It’s easy to exaggerate just how good a television show or film actually is. But you won’t find too many people who watched the final instalment of the second series of Sherlock who weren’t on the edge of their seat for long periods.
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ show will surely now go down as a modern classic.
Even though it’s only January it’s quite likely we’ve just seen the TV highlight of the year.
The story sees Moriarty, played by Irish actor Andrew Scott (pictured with Holmes, Cumberbatch, above), launch his masterplan that will lead to the downfall, literally in this case, of his nemesis Sherlock Holmes.
As the net tightens around Sherlock, our hero finds that he is fast running out of friends.
The outlook gets bleaker for him with every passing minute as only the lovely Molly and the ever loyal Watson stand by our hero.
It’s an intricate story that could very well have got lost up its own backside, but Doctor Who’s Toby Haynes proves than a deft choice as director with the tension ratched up every time that Moriarty’s plan unfolds.
The performances are uniformly excellent with Cumberbatch being the stand out.
He shows a vulnerable side to Sherlock without compromising the character’s hard edge reputation and creates a multi-layered character that could very well be THE definitive onscreen Sherlock – it would be churlish in the extreme to suggest otherwise.
Martin Freeman also excels as John Watson, a loyal and true friend to the end.
He gives his character a steely resolve that’s tinged with a tenderness that’s never far from the fore.
Louise Brearly also gets more to do as Molly as her relationship with Sherlock grows.
In fact she’s key to the episode’s finale which is still shrouded in a degree of mystery as the credits roll.
It’s the finale that will have people talking around the watercoolers this week.
The final stand off between Sherlock and Moriarty is as poignant as it is gripping as the foes keep upping the stakes until there’s nowhere left to go but down.
Andrew Scott deserves credit for his turn as Moriarty here. Throughout the series he has been portrayed as a one dimensional panto villain.
Here though we get to see him as intended, as Sherlock describes him a ‘spider’ spinning a thousand webs.
He’s utterly terrifying at times and a worthy adversary for our hero.
Overall, this is an incredible piece of storytelling that could very well be the highlight of the best programme to grace our screens in a long, long time.
It’s elementary that we’ll be watching series 3 even though it could be years away.
5 out of 5 Nerds