The BBC has not exactly been generous so far with promotional material for Sherlock season 3, perhaps out of an awareness that the show already has a very strong fanbase that has spent almost two years in anticipation of a follow-up to the season 2 cliffhanger. So far we've seen a 30-second teaser for Sherlock Holmes' (Benedict Cumberbatch) reunion with the various characters in the show, including a newly-mustachioed John Watson (Martin Freeman), but no official air date for the episode has yet been announced.
Sherlock season 3 has just finished filming, according to a tweet from writer and star Mark Gatiss, and the first new episode is expected to air this fall. Sherlock isn't the only show in the BBC's fall line-up, however, and the broadcaster has now released a promotional trailer to showcase series - both new and continuing - that will be airing on BBC One in the coming months.
The promo features a few short clips from the Sherlock teaser that was previously released, but also unveils the first piece of spoken dialogue from season 3. Amidst a montage of appropriate clips, Sherlock is seen apparently trying to spur John into action with the words, "The thrill of the chase, the blood pumping through your veins - just the two of us against the rest of the world." It's out of context, of course, but is most likely part of what will no doubt be a tricky campaign to earn John's forgiveness for the faked death scenario and get the team back to the old status quo.
That may be easier said than done, since Amanda Abbington has joined the cast this season as Mary Morstan, whom John married in the Arthur Conan Doyle stories before subsequently moving out of the 221B Baker Street bachelor pad, which also serves as a headquarters for Sherlock's sleuthing. If the episode titles are anything to go by, we may be hearing wedding bells for John and Mary before Sherlock season 3 is finished.
Also featured in the promo is The Musketeers, a new series based on Alexander Dumas' novel; miniseries The Great Train Robbery; murder-mystery What Remains and crime drama By Any Means. Gabriel Byrne will star as a chief pathologist working in a Dublin morgue in 1950s period drama Quirke, and Matthew Macfadyen returns for a second season of 19th century police procedural Ripper Street.
Clips from Doctor Who were notably absent (perhaps because the show is classed as sci-fi rather than pure drama), but fans of the Tenth Doctor should keep an eye out for David Tennant playing a brilliant junior barrister who becomes embroiled in a nasty murder case, in three-episode miniseries The Escape Artist. Tennant is also returning to Doctor Who in the upcoming 50th Anniversary Special, along with Billie Piper as Rose, the first companion of the rebooted series. You can also spot soon-to-be Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, playing Cardinal Richelieu in one of the clips from The Musketeers.
This really is a great teaser, accompanied by Sigur Rós track "Brennisteinn", and many of the shows on offer look like worthy additions to the fall and winter line-up. Hopefully at least some of them will be aired in the US for overseas audiences to appreciate as well, so tell us which of the shows featured in the promo you'd most be interested in watching.
Sherlock season 3 is expected to air on BBC One starting in late 2013, and on PBS some time in 2014.