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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Sherlock Holmes and have never tried these out, do!
This is the third in the BBC's totally watchable series, starring Benedict Cummerbatch, and Martin Freeman, with both actors playing really believable parts and making a delightful duo. Sherlock has been brought into today; normally, I don't like this, but was instantly captivated by the first episode. (Am no spring chick, but my 93yr old mother loves them as well.)...
Published 3 months ago by Speedwell

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43 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Season 3 is a real disappointment
Sigh. This will be considered "heresy" by the hoi polloi, considering the press this series has engendered. But I cannot give the new season of "Sherlock" the hightest of marks, much as I had hoped.

The three new episodes are simply (relatively) vacuous. No main plot--no REAL mystery to solve. What has happened--I am afraid--is that...
Published 7 months ago by Billy J. Hobbs


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Sherlock Holmes and have never tried these out, do!, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
This is the third in the BBC's totally watchable series, starring Benedict Cummerbatch, and Martin Freeman, with both actors playing really believable parts and making a delightful duo. Sherlock has been brought into today; normally, I don't like this, but was instantly captivated by the first episode. (Am no spring chick, but my 93yr old mother loves them as well.) These are not just believable, they are fast and slick, up to date technologically, and are the kind of tv drama that one wants to see more than once. There is so much in them. Worth a punt if 'you' are not sure about buying this and/or have missed the tv. I have them all!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, Compared to S1&2, But Still Much Better Than Most TV--MARCH 8, 2014, 29 Oct 2013
This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
*SPOILERS APLENTY*

As I've mulled over what went wrong for me with Series 3, it all comes back to how Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss seem to have let slide their own creation. I've read so much, particularly from Moffat, about how he intended from the first to have his Sherlock be 'dark' and 'Byronic'; Season 1, Episode 1, set that archetype up perfectly. If you go back to look at that intense 12 minutes or so of the cabbie and Sherlock facing off in the educational institute, it fairly throbs. Sherlock is masterful and truly Byronic, with his coat thrown back and his face etched in overhead light in close-up. It's a scene guaranteed to rivet your attention--tense, dark, with something really at stake: not just Sherlock's life, if he trusts his intelligence and takes the pill, but something of his reputation as well, as the cabbie taunts him about his 'real addiction'. (Compare it to the stumbling, drugged scene between Sherlock and the cabbie staged at 221B in the unaired pilot, and the brilliance of the scene in S1E1 will be illuminated.) Watch his cruelty as Jeff Hope lies near death, and Sherlock, desperate to know the name of the man who follows his exploits but is so much 'more' than he is, pushes with his full weight on the gunshot wound until Hope cries out "Moriarity!" with his dying breath. Sherlock, wasting not a moment for human suffering, doesn't even look down but breathes the name with a pensive, almost pleased, look on his face. That was drama! (And, I maintain, the cruelty evinced from the very first predicts accurately and directly the seeming viciousness of Sherlock's actions at the conclusion of "His Last Vow": having made the vow to protect John and Mary at all costs, and having been outplayed by the villainous Magnusson, he does what a different but equally desperate character does to Milverton in the canon--he shoots him dead. Cumberbatch, at the recent iTunes/Apple Store panel discussion, said, rightly, you're not supposed to love Sherlock; he is not a nice man.) I discovered "Sherlock" for the first time just last October, but I fell in love with everyone connected to that show--actors, writer, director, cinematographer--all in that moment at the end of Episode 1.

So I tolerated S3E1 even with the excessive amount of fanservice because it was cute and clever, though, as others have said, it was a shame to waste even one episode on so much comedy when we have so few and have to wait so long for them. There was, however, something meaningful at stake: John's two years of suffering. And Sherlock was just cruel enough, just enough of a 'cock' as John calls him at the end, to make the viewer forget how little plot there was. I gave the writers that one and was suitably intrigued when, as John and Sherlock talked before meeting the press in front of 221B, the latter's response to John's question, "Are you ever going to tell me [us] how you really did it?" was, "You know my methods, John. I'm indestructible." I like the whiff of superhero in there--and it was true at the original Reichenbach Falls too. [Since then I've read that Moftiss intended perhaps a bit of the supernatural as well: John 'prays' at the tombstone, "Please, for me, just one more miracle. Don't be dead." And the camera pans to a live Sherlock, as if the 'prayer' conjured him. Someday someone should tackle a thesis on the Christ motif in "Sherlock" . . . . ]

But so many things went wrong with "The Sign of Three"--and most of them, regrettably, are attributable to Moffat (who wrote the best man's speech) and Gatiss (who wrote the drunken slapstick). [And I should note here I'm NOT Moffat-bashing; elsewhere I wrote a review of "A Scandal in Belgravia", called him 'the real genius of Baker Street', and his episodes have always been my favourites.] To figure out why I was so upset (that I wrote one of the 1200 Guardian comments the night it aired--watching illegally over here in Toronto), I went back to that other dark and iconic scene from the second series: Sherlock's confrontation with Moriarity on the roof of St. Barts. After having been called disappointingly "ordin'ry" by Moriarity throughout this episode, Sherlock circles his archenemy--and mirror--and speaks two lines which should've found their way into the quotable quotes of film and TV along with Jack Nicholson's famous "Do you want to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?" from '89's "Batman". Sherlock says, "If you want to shake hands with me in Hell, I shall not disappoint," and "Though I may act on the side of the angels, do not think for one moment I am one of them." (Cue dungeon-like clink of iron and sun flare obscuring Cumberbatch's face while we digest the magnitude of those statements and the true darkness of this unworldly man.) Moriarity certainly no longer thinks he's ordin'ry and takes his own life to prevent the greater darkness that is Sherlock from prising from him the callback codes. (Again, we are not supposed to like Sherlock; in so many ways, he barely lives in our world. And his use? Well, as Mycroft says in "His Last Vow", Sherlock is a dragonslayer and "Here Be Dragons". )

But then what to make of the bumbling and often too sentimental best man who burbles that 'John is the bravest and wisest man he has ever known' (echo of John's forgiving Sherlock in the underground carriage scene--though those words actually were canon), that John is a man who actually knows how to 'do stuff,' and whom he cannot commend on his choice of companions when Sherlock alone is the companion of choice? But I quite literally cringed--and still do--when Sherlock called himself "a ridiculous man". Only in the "ordin'ry" world--which he dramatically and at substantial risk proved he was not of on the roof of St. Barts--would that be true. It is NOT (and never will be) true of the black-coated, Byronic, dark-hearted supersleuth Moffat said he was creating. So those words were written (by Moffat) for the wedding guests and, by extension, for the ordin'ry people who line up for Cumberbatch's autograph and write Johnlock Tumblr blogs.

How did we get here, only a short episode since the decidedly otherworldly Sherlock of "The Reichenbach Fall"? I don't know. I heard Moffat say, when he first read in Conan Doyle that Holmes had become engaged to the housekeeper in order to infiltrate Charles Augustus Milverton's home and then it was just dropped--no apology or explanation, he felt, as a 12-year-old, betrayed. And he rectified that with Janine's tabloid revenge in "His Last Vow". That's how I feel about much of "The Sign of Three": betrayed. And yet Moffat has said he violated the character of his own supersleuth because he thought, if John got married (canon), there was no one else but Sherlock who'd have given the best man's speech "and it must've been hysterical" (ditto the slapstick stag pub crawl and its aftermath, I guess). I feel as if I need to rewrite S3E2 for the same reason Moffat had to provide what he considered to be a more fitting end for Holmes' engagement.

But I do like much of "His Last Vow". Written by Moffat, it has many dark moments and something surely is at stake. For those who insist the show should mostly be about Sherlock's growth as a human being, it has that--including his fight for life when the hallucination of mad Moriarity accidentally pulls him back from death "where no one will ever bother you again" by mentioning John's future peril with that dangerous wife--without rendering Sherlock weak or commonplace. It is true that John too easily ignores and forgives his wife's past--as Magnusson says, Mary's a much bigger villain than he is; after all, he's never killed anyone. And the 4 minutes of Sherlock's exile isn't enough for the magnitude of his decision to kill (though Mycroft's "Well, I hope you learned your lesson" rings true to the series). The 'dragon' Moffat and Gatiss have brought back at the very end of the 3rd episode had better be worth the quick return of England's William Sherlock Scott St. George Holmes or this particular fan, who wants to again admire the heightened reality of S1 & S2 when so much was always at stake, might have to turn to something American and much more "Elementary" for a Holmes fix (whereof there are few enough fans to service).
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4.0 out of 5 stars last episode is a let down, 6 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Sherlock has always been fantastic. This series started off brilliant with the first 2 episode being some of the best but the final episode let me down. The 'baddie' was just irritating and the plot was ruined by a character being revealed as not who you thought they were. The ending was boring and not the usual cliffhanger was disappointing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I preferred the style of the first two., 1 Jun 2014
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It's another great series, but they've evolved a few styles, and they do become tedious after a short while.

Rather hoping they show the next season soon!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evolution of a Detective, 3 Jun 2014
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Part of what was brilliant about the first season of Sherlock was that it brought to life that version of Holmes rarely seen on screen -- the brittle, downright unpleasant young man of Conan Doyle's earliest stories. The one who's actually pretty unkind to his new friend John Watson yet feels a need to have him around that, perhaps, even his genius can't quite work out.

But just as Conan Doyle felt the need to evolve his hero into the... well, not *cuddly* -- never *cuddly*... but slightly more good humoured, genuine and devoted best friend to Dr. Watson, so have the writers of Sherlock needed to move the character and situation on.

Some have been critical of S3 for not featuring more cold, clinical detective work. but this season, it seems to me, is the bridge to Sherlock's new world. If the first seasons were about Watson learning to live in Sherlock's world, then this is about Sherlock learning to live in John's. These three stories feature probably the greatest emotional upheavals of Sherlock's life so it's right that that be the focus. There'll be time for Cases of the Week next time out, now this New World Order has been established.
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43 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Season 3 is a real disappointment, 29 Jan 2014
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Sigh. This will be considered "heresy" by the hoi polloi, considering the press this series has engendered. But I cannot give the new season of "Sherlock" the hightest of marks, much as I had hoped.

The three new episodes are simply (relatively) vacuous. No main plot--no REAL mystery to solve. What has happened--I am afraid--is that Cumberbatch and Freeman (Sherlock and Watson) now have become SUCH popular stars that the writers have forsaken what got them there in the first place and so now are simply Hollywoodizing the two actors (to which neither seems to mind!), like Lady Gaga or Paris Hilton or Kate. The first episode was "trying" to explain, with lots of smoke and mirrors, how Sherlock survived the Reichenball "fall"! Big time sigh. Too easy. And too much time "explaining it," although, of course, no "real" explanation is given. And then we see just how clever Sherlock continues to be--and it's clever for clever's sake. No real plot here. But I excused it, saying that the audience needed an explanation (but not for 1.5 hours, of course). Then episode 2--another big sigh. Would that wedding reception NEVER end? Pul-eeze. More smoke and mirrors and no real mystery to solve, just bits and pieces either to tantalize the viewers or the scriptwriters simply had nothing better. Episode three picks up a bit--and of course I am eager to see what the next season brings. I love series. The First Season was A-plus, certainly one of the most exciting episodes I've ever seen ("Study in Pink" is a classic!). Ditto for the full episodes of the two first seasons. First time viewers of the series were sure to be confused and turned off, as some have reported to me.

But, please, scriptwriters/producers--get back to a central case and forget about what cute, clever, and camera-ready actors you are featuring. We want great action plots. And of course we're completely ready for Moriarity to re-surface.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I am hesitant to review this badly as the series ..., 24 July 2014
This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I am hesitant to review this badly as the series has had so much to offer. The main ingredients are still here - Freeman and Cumberbatch fencing with each other and the comic relief of Sherlock's dysfunctional logical brain - but the wedding episode once again gave us a murder method which to say the least stretched the imagination. I think I would have remained positive until I saw the awful rehandling of the Master Blackmailer which simply failed as a storyline (where are the files? - I won't spoil it but - ugh) and the ending was plain ridiculous. And do we really get that villain back again? Nooooo!!! Despite all, there is a magic here and albeit there are times when I have shook my head I am still looking forward to Series 4. PLEASE, scriptwriters, give us the stories and the quality the premise deserves or draft in someone who can!
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dropped the ball and in great danger of jumping the shark., 2 May 2014
This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Let me give the writers of Sherlock a little tip - don't do season ending cliff-hangers if you can't think of a satisfactory resolution to them. Both the first and second seasons ended with cliff-hangers, the start of the second season opted for the rather cheap strategy of simply dissolving the tension with a little humorous moment; disappointing, but forgivable. The 'resolution' (if you can call it that) that we get to the massive s2 cliff-hanger, is quite frankly insulting.

Unfortunately that is just the start of this season's problems. Sherlock has been away for 2 years and returns with a personality transplant, he is practically a different character this season. The show has become far too self-aware and often comes across as a smug, fan-service for the Tumblr generation: "Look at us, our show is popular and trendy" the writers seem to be saying.

Tonally this season is unrecognisable from its predecessors, with a much greater emphasis on comedy. Remember this is a series that had dark moments like a blind, elderly woman being killed - along with many others - in an explosion... now we have drunk Sherlock and 'Elephant in the room' (literally). I have nothing against the funny moments, but I always felt they worked best in moderation - it is still meant to be a drama series, after all.

'Style over substance' is a phrase that is commonly used to describe this third season, and I'm afraid I have to agree. The production and editing are as slick as ever, but there isn't a great deal of plot to be found here. In fact it would be flattering to describe the first two episodes as anything other than 'filler' - pretty shocking when you consider that it is only a 3 episode season.

The only bright spark here is Martin Freeman - who is in absolute top form these episodes. His performance alone saves some of the more absurd developments (such as the twist regarding his new wife) from being total jump the shark moments. You can't help but feel bad for him being let down by utterly dreadful material to work with.

I really hope the writers can get this show back on track - though judging from their need to make Moriarty relevant again to keep people interested (if I had one criticism of the first two seasons it would be an over-reliance on Moriarty), I can't say I'm particularly excited about the future of Sherlock...
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jumped the shark, 8 Feb 2014
By 
J. Kennedy (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I'm afraid series 3 of Sherlock is where this once great show jumped the shark. Series 1 and 2 always had one superb episode (A Study in Pink, A Scandal in Belgravia respectively) one dud (The Blind Banker, The Hound of the Baskervilles) and one very good one. (The Great Game, The Reichenbach Fall) Sadly for series 3, it doesn't have a superb episode, or a very good episode. Instead, it had two OK's and an awful. Guess which is which.

Episode one was highly anticipated as it was supposed to answer how Sherlock 'died' It didn't for sure, which felt very unsatisfying. The opening sequence was very clever and funny, and in fact, in my opinion that should have been the definitive answer. (Yes, I know Moriarty is a head shorter than Sherlcok but in his shock John would never have noticed) From thereon, it goes downhill. First, Sherlock's reveal to Watson could have been much funnier. I'd always pictured Watson laughing with joy, then punching him, rather than the rather angry way it played out. And for John just to drive off with Mary afterwards like nothing has happened... All wrong.

And Mary. No, no, no. Sorry, but it's like putting a woman on Top Gear - it doesn't need a female, regardless of whether she's there in the books. Al it does is spoil the dynamic.

Having said that, I did warm to her in episode two, sadly the only positive thing I felt in a self-indulgent, long winded almost BORING storyline, if you can call it that. Self-indulgent is the word here; it was unfunny with a wafer-thin plot. In fact self-indulgent sums up series 3 in a nutshell. Not only do John and Sherlock become caricatures in this episode (the Oh-so-hilarious stag night which isn't, even) then this self-indulgence extends to the actors in real life being able to bring on their loved ones as cast members. Mary is played by Martin Freeman's real-life partner, and in episode 3 Sherlock's parents are played by Mr and Mrs Cumberbatch. Like I said, self-indulgent.

Episode 3 redeems the series a little; at least there's an actual plot with actual twists (I didn't see the one with Mary coming) but is Sherlock a cold-blooded killer? No. He uses his wits, and to turn him into a murderer for the sake of shocking the audience was lazy writing.

I seem to be in a minority as the press seems to have loved it, but I certainly don't.

Sorry Moffat and co. This series simply smacks of you having gotten too big for your boots.
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67 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best series so far, in my eyes., 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not entirely sure why people seem to be so divided on this season; I assume it's because it involves a lot of character building and focus on the relationships in the show. Personally, I think that it's a fantastic turn for the series, and I also think it was extremely important. The books, of course are more crime filled that the last three episodes, but it still does have a lot of focus on the characters and specifically the friendship between Holmes and Watson. As much as it is a crime show, it still needs to be developed every season - it can't be, and (with Moffatt and Gattis behind the show) it won't ever remain the same. Personally, this is my absolute favourite season due to the wittiness and the flawless script. I don't feel much of a need to mention the acting as if you've seen the previous six episodes you're aware of how fantastic the whole cast are.
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Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD]
Sherlock - Complete Series 3 [DVD] by Benedict Cumberbatch (DVD - 2014)
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