Tuesday, August 3, 2010

REVIEW: Sherlock, Episode 3, "The Great Game" [SPOILER~FREE]


"I'd be lost without my blogger"

Flippin' eck Tucker! Even though this was a short series, the finale was certainly of suitable proportions to make it seem like it the show had been running for years. And so follows a SPOILER~FREE review of The Great Game, the last outing, for the time being one can assume, for Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. I will add that I've also avoided any mentions of characters who may, or may not, return in this episode.


Taking writing duties this time is Mark Gatiss; and although Steven Moffat may very well have helmed a sitcom all by himself, it is The Gatt who provides the audience with a tree~trunk full of larfs, especially in the low~key opening sequences. We find Sherlock correcting the grammar of a criminal and then bickering with Watson in what could be a most delightful spin~off comedy show. This, however, does not last for long and the suburban quietry is abruptly ended. And so the latest mystery(ies) begins...


This time a series of crimes and victims have been set up for Watson and Holmes to solve and save respectively. Of course, it will be no great shock to discover that one person seems to be after our "heroes". For the most part The Great Game plays not unlike Die Hard With A Vengeance (forgive the reference) with riddles to solve and a number of lives (not just theirs) at stake. And it is during these escapades that more of Sherlock's troubled pysche is revealed featuring his insensitivity, unkindness and callousness.


Through John Watson's blog (see episode one) we find out how Sherlock's brain works and why it preserves information the way it does. Watson and Holmes' relationship is still evolving, they're still learning about one another and it is these scenes that are some of the most affecting - Gatiss allows genuine warmth but also hostility in equal measures between them in the most perplexing of situations.


But the scenes that will live long in the memory come towards the end, in the final act. Paul McGuigan's direction in the Planetarium scene is exquisite with some wonderful use of light (and dark) whilst the most fantastical of fights takes place. It's an orgy of "What the hell did I just see?", lights and Nosferatu~style action. Not to mention the familiar tones (well, to Doctor Who fans anyway) of an uncredited voice....


But this is nothing, nothing in comparison to the final minutes. As I said this is a spoiler~free review so I'll stop there but simply say that these moments at the end will have you dropping your tea/coffee/other beverage and staring at the screen in wide~eyed aggogglement as the events unfold with an utterly menacing denouement. I will predict that approximately just before 10.30pm on Sunday the better part of the UK will fall silent in astonishment.


Then there'll be annoyed grumblings when most people realise that there won't be any more episodes for quite some time. Team Gattfat (hhmm, I think Mofftiss is probably better) are gonna be bombarded with demands for more, and quickly. One can only hope this is the case. Sherlock has shown what happens when two wildly talented and creative men get together - crimes can be solved and television can be made of greatness.


ETA: The uncredited voice was that of Peter Davison.
BLOGTOR RATING 10/10

Thanks to the BBC

15 comments:

Lilly said...

Great review. I'm now looking forward to this episode even more. It's nice to see Sherlock with his violin.
I don't suppose there's any chance that you'll share who the voice in the planetarium is? No? Guess I'll have to wait then (poop).

Cameron McEwan said...

Many thanks, I've actually missed out a lot about the episode (and great cast) but I think it's best to approach the episode free from info.

So you'll just have to wait and ear who the voice is I'm afraid.

John Campbell Rees said...

Out of interest, which of the original stories is this one based on?

Gr8a said...

Lovely review and seductive, suspenseful screen caps. Oh I'm so excited! Forgive me if you've said already, but how do you get to see the episodes early? (I'm jealous)

Cameron McEwan said...

John Campbell Rees

Sorry, no idea. Maybe someone else can comment? (Someone who's read some of the books, unlike me!)

Gr8a
Many thanks. I get the episodes direct from the BBC for review purposes.

Jazz said...

Thanks for the review! I can't wait until Sunday! I hope they're already writing the series (I suspect they are ;)

heatherfeather said...

I believe the producers have said it's based on The Bruce-Partington Papers. From the preview, it also seems a bit of The Final Problem was incorporated as well.

Anonymous said...

John, the episode is based on the story "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans," from the collection HIS LAST BOW. It's considered by many Sherlockians to be one of the best Holmes stories in the canon.

-Jackanaples

Cameron McEwan said...

Thanks to heatherfeather and Anon for their help.

Liam1 said...

Told ya it was a cracker Cam.

Liam

Chris JC said...

I paid attention to you Tweeting one of the creators, Cam, so at least I've been able to work out the uncredited voice. Nice choice.

Cameron McEwan said...

Liam1

Indeed! My mind is suitably blown!



Chris JC
Haha, some Holmesian style investigation at work!

I was overjoyed to have him reply!
Especially in the way that he did.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cameron! Thank you very much for posting these reviews of Sherlock-- in fact, because of them, I am now VERY interested in watching the episodes! However, I do have some limits when it comes to watching certain elements, and after looking up a few more reviews, I have a couple of quick questions for you (spoilers ahead!):

#1, I heard that there was at least one 'torture' scene in one of the episodes. Now, if that just means that the person is being held down and punched or something, I don't mind. But anything more and I might have to skip it or look away... so, what exactly *does* happen there?

#2, On that same note, how graphic or just plain visual is the violence in the rest of the episodes?

And #3, I also heard that Sherlock tries to microwave some eyeballs at one point (*disgusted snicker* yeah, he would, wouldn't he? :) ). Any other similarly kinda-gross bits to watch out for? :)

I know you were staying away from spoilers in your review and those are pretty spoilerish questions (with even more spoilerish answers), so I completely understand if you want to remove the comment and/or not answer it here. If that is indeed the case, I'd be happy to give you my e-mail, because I really do want to see these now, but I first need to know if I might have to skip a scene or two (or just look away for a moment). Thank you very much!!

Cameron McEwan said...

Hhmm, I s'pose there's a torture scene in the second episode though it's not graphic in any way.

There is violence throughout the series but I wouldn't call it distressing.

In the last episode, airing on Sunday, there are some quite unpleasant scenes but only in tone, again not graphic.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Yes, it does help-- and I can't wait to see these now! Thank you again! :)