So, 'Sherlock' series two has finally been given a date for transmission: January 1st 2012, 8:10pm on BBC One. So, not long to wait now, really. And if we are to believe the hype (something I think we are safe to do with Sherlock) then we're in for one hell of a ride!
The first of the 90 minute films this series is 'Scandal In Belgravia', a 21st Century take on Holmes classic 'A Scandal In Bohemia'. This is the one with The Woman in it - the infamous Irene Adler, the only person to have outsmarted Holmes.
This time round she's played by 'Spooks' and 'Robin Hood' star Lara Pulver. And she's... well. Not exactly what you'd expect. Sometimes refered to as Holmes' love interest, this time we get something a little different. "Well," says co-creator Mark Gatiss, "she's gay and he's only interested in the brain work ... Something happens. But it doesn't have to be something as mundane as a love story. It's far more interesting than that!"
So, what? Word has it Adler is 'a high-class dominatrix with a camera phone full of dirty secrets" and I can think of no better way of dragging the Adler character into the 21st Century, not so kicking and screaming - Adler was always one of the more "ahead of her time" characters in Doyle's stories.
Joining Pulver in the "newbies" caravan is Russell Tovey as Henry Baskerville in episode two, 'The Hounds Of Baskerville' - no prizes for guessing the source material on this one!
And returning with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman's Sherlock and John are Mrs Hudson, played once more by Una Stubbs (don't mess with her or you'll get it!) and...
...well, let's look at where we left off last series. At the pool where Carl Powers met his end so many years before Sherlock confronts his nemesis, Jim Moriarty - a smarmy, smart and shockingly original take on the well-known villain, played by the incredible Andrew Scott. So obviously he's back too! But how on earth will our heroes get out of the "gun pointed at bomb" cliffhanger? I'm guessing it'll be more "change of mind" than "change of underpants" when push comes to shove, though that's no bad thing. The only real way they can get out of it is by "it" not really being as threatening as it seems. I could be wrong, who knows?
Well, a select few at the moment. All of us soon enough. And I cannot wait! There's clearly got to be a lot more of Andrew Scott's wondrous Moriarty in this series given that the finale of the three-part mini-series (though I feel nasty calling it that seeing as each offering is an hour and a half in length - longer, really, than a standard six-part series of, say, [anything clocking in at 30 minutes per episode]) is based upon 'The Final Problem' - here called 'The Reichenbach Fall'. The original sees hero and villain go hand to hand in combat on a dangerous cliff top. Both fall to their death (*wink, wink*).
How Moffat and Gatiss' show will handle this story in Steve Thompson's finale script is anyone's guess. I don't really want to know before it airs and I can't wait to see what they have for us! This finale is little more than a month away! Yet, don't want it to end! I want it to go on and on and on! Lucky, then. Because as aficionados know, 'The Final Problem' is far from the final story told, so I'm already looking forward to a third wonderful series. And series two hasn't even aired yet... Brrrr! Exciting, isn't it?!
I will be reviewing each episode of 'Sherlock' series two as they air, right here on the blog.