It’s been nearly two years since Sherlock plunged off the roof of Barts. But before tonight’s long-awaited return, what can we glean about how John Watson has come to terms with Sherlock’s apparent death, and what has he been up to in the meantime? (WARNING: Contains minor character/casting spoiler.)
Watson’s personal blog provides some insights and recounts cases which never made it to television.
The missing adventures
Watson has recently revived his dormant blog, posting details from four untold adventures.
These are: The Deadly Tealights (solved by Holmes in just 36 seconds), Death by Twitter, Murder at the Orient Express (which closely resembles Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express) and finally The Inexplicable Matchbox, a case whose details remain secret, in which Sherlock dressed up as a clown and Mrs Hudson was pushed out of a helicopter. Yes, really.
Friends and enemies
These posts are fun, but the comments and commenters are more revealing.
In Death by Twitter, John reveals that neither he nor Sherlock have Twitter accounts but several fake ones exist. This includes a fake Watson account which his sister Harry has been mistakenly interacting with.
However, the BBC Sherlock Lives trailer suggests Holmes has decided to use the 140-character service to announce his return.
Watson’s sister isn’t the only familiar name. Mike Stamford, his former fellow student at Barts – and the man responsible for introducing the pair back in A Study in Pink – is a regular commenter. Similarly, Mrs Hudson, Barts pathologist Molly Hooper, John’s therapist Ella Thompson and Henry Knight (from The Hounds of Baskerville) all feature.
From Mrs Hudson’s comments, it appears Watson has moved out of 221B Baker Street and fallen out of touch with his former landlady.
The likely reason for this can be found in the identity of a new friend, Mary Morstan. She is clearly on good terms with Watson and signs off most of her comments with a ‘x’. Fans familiar with the Conan Doyle stories will recognise her as the governess John first meets in The Sign of Four and later marries.
Incidentally, series three’s second story (which airs this Sunday) has the title The Sign of Three. And Martin Freeman’s long-term partner Amanda Abbington has been cast as Mary.
Finally, like many blogs and online forums, Watson’s blog has its fair share of trolls, such as #TEAMMORIARTY and Sauron1976. It’s a reminder of how successfully Moriarty discredited Holmes prior to shooting himself, as this mock BBC News item outlines.
Many happy returns
The most recent entry, dated October 5, relates to the Christmas Eve minisode Many Happy Returns.
In this final post, John eulogises Sherlock’s humour, humanity and honesty, and closes both the blog and comments.
So, what’s next? We will find out in a few hours. In the meantime, here are more hints of what to expect from series three as a whole, courtesy of cast and crew.
Sherlock returns to BBC1 tonight (Wednesday 1st January) at 9pm. Episode two airs on Sunday 5th at 8:30pm.