masterpiece Jan. 19 to catch the premiere of BBC’s Sherlock, drawing in an average of 4 million viewers for the opening of the show’s third season. This marks a viewer increase of about 800,000 compared to the second season’s US premiere.

According to the Seattle Times, Season 4of the hit show has been confirmed by “Sherlock” producer Sue Vertue, but as of yet no date has been set for its premiere.

“We’re still checking our diaries. It’s like a Venn diagram [scheduling],” she said.

The show’s writers, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, have also confirmed plans for more seasons to come. In fact, Moffat treats each episode as a movie rather than extra-long television show. He intends to keep “Sherlock” around for a while.

“’Sherlock’ doesn’t swamp my schedule, doesn’t swamp anyone. So I could imagine we’ll come back and do Sherlock fairly often for many years, rather than very often for a few year,” he said at a PBS question and answer session. 

All that’s left for “Sherlock” fans worldwide is to wait for the next season to air. As Mofatt said, “Sherlock” doesn’t take up an awful amount of time. Since three, 90-minute episodes are ideal, maybe the developers will avoid using two years again to see.  

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