We've had to wait far too long for Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss's modern-day re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle's detective to reappear, but wow what an exhilarating return. The giddy opening episode, "A Scandal in Belgravia", involves the cunning dominatrix Irene Adler (Lara Pulver), Sherlock's sauciest nemesis, who possesses highly sensitive information that Sherlock's sneering government-affiliated brother, Mycroft (Mark Gatiss), is very eager to retrieve. So, reluctantly, Mycroft recruits the supremely arrogant Holmes and humble Dr Watson – and it's the chemistry between these two that is the real joy of these complex investigations. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are clearly having a blast as the super sleuth and his devoted companion, verbally – and, at one point, physically – scrapping through every plot twist.
The middle episode, "The Hounds of Baskerville", is the weakest, a story better suited to its original 19th-century setting.
But, oh boy, what a finale. Andrew Scott tears up the screen as the unhinged James Moriarty in "The Reichenbach Fall". The criminal mastermind ("Every fairy tale needs a good old-fashioned villain") causes havoc, pilfering the crown jewels, abducting children and fitting up Holmes for the crime. Will Una Stubbs's Mrs Hudson be assassinated? Will Holmes jump? A barnstorming climax. Please come back soon.
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