Reviews cb-sherlock-s3-soundtrack

Published on February 18th, 2014 | by Daren Thomas Curley


Sherlock Series 3 Soundtrack Reviewed

David Arnold (Casino Royale, Independance Day and Stargate) along with Michael Price (Lord of the Rings and Love Actually) deliver their soundtrack to Sherlock series 3. Like the show itself, the music has evolved dramatically. Its bold, beautiful and emotional music is countered against other more gentle themes and even has some electronic elements in the mix. But this soundtrack really brings in epic filmic orchestrations to the fore. It offers a lot of highlights…


‘How it was done’ encompasses so much, from the continuous intrigue of the synth drums that turn into a full-blown thumping rock edged beat with an electronic background. You can’t help nodding your head in time as the electric guitar nicely re-echoes the show’s theme. This has more than an Apollo 440 like feel to it and does everything for Sherlock that Murray Gold’s ‘Master Tape’ gave the soundtrack to Series 3 of Doctor Who.

‘Floating Dust’ has a nice atmospheric electronic Moby-like edge, which completely transforms itself into a sweeping orchestrated poignant piece, full of drive and purpose with that twinge of intrigue… A twinge that is re-echoed in ‘Sherlock Lives’ before tantalising us with bits the familiar Sherlock theme into its mix of cheeky possibilities.

‘Vanishing Underground’ is a suspenseful piece, which begins with keyboards, backed with some interesting electronica samples and gives us some strong orchestration…. Its amazingly filmic, and given the composer, not unlike something from a Bond film… Eventually, the music breaks down, before coming back with a driven electric guitar and drums to drive its point home.

‘John is Quite a Guy’ gives us a dilemma from the thoughtful and even melancholic to the danger and purpose of another orchestrated rock-edged fusion. Whilst, ‘Lazarus’ is a much more sombre affair with its bass notes and kettle drum feel, giving it a feeling of foreboding.


‘To Battle’ is that unforgettable pretty keyboard piece, which turns much more sinister and then offers odd echoes of the Sherlock theme. That theme is given a superb dub-step like mix in ‘Stag Night’, which soon falters into a disjointed quirky and deliberately unfocused piece, emulating the state of our heroes on their drunken night out.

‘Major Sholto’ shifts and blends between the militaristic nature of the character, with the drive of urgent orchestration. Whereas ‘Waltz for John and Mary’ gives us a stunning solo violin that is very pretty and heart felt.



‘Magnussen’ naturally provides the type of terror associated with a Bond-like baddie. Its unnerving strings and uneasy synthized backing, floats into a march-like purpose and danger that suits this seemingly unstoppable evil character.

The orchestration in ‘Addicted to a Certain Lifestyle’ soars from a pretty piano theme into huge emotionally charged epic piece, which is stunningly beautiful.

‘The Problems of Your Future’ brings to Sherlock, what ‘The Death of Dr. Owen Harper’ brought to Torchwood and ‘Doomsday’ brought to Doctor Who. Has that same feel with a sorrowful piano and big orchestration build, but this also encompasses elements of urgency and mystery into the piece too.

‘The East Wind’ is the quite lovely emotional departure of Sherlock and his final goodbye to Watson, complete with solo voice and strings. As Sherlock departs in his plane, the music reaches its crescendo of a soaring orchestration and solo violin…  But it leaves us recalling how moments later with Sherlock forced to turn back, John then warns Moriarty to ‘Wrap up warm, because there’s an East Wind blowing’.

Its a stunning soundtrack to enjoy and offers so much diversity in the mix. You have to admire its ambition and very big filmic orchestrations. This is available from Silva Screen on CD or download, or from the usual retailers, including Amazon (where you can buy for just £8.91).

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About the Author

Daren Thomas Curley is a budding writer and scribbler. His day job in television has been varied... Assistant Director on ‘EastEnders’, looking after roof-jumping free-runners on a French action movie 'Les Fils Du Vent' and impersonating Michael Kitchen on ‘Foyle’s War’. He has worked for several years in the script & story departments at the BBC’s continuing medical drama ‘Holby City'.

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