Ever been utterly convinced that you did something? Totally without a shadow of a doubt that you’ve undertaken and completed an action? There’s no chance that you’re mistaken and didn’t do it? Yep, me too. And how many times has that proven to be a falsehood and you didn’t do it? Yep, me too – loads of times. In the wake of Sherlock Series 2 I wrote down predictions for Series 3 and blogged them. Only it seems that I didn’t. Can’t find it anywhere on this blog. Wonder where it went? Anyway, in the wake of the finale of Sherlock Series 3 here’s what I wrote about what could happen with the (then) yet-to-be-made next set of episodes. And at some point when my full writing mojo returns I’ll hopefully write about the latest trio of adventures (which were nowhere as good as the preceding six adventures). Personally I feel that my ideas are better than what was eventually broadcast:
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are such little teases…They get the nation all worked up about the potential death of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes in The Reichenbach Fall. Only after the story aired did they mention that Series 3 had been commissioned at the same time as Series 2. You can’t fault them for the ability to build up audience anticipation. So what could be expected from the third series of Sherlock? Here’s a few of my views.
Firstly, let’s start with a viewpoint that is likely to be considered borderline blasphemous by admirers of the series. The third outing for Sherlock should be the final one….
Finished with the screams of “No!” and the rending of garments? There are practical and dramatic reasons why this is a valid point. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are two of the busiest actors around and between them seem to be appearing in every other film in production. Likewise Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss aren’t exactly short of employment. The Grand Moff has at least two more series of Doctor Who to tackle and Gatiss is writing and acting all over the place (and I for one would not be surprised at an announcement in the future about him taking over as the Doctor Who show runner from Moffat). Coordinating all those schedules must be a nightmare.
So if the next series was to be the final one what should be done with it? Let’s have four stories and bring the total produced up to a nice round number of 10. Though a trilogy of trilogies has a certain ring to it.
Which stories should act as the foundation for Series 3? In the original canon The Empty House was the tale that resurrected Holmes after his supposed demise at the Reichenbach Falls so it would be eminently logical to use elements from this. Apart from the revelation that Holmes is alive, there is a mysterious murder with a unique air rifle and a fine villain in Colonel Sebastian Moran. Originally Moriarty’s chief of staff perhaps Moran could be re-imagined as a veteran of the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts – possibly a former associate of Watson’s and accused of war crimes that the good doctor supplied evidence for.
Another fine villain in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s rogues gallery is Charles Augustus Milverton, who appeared in the story of the same name in the collection The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Milverton is a repulsive master blackmailer who has no compunctions about ruining lives and reputations if his financial demands are not meant. Possibly this could tie into The Second Stain, another story from The Return of Sherlock Holmes and which involved blackmail in connection with stolen government secrets.
The Sign of the Four would make a fine series finale. Not only is it the best of the four novels in the original canon with a complex tale of revenge, a boat chase down the River Thames and a quest for a vast treasure trove, it also features Watson finding himself a wife in the form of Mary Morstan. For my own part I believe that Sophia Myles would make a fine future Mrs Watson.
Other stories ripe for the plundering include The Musgrave Ritual.