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Published on March 21st, 2013 | by areteus


Sherlock: “The Empty Hearse” Films

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return as Sherlock in 2013

Series that kill off characters are far from unusual. Series that kill of characters only to bring them back later are less common but still not unknown.

Examples range from the infamous Dallas shower scene to the mysterious return from the death of Kara Thrace in the Battlestar Galactica reboot. It is not even unknown in British TV for a series to carry on after the death of the title character – Scottish detective show Taggart, for example, continued to run until 2009 despite the actor who played the eponymous character dying thus necessitating the death of the character.

So, the world at large is not surprised that Sherlock is coming back for a third series, despite the main character taking an apparently fatal dive from a tall building in a modern reworking of the infamous Reichenbach Falls story.

Hell, the original Conan Doyle character himself came back from that situation to carry on his adventures and the final scenes of the episode do give a teasing shot of Sherlock, apparently alive and well, attending his own funeral. The surprise in series 3 is not going to be if he survived but rather how.

Therefore, as filming begins on an episode teasingly entitled ‘The Empty Hearse’, speculation about how Sherlock survived his fall will no doubt begin anew. Will the Mark Gatiss penned episode reveal the details? With fan speculation picking at the many apparently inconsequential details in the final episode which could, in hindsight, be glaringly important there is a lot of interest in finding out this secret.

The position Sherlock asks Watson to stand in just before he jumps, his unrecorded conversation with Molly before he heads to the roof, the delay between the fall and Watson viewing the body – all could be critical to the illusion. My personal hopes are that all will be revealed in the first few moments, leaving the way open for new adventures. However, there is also the possibility that Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat will spin this one out over the series – revealing little hints each episode to annoy and frustrate the fan base.

Either way, series three has great promise and even better news is that series four has already been confirmed.


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About the Author

D.A Lascelles MPhil is a former clinical scientist turned teacher and lecturer. Originally from the North East he now lives in Manchester with his wife and faithful canine companion. He has been involved in the Live Action Role Playing (or LARPs) scene for a number of years as a game designer and event organiser and is the author of Gods of the Sea, a short story in the Pirates and Swashbucklers Anthology by Pulp Empire ( and Transitions, a paranormal romance novella due out in 2012 from Mundania Press ( He can be contacted through his website at or on

5 Responses to Sherlock: “The Empty Hearse” Films

  1. TonyS says:

    The world at large is also unsurprised that Sherlock has survived, because it saw him alive in the closing scenes of series 2.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sherlock switched

  3. Jorie says:

    I do hope they bring in a Canadian rellie somewhere in there!!!

  4. jason cummings says:

    I think part of the charm of the show comes from including the audience into the inductive process used to describe key scenes. Rather than be annoyed or frustrated by the parsing out of information, I think many viewers will enjoy the reveal process more for it.
    The things Sherlock Holmes does in this series aren’t completely impossible (for someone who spends their entire life training themselves to pay attention).
    For me the opportunity to try reasoning out what happened gives me a sense of being part of the show.
    Moffat did something similar with Doctor who (the Impossible Astronaut/who is River Song? How does he die yet not?)
    Never underestimate peoples willingness to invest themselves in the lives of characters they love.

  5. Merry B. says:

    It is about time this series returns!!

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