Wednesday 15 January 2014

We Are Sher-locked...and They Know It

Credit: Morgan Dunbar, Geek Charming
by Courtney Lockhart

We live in a world where a television show can be doomed simply by changing what day of the week it is broadcast.  For a popular show to take an extended hiatus and hope that the audience will return is a gamble.  To extend that hiatus for two years is bordering on the insane. 

No one has ever said Steven Moffat lacks confidence.

The gamble paid off.  Sherlock’s third season opener The Empty Hearse hit a series high of 9.2 million viewers on average when it premiered on BBC One on New Year’s Day.   That’s not even including the eventual North American audiences since PBS will not start showing the new episodes until Jan 19th. 

Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ decision to put the show on hold while its stars took over Hollywood and Middle Earth gave Sherlock the time it needed to become a word of mouth sensation. 

Personal example time:  I started noticing references to Sherlock creeping into my feeds early in 2013.  I didn’t really pay much attention to it other than to laugh at the “Otters who look like Benedict Cumberbatch”meme. Then, on a family trip to the movies to see Star Trek: Into Darkness I was introduced to that voice.  This lead to some—ok, hours of--Youtube and IMDB research.  I discovered that not only had this tall drink of tea been in several other movies I enjoyed, a repetitive phenomenon in this home called “Wait, that was him?” But, he was also a really cool guy.  On our next Netflix date night, I suggested to my husband that we “try that Sherlock thing everyone is talking about.”   Before the end of the first episode I knew I was going to be one of those fans waiting with baited breath for any news of season three.

The Empty Hearse is a great re-entry into Sherlock’s London.  The characters’ lives have moved forward at the same pace as our own.  John and company have been without their favorite high functioning sociopath for two years. Everyone has made efforts to move on, to varying degrees of success.   Mark Gatiss’ script walks a fine line.  It bounces between delivering the payoffs fans have been waiting for since The Reichenbach Fall , offering exposition to anyone tuning in for the first time, and keeping the action going so that neither party gets bored enough to shoot at the walls.  The subplot explaining Sherlock’s survival turns into a wonderful fandom allegory. You begin to suspect that maybe the show runners have spent as much time on Tumblras the rest of us.  

Keep an eye out for the easter eggs sprinkled in for Doctor Who/ cumber-collective super fans.  I won’t spoil them, but be warned you are liable to burst out laughing and have a bit of trouble explaining why.
Then again, I’m sure that’s not a rare feeling for most of us.

Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...