After two years of waiting, the last month or so has seen a strong PR push for the return of the BBC's Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Arthur Conan Doyle's titular detective in modern-day London and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) as his loyal assistant and best friend Dr. John Watson.
The first major teaser trailer debuted along with the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special episode, a UK premiere date of January 1st, 2014 and an official synopsis were confirmed, we've had a huge number of stills from the next season, and now a longer trailer (above) with some real plot points has emerged, courtesy of the BBC.
BBC One has also set up an "interactive trailer," with basically the same (main) footage as the one above. However, if you click at the right time, you'll reveal several more scenes, in effect a collection of clips. Some of the footage could be considered SPOILERS, so read no further if you'd rather not know anything beyond the trailer.
The story evidently picks up in real time, two years after the events of the last episode of season 2, 'The Reichenbach Fall.' The episode's cliffhanger ending revealed that Sherlock faked his death in order to save Watson, his landlady Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) and Detective Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves). Though Sherlock's arch-nemesis Moriarty is no more, faking his own demise secured his friends' safety, since Moriarty had assassins ready to kill them all should Sherlock survive.
The main questions: Why has Sherlock been gone for two years, where has he been, and why has be surfaced again now? The first point in the interactive trailer appears to address the "how" of Sherlock's "death," mapping out an apparent method for Sherlock's illusion in the series' unique "detective vision."
The second interactive feature has Sherlock sniping about John's mustache to his brother Mycroft (series co-creator Mark Gatiss), and underlines Sherlock's breathtaking narcissism, also evidenced by his remark after learning that John has left Baker Street and moved on with his life: "What life? I've been away."
The next interactive point follows Sherlock into a fancy restaurant - perhaps the same one where he evidently reveals himself to John with his expected lack of any sense of timing. On the way in, he sees that the host is an expecting father, tells him his wife just texted him, and that the baby is probably on the way. He's still got it.
As Mycroft intones to Sherlock that "an attack is coming," the next interactive feature brings depicts an unknown individual - who may or may not be new villain Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen) - opening a sinister case, entering some kind of code into a keypad, turning a key and pressing a button. Is a bomb is being primed?
Finally, Sherlock gets to know London again, pinning pictures and maps to his wall.
One of the core elements of Sherlock is the seemingly unshakable bond between Sherlock and Watson, but if John has truly moved on with his new love interest Mary Morstan (Martin Freeman's real-life partner Amanda Abbington), will Sherlock be forced to work alone? At what point in this new cycle of cases will John be dragged back into the fold? Will the new threats force him back to Sherlock's side, and how will this affect his personal life? We'll find out in just a few weeks.
Sherlock season 3 premieres on BBC One on January 1st, 2014, and returns to PBS on January 19th, 2014.