Posts Tagged ‘benedict cumberbatch’

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.

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Following on from the release of the official synopsis for The Empty Hearse, the second and third episodes of Sherlock series 3 each now have a synopsis:

The Empty Hearse
“Two years after the devastating effects of [Series 2’s finale] The Reichenbach Fall, Dr John Watson has got on with his life. New horizons, romance and a comforting domestic future beckon. But, with London under threat of a huge terrorist attack, Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so naturally to him. It’s what his best friend wanted more than anything, but for John Watson it might well be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’! If Sherlock thinks everything will be just as he left it though, he’s in for a very big surprise…”

The Sign Of Three
“Sherlock faces his biggest challenge of all – delivering a Best Man’s speech on John’s wedding day! But all isn’t quite as it seems. Mortal danger stalks the reception – and someone might not make it to the happy couple’s first dance. Sherlock must thank the bridesmaids, solve the case and stop a killer!”

His Last Vow
“A case of stolen letters leads Sherlock Holmes into a long conflict with Charles Augustus Magnussen, the Napoleon of blackmail, and the one man he truly hates. But how do you tackle a foe who knows the personal weakness of every person of importance in the Western world?”

Sherlock lives on New Year’s Day 2014 9.00pm BBC1

The Doctor meets Sherlock Holmes. This is a quite extraordinary fan made crossover between Doctor Who and Sherlock.

“Months after an encounter with a mysterious ‘Doctor’, Sherlock becomes obsessed with discovering more about this impossible man… until the man makes an unexpected return.”

Sherlock lives on New Year’s Day 2014 9.00pm BBC1

The BBC has confirmed that Sherlock series 3 will feature in the Radio Times Christmas issue, so that means a transmission date for the first episode, The Empty Hearse, between 21 December 2013 and 3 January 2014. Some speculation has New Year’s Day as the transmission date. Sherlock has traditionally broadcast on a Sunday so that gives 22 December and 29 December as possible transmission dates. Whatever the truth it means that #SherlockLives and within five weeks Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman’s Dr John Watson will be back on our screens.

The official synopsis for The Empty Hearse:
“Two years after the devastating effects of [Series 2’s finale] The Reichenbach Fall, Dr John Watson has got on with his life. New horizons, romance and a comforting domestic future beckon. But, with London under threat of a huge terrorist attack, Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so naturally to him. It’s what his best friend wanted more than anything, but for John Watson it might well be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’! If Sherlock thinks everything will be just as he left it though, he’s in for a very big surprise…”

Sherlock Lives

Rumours have Sherlock series 3 commencing on 1st January 2014. Episodes are:

1. The Empty Hearse (by Mark Gatiss, based on “The Empty House”).
2. The Sign of Three (by Stephen Thompson, based on “The Sign of the Four”).
3. His Last Vow (by Steven Moffat, based on “His Last Bow”).

In the books Watson has a moustache but let’s hope Martin Freeman loses that growth under his nose fairly quickly.

When the time comes for the awarding of the next round of BBC Audio Drama Awards simply bestow everything upon the superbly atmospheric adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Across the course of a week Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra listeners were treated to a movie-of-the-mind rendering of Gaiman’s acclaimed dark fantasy about the people who fall through the cracks in society and end up in London Below, a mysterious subterranean realm that coexists with the more familiar London, known as London Above…

Read the rest of my review of the audio interpretation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere over at HI! Magazine

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

Even though Benedict Cumberbatch is listed as playing “John Harrison” the speculation continues as to whether this is disinformation to conceal that he is in fact the new Star Trek timeline’s version of the greatest Trek villain of them all: Khan Noonien Singh

Neil Gaiman has now announced around 2/3 of the cast for the Neverwhere 6 part Radio 4 audio adaptation. A truly epic cast under the guidance of the talented Dirk Maggs…

James McAvoy (Richard)
Natalie Dormer (Door)
David Harewood (Marquis)
Sophie Okonedo (Hunter)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Islington)
Anthony Head (Croup)
David Schofield (Vandemar)
Bernard Cribbins (Old Bailey)
Romola Garai (Jessica)
Sir Christopher Lee (Earl of Earl’s Court)
Andrew Sachs (Tooley)
George Harris (Abbot)
Don Gilet (Fulingous, Ruislip, Blackfriar)
Abdul Salis (Sable, Sump, Clarence, Homeless Man)
Paul Chequer (Gary, Guard 2)
Lucy Cohu (Lamia)
Yasmin Paige (Anaesthesia, Tenant 2 – female, Match girl)
Johnny Vegas (Lord Ratspeaker)
Stephen Marcus (Varney, Homeless man, Letting agent, Guard 1)
Karen Archer (Sylvia, Old Woman, Dream Hawker, Mother…)