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I’m Not Excited For BBC Sherlock’s Third Season (and here’s why)

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I'm not excited for season 3 of BBC Sherlock - and here's why

original image via official BBC site

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.

source is probably somewhere on tumblr, it's been rattling around my gif folder for the past twenty four years.

gif via tumblr

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?

How do you feel about the upcoming third season? Do you agree or disagree with FG? We want to hear what you think!

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Author: Freak Geek

I love candlelight dinners, long walks on the beach and killing demons. Usually you can find me at rock concerts. 90% of redditors believe me to be male. I'm pretty sure I'm Loki.

14 thoughts on “I’m Not Excited For BBC Sherlock’s Third Season (and here’s why)

  1. Honestly, I know how you feel
    Earlier on, I was a bit worried for Season 3 myself, and terrifyingly so to the point that I’d be paralyzed with it. But I have faith in Mofftiss, because they’re both fans themselves and in my opinion have been good to the Holmes universe, and somehow this has reassured me because my faith is stronger than my fears. I don’t know if that’s reassuring to anyone else, but it helps me sleep at night

  2. This is exactly how I feel. About the third season of Sherlock, about the last Harry Potter book. Yes. This this this.

  3. I have faith in Mofftiss, because of one reason: the mustage. I’ve looked at so much fanart of all possible things, not once was there a mustage, i proofs to me that they are still abel to surprise us in the weirdest ways possible.

  4. You know, as someone who saw the sneak peek at Comic-Con I sadly have to agree with Freak’s opinion. The clip didn’t feel like it fit into the canon that seasons 1 & 2 established – it felt like pure fan service.

    • Chin up! Bear in mind that previews rarely represent the whole work accurately. I haven’t seen the clip, but it might just be that they chose footage that they knew would get people talking. Maybe? Hopefully?

  5. I get where you’re coming from. It’s hard not to get caught up in hype, to get your hopes up so high it’s impossible for them to be filled. You can see it with season and/or series finales as well. I’m sure DW’s 50th anniversary will suffer from it too. Hell, I’ve had it in real life. That’s why I’ve been tempering my own expectations for ages, not reading fanfic for a while, etc. Fortunately for me, they decided to go with a plot and character that doesn’t make my inner Johnlock shipper all too happy, so I had a ‘legitimate’ reason already.

    Now I’ve only seen the trailers and know nothing of the sneak peek, but there are moments in season 2 you could have shown and have people cry fanservice as well, so I’m going to withhold judgment. The trailers and what they hinted at seemed cool enough to me.

    Two little things though: 1) yes, it’s already on pre-order, but you could order season 2 ridiculously early as well. These days a lot of shows and movies do that. 2) you mention Moran isn’t going to be around. I thought they’d hired an actor and everything. I remember seeing pics. There was some to do because he’d tweeted about it before he was supposed to, etc.

    Anyway, you obviously have the right not to be excited of course. Or to be so excited you’d think series 3 was going to be the greatest thing on TV ever. But I’d suggest to go somewhere in the middle and simply be happy there’s going to be more from one of your favorites soon (allowing for the occasional swing in either direction when spoilers come in, of course). Take it from someone with about two decades of fandom behind her ;)

    • Yeah, they got a guy to play Charles Augustus Milverton, but as far as I know he’s not Moran… unless the two are the same? I wonder.

      • No, I know about the recent announcement of that guy, Mikkelsen (sp?). I meant someone else. I just did some research and his name is Tomi May. However, I was wrong to suggest he’s Moran, because apparently what he’s playing hasn’t been announced yet. A lot of people are assuming he’s Moran, considering his looks and that he seems to be in the first episode. I tried to see if I could find any word from Mofftiss on whether or not Moran will be in it at all, but I couldn’t find anything conclusive either way. Personally I’d take some of their answers as hinting to ‘yes’, but I could be wrong.

  6. I’m with you. They’ve already done so much wonderful stuff that it would take pure and certifiable genius to live up to the expectations.
    That said, Mofftiss are made of pure and certifiable genius, so it might turn out okay!

  7. It’s not just the writing that leaves room for disappointment—although a Sherlock who is discovering the value of experiencing emotions is certainly perilous ground—but the rest of the production as well. I’m particularly concerned about the directors. Paul McGuigan’s vision had a lot to do with the visual/conceptual richness of series 1 & 2, amply demonstrated by comparing the “ordinary tv” unreleased pilot and McGuigan’s SiP. Series 3 was placed in the hands of some Doctor Who directors, a show not known for much beyond an engaging ability to make the most out of a pretty skimpy budget. And that’s a whole different thing from the higher-concept cinematography that’s part of the show we’ve loved so far.

    As for the teasers, I’m not seeing fanservice so much as Moffat and Gatiss getting carried away as the fanboys they are. I am deeply afraid that Moffat, in particular, was so focused on setting up the series cliffhanger that he neglected any other aspects of his episode for the cheap thrills of that emotional whammy. Your point about fanfiction having already been all of the obvious places is a valid one; my fear is that in their desire to go someplace we fanfic writers haven’t, their desperation will take them into Doctor Who random-leap plot territory.

    So, yeah, heart-in-mouth is how I’ll be watching TEH. And wondering if a show being jossed is the only way to keep it honest.

  8. Wow this is actually really interesting, I never thought of it this way. I can’t really relate to the whole harry potter thing because I was only in 3rd grade when the series ended, and I read the books after they were complete (although I did really love deathly hallows) but now with the Sherlock fandom I do read the fanfictions and the predictions/theories and I just really hope I don’t feel the way you did about HP :(

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  10. Im don’t agree with the star trek part because i thought the second movie was absolutely brilliant and surpassed all my expectation. But the rest of what you said I do agree

  11. This makes me glad I don’t read fanfic.
    That said, I felt a little trepidation myself, but since the writers are such Sherlock Holmes aficionados themselves I think it’s just as important to them as it is to us to make sure it’s still as good as the past two series. I don’t think the hype is excessive and I think it’s okay that it’s just a little leaning towards fanservice because after all, we’ve been relatively kept in the dark about it for two years.
    I have hope.

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