Today marks an important occasion for the BBC. Not only is it the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, with the Anniversary Special “The Day of the Doctor” being aired in celebration, it’s also the 678th day in a row without a new episode of Sherlock. Not that we’re counting.
Dedicated fans may already know that during that time the BBC created a series of character blogs that could be followed along with the episodes, including Sherlock’s Science of Deduction and morgue attendant Molly Hooper’s (Louise Brealey) cat-covered diary. One of the many ways in which the show was updated for the modern age was to have John Watson keep a blog instead of a journal, and the BBC also created a real-life online counterpart for the website that was shown in the show.
During the first two seasons, the blog was regularly updated with write-ups of cases from the show and others that took place in between episodes, but since the traumatic season 2 finale, “The Reichenbach Fall,” the blog has gone into hiatus. With the season 3 premiere on the way, however, it seems that John is ready to come out of mourning and move on with his life.
In an entry titled, “A New Beginning,” Watson writes what he probably thinks will be the epilogue to the Sherlock Holmes chapter of his life:
It feels odd. Coming back here. This blog. It’s taken me about a week to write this. I kept coming back. Deleting bits. Adding bits. The thing is, I’m not an emotional person. I’m emotional, obviously. I have emotions but I don’t embrace grief. I guess I’m very British.
I don’t like to talk about it.
But I’ve been told that I should talk about it. That if I don’t talk about it I’ll be how I was pre-Sherlock. And I can’t go back to that. I’ve a life now.
I understand that he’s dead. And I accept it. I still believe in him. In who he was. The truth behind that will come out, I believe that. But Sherlock is dead and that period of my life is behind me.
And that’s what life is. Things happen. Then they’re in the past. And you move on to new things. New people. New friends. New beginnings.
But it’s also important not to forget the past. And I’ve found a few photos and a few blog posts I never finished so over the next few weeks I’ll be doing that really. Remembering the past.
And I won’t feel sad about it. Not any more. Because they were good times. We did good and we had fun. And that’s what I’m going to remember. My best friend, and he’d kill me for saying that’s what he was, is dead. Sherlock Holmes is dead.
But, by God, he’ll never be forgotten.
For some reason, the blog posts don’t include the year of publication in the dates, but based on the information given, it looks like the new entry was posted about ten months after Sherlock’s “death.” The comments are worth checking out for the reactions from John’s friends and family, in particular his new love interest Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington). Since John pledges to write up some of his notes from old cases in the near future, keep a close eye on his blog for further updates.
While moving on might be the emotionally healthy thing to do, what John doesn’t know is that Sherlock isn’t dead at all; a brief scene at the end of the season 2 finale revealed that he had survived the fall from the roof of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and season 3 will reunite the two friends once more and send them on a spate of new cases.
So far, the promotion for Sherlock‘s third season has been fairly light, with only a 30 second teaser trailer and a few brief glimpses of it in a trailer for BBC drama, but even without a fixed UK release date, the BBC is getting ready to start the engines once more. A handful of new set photos have now been posted on the official BBC website for Sherlock, providing fans with a glimpse of the sleuth and his blogger back in action.
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In addition to John’s exciting new love life (is that a wedding place card with Sherlock’s name on it in the photos?), season 3 will also bring a new adversary: Charles Augustus Magnussen ( Lars Mikkelsen), a notorious blackmailer whom Sherlock describes in Doyle’s stories as, “The worst man in London… I’ve had to do with fifty murderers in my career, but the worst of them never gave me the repulsion which I have for this fellow.”
[WARNING: Possible Spoilers for Season 3 Ahead!]
The big mystery, of course, is how Sherlock managed to survive what looked like an extremely fatal leap off the roof of St. Barts. The scene was reshot for season 3, and during the reshoots famous British illusionist Derren Brown was photographed practicing what looked like hypnosis techniques on Martin Freeman.
This could either mean that John was somehow hypnotized during the event and Brown was acting as a consultant, or it could be a case of showrunners Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat craftily throwing out a red herring to deliberately mislead fans. Incidentally, Brown was also name-dropped in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special as U.N.I.T.’s cover story for the TARDIS being flown through London. Apparently he gets around.
Sherlock will return on January 19th, 2014 on PBS, but UK air dates have not yet been announced.