Thursday, January 02, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Sherlock: Many Happy Returns (2013) ***

NR, 8 min.
Creators: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Writers: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, Jonathan Aris

“Sherlock” season 3 made its British premiere New Year’s Day to the highest ratings the series has ever pulled. It doesn’t premiere here in the States until January 19, but a couple of days before its British premiere this webisode hit the internet as a teaser for the whole world.

“Many Happy Returns” is an 8-minute short that doesn’t have much of a story, but will certainly help build the anticipation of the series’ return for die-hard fans. During the final episode of season 2, “The Reichenbach Fall” Sherlock faked his own death to finally defeat his nemesis Moriarty. Here we see three aspects of that aftermath. First is a conversation between Director Inspector Lestrade and the former coroner, Anderson. Anderson has lost his job because of his obsession with investigating Sherlock sightings all over the globe. While Anderson is convinced Sherlock is alive, Lestrade is not. The second are the Sherlock sightings themselves, where the master detective is seen in silhouette solving cases for other investigators who take the credit. The third is a videotape of Sherlock viewed by John Watson on Watson’s birthday. John has not handled Sherlock’s death well, having become bitter about losing his companion.

I don’t think there’s a person in the world who actually believes that Sherlock Holmes has been killed off on a show titled “Sherlock”. And, anyone who knows the mythology behind Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures is probably aware of the case where he faked his own death. So in the end, this webisode really doesn’t serve any dramatic purpose in the story of this modern telling of Sherlock’s adventures with Watson, but it does serve as a nice teaser for those highly anticipating the series’ return in a few weeks. So, don’t forget to set your DVRs on PBS for January 19.

View the webisode below.

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