If you are a longtime reader of this blog, this headline may shock you just a little. We are very heavy on the BBC Sherlock content around here. All three of us, plus the interns, love Sherlock very much. And I suppose the headline is a little bit of an exaggeration. We’re excited to see season 3. We’re excited to see what creative torture techniques Mofftiss have come up with in the years away from 221B. But, personally, I’m very apprehensive about how the 3rd season is going to go, based on what little we’ve seen of it and previous experiences. I understand not everyone is going to agree with me on this, but bear with me – I just really, really want to say this for the record. I’m not excited for BBC Sherlock’s third season. In fact, I’m a bit terrified of it. And here’s why…
Okay, so, seasons 1 and 2 were perfect, right? And greatly anticipated, etc, etc. And now, we’ve got Season Three coming up, and it’s pretty big news. There’s even a blu-ray pre-order page for it already on Amazon, and they just now finished up filming. It’s that kind of huge. We’ve had some setlock stuff, we’ve had trailers… and all of it is making me more and more nervous about the way the third season might just play out.
Let’s take a moment and go back in time, to July 21st, 2007. It was the day the 7th Harry Potter book came out, and excitement was at an all-time high. It was the highest point for the Harry Potter franchise. Fifteen million copies of the book were sold in the first 24 hours. It should have been the best one of the whole lot, the one that ends the series and provides closure. And yet, for me, it was the most disappointing book of the lot. For months before its release, the fandom and the media had been fueling the hype, and I, foolishly, listened to every single piece of it. I was a big Potterhead in those days – I frequented all the fansites, I read fanfiction, I wrote fanfiction, I was likely to pick up any magazine that contained even the merest mention of Harry Potter or one of the actors. I was kind of crazy about it. Of course, wasn’t everyone? There were fics that aimed to accurately predict how Book 7 would go. There were articles in the magazines I read, offering the latest odds on how likely one of the characters was going to die. I even found fan-published almanacs and books predicting what the final installment of the series would hold for us.
And then, finally, the moment came that the book was in my hands, and I was holed up in my room, devouring it faster than the wind. And… none of it felt real, the way the previous books had. Nothing felt concrete. I felt as if I was reading yet another fanfiction, where the author had killed some characters that no one else had killed yet in any of their other fics. I felt as if I was reading yet another fanfiction, where the author had made up some grand and elaborate thing called the Deathly Hallows which hadn’t even been hinted at in the first six books, just for the sake of being different from what the rest of the fandom had speculated about. And… it was awful. Half of it was stuff that had been accurately predicted by every fic I read – after all, there were some concrete things that were going to happen. The locket was pretty obvious, I figured it out the first time I read Half Blood Prince. Every single fic had the locket and RAB plot twist. So boring. And the other half of it was just… really, really random stuff that felt half-baked, as if whatever had been there originally was torn out and those new elements had just been shoved in at the last moment before the book went to the presses.
Basically, in my opinion, fandom speculation and JK Rowling’s attempts to make the seventh book as unpredictable as possible because all the logical developments had already been written in fanfiction ruined what should have been the crowning glory of the series. I hated the ending. I hated the names Harry picked for his kids. I hated everything.
Of course, at this point, you might be asking yourselves, dear readers, why is this woman complaining about the seventh Harry Potter book sucking? We’re here to hear why she thinks the third season of BBC Sherlock is not going to be great! She needs to hurry up, our pitchforks are getting dull, and the torches are running out of fire! Please bear with me, I’m about to explain the connection.
Ever since Reichenbach Fall and the finale of Season 2, we’ve been deluged with fanfiction, fan theories, speculation, setlock, spoilers, and all those other glorious things. All the hype surrounding Season 3 has been very reminiscent of the hype that had surrounded Deathly Hallows. I’m terrified that season 3 will suffer the same fate – just stuff crammed in that none of us predicted in fanfiction, or something. I recall reading that we’re not going to have Sebastian Moran in the third season sometime around last February – I wonder if that’s because the fandom basically turned him into a character without him being mentioned as existing in the BBC Sherlock verse? I mean JFC the man has his own character tag on AO3 – as do Clara, Harry, Mary Morstan and even baby Hamish. We’ve explored every logically possible way for how the beginning of Season 3 would play out, and some impossible ways too while we were at it. We’ve explored every reaction John could have had, every action Sherlock could have taken, every umbrella Mycroft has bought in the last eight months. It will be a challenge for Moffat and Gatiss to come up with something that hasn’t been turned into a fanfic yet, something new and unpredictable.
Then, of course, we have the trailers and the sneak peeks that were released and the approximately 1 minute of content I have seen so far make me feel… I don’t know. I shouldn’t judge the entire third season by what a random selection of moments that add up to less than a minute look like, but it feels as if the new season is really heading in the direction of fanservice. It’s nothing concrete, just my impression of what I’ve seen so far.
I am hoping that my fears about the show are unfounded. I am hoping that it won’t feel like a repeat of Deathly Hallows. I am hoping that season 3 is going to be fantastic – but, I’m terrified that like anything else being hyped up (like Star Trek: Into Darkness and Deathly Hallows) it will not live up to the hopes and expectations we all have for the new season.
Please don’t suck, Season 3. Please don’t suck. I love you?