Sherlock Series 3: The Empty Hearse and The Sign of Three

SPOILER ALERT!

I’m a little apprehensive after watching the second episode.

This is one of my problems – placing so much expectation to the next album from an artist, the next book in a series, the next season of a TV show, the next movie in a franchise etc. etc. after putting the previous ones in a pedestal and obsessing about it for months even years. I need a life. Seriously.

So this season or series (as the Brits call it) of Sherlock may not be my favorite so far. After waiting 2 years (only 1 for me – as a late comer) the fandom has grown so big (and apparently so influential) that Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat had to take notice. Talk about Great Expectations! Well, extremely high is an understatement. In my opinion, Sherlock rivals one of my most favorite TV shows of all times – The  X-Files. Unfortunately, I fear if Sherlock follows my perceived trajectory (from the 2 episodes I’ve seen), it might follow the same fate of the X-Files towards the end when it died slowly without anybody caring except for die-hard fans.

The Empty Hearse

I liked the first episode and forgave it’s flaws (unnecessary and super jazzed-up mind palace sequence, Moriarty-Sherlock shipping, and the disappointing explanation of how he survived). I thought the whole episode was hilarious! I did missed some of the more complex plot that leads to the mystery. In the previous episodes, I had to watch and re-watch the episodes to fully comprehend every detail that leads to the case. I didn’t mind doing this, I actually liked that every time I watched, I gained another insight or detail I missed the first time.

Being a Molly fan, I was thrilled with the imagined kiss, of course! But I was thoroughly disappointed at Molly for her choice of fiance. Oh come on, Molly! Really? A cheap version of Sherlock??? (I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that Tom proves he’s actually the better man for Molly. Even after the second episode when he opens his big mouth.)

The best part of this episode is the reunion. I thought it was sheer perfection. Drama and comedy blended right in just like it always did in seasons past. I also liked Sherlock and Mycroft’s repartee and would have liked to see  more of how the brothers interact with their parents.

I didn’t like the bomb scene, though. I thought that was just mean of Sherlock to put John through that! John should have head-butted him again, in my humble opinion.

The Sign of Three

In the next episode, the focus is on John and Mary’s wedding. To nobody’s surprise (except Sherlock’s), the detective was chosen to be the best man. The concept of Sherlock being a best friend seems so foreign to him that the detective slightly short-circuited trying to comprehend what John just said. That.was.funny.

There was so much hilarity all over this episode, it might’ve been mistaken for a sitcom. That’s where, I think, the problem lies and also the long meandering Best Man speech which I deduced could’ve been tightened and edited making more room for the actual mystery. Again, this episode is such a departure from the past Sherlock episodes from the last 2 seasons.

Don’t get me wrong, I laughed at the Drunk Sherlock, for sure. But what I loved about this series (aside from Benedict Cumberbatch) is the fact that the writers usually blend comedy, drama, and suspense with such perfect balance and precision it leaves everyone’s jaw on the floor.

The balance was thrown off and the mystery of the locked room killer really is head scratching – in a bad way.

But there’s still hope! I’ve seen the 3rd episode’s (His Last Vow) preview and it looks as if we are finally getting a proper look at the new villain, Charles Augustus Magnussen (formerly Charles Augustus Milverton – from the books). We can all pray that Steven Moffat is finished catering to the fandom and stopped stealing ideas from fanfics and finally give us the Sherlock we were all craving for!

Advertisements

Doctor Who Series 3 & 4: Rebound Girl and Sassy Girl

When Matt Smith auditioned for the role of Watson is Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ version of Sherlock, he was turned down because he fits better as Sherlock rather than the companion…I mean, Watson. It doesn’t take an extraordinarily perceptive person to see the similarities between The Doctor and Sherlock. While one describes himself as simply clever, the other is a high-functioning sociopath. Let’s see what else? Both are skinny, tall, and white with a penchant for wearing the same clothes (and coats) everyday. They both have their preferred gadgets: a sonic screw driver, the other, his mobile.

What sets them apart, other than all that time-travel thing and the general ‘arsehole’ personality, is their choice of companions. While Sherlock prefers a monogamous relationship with his Dr. Watson, The Doctor prefers to line them up and go through each one until he leaves them heartbroken one by one. Okay, maybe I was judging too harshly… I have not seen every Doctor Who episode yet!

Still… Doctor? 3 little words! Oh come on! Rose Tyler, I…  yes?… yes? The fandom is left as frustrated as Martha Jones.

Series  3: Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones

Oh, Martha! I feel your pain! I loved Martha Jones as the next companion after Rose and the story was riveting and heartbreaking as well in the finale of the 3rd Series. There were glaring differences between Martha and Rose (aside from the obvious). While Rose was just a naive teenager, Martha was already 23 years old working on her medical degree. Martha seems smart because she’s highly educated but that doesn’t mean Rose was not just as smart. Rose’s education came from experience and instinct rather than academic.

Before the 2005 reboot, I was unfamiliar with the series so I wasn’t exactly sure how the whole companion thing works. I thought the doctor would just fall in love over and over again with his companions. I’m glad Rose was a bit more special because even if he didn’t say it, we all knew the doctor loved her.

I applaud how Martha decided to give up on her unrequited feelings for the Doctor and go for the right decision which is to stay with her family and resume her life. This level of maturity have yet to be achieved by Rose as she values her feelings more than what her mind is telling her.

Series 4: Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble

Donna Noble is freaking hilarious. Just what the Doctor needed after feeling a bit guilty for breaking Martha’s heart. I’ve watched a few clips of Catherine Tate’s Lauren Cooper sketches and I laughed so hard the neighbors probably think I’m crazy. Take a look at this classic sketch with the Doctor, himself.

Many fans love Donna Noble and for good reason. Although they are strictly just friends, they have amazing’s chemistry that’s a breathe of fresh air from the previous companions’ longing looks at the doctor.

She’s the perfect representation of an everyday woman. I know I can relate to her, feeling like your life is headed nowhere and almost believing the people’s negative opinion of you that you begin to doubt yourself and the choices you make.

In the end though, Donna mattered so much she can’t even to begin to imagine how much. It’s just sad and tragic to see that the doctor had to erase any traces of memory that included him and their adventures together.

What I feel about Rose and the Duplicate Doctor

One part of me actually wanted the Series 2 finale to be the final time we see Rose Tyler but shipper part of me is glad to see her have a happy ending although he’s just a duplicate semi-human doctor. If only we could’ve heard what the Doctor whispered. I know… everyone knows what it is, but still. You never thought those 3 simple words could be as powerful as it is even on just a TV show.

Dr. Who, Series 1 and 2: I Volunteer as Companion!

I stayed away from watching Dr. Who for the longest time for such stupid reasons like “I’m really not into sci-fi, I’m more of a fantasy kind of nerd”… (Although my fave tv series included: The X-Files, Star-Trek (TNG), and Sea Quest (admittedly because of Lucas – Jonathan Brandis!)), “I might not get it, I’m intimidated!” (although I’m currently watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus – esoteric humor galore), and “I so don’t want to be labeled a hipster.” (This will never apply to me as hipsters will never… ever… ever… admit to reading and liking the Twilight Series un-ironically.)

Series 1: Ninth Doctor with Rose Tyler

I started with the reboot in 2005 starring Christopher Eccleston, as the doctor and Billie Piper as Rose, the companion. I was kindda hoping I wouldn’t like it since there are 8 series or seasons in all with 13 episodes each. 8 series x 13 episodes x 45 mins divided by 60 equals 78 hours of my life devoted to this. Although I’ve done marathons of TV shows before (South Park, Alias, 24, CSI, etc.), that was before I had a regular job with corporate bosses. (This is why I keep away from never-ending animes.)

Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your point of view), I discovered a new drug in the form of The Doctor, flying on a silly blue police box with a slightly masochistic blonde “companion”. I was hooked, plot holes, “cost-effective” effects, and all.

What I Liked

Series 1 with the Ninth Doctor was the perfect place to start for a non-fan of Dr. Who. You don’t have to go through the 1960s ones. I’m not that hard-core! You don’t get lost in the universe because they explain all you need to know – the story of the Time Lords, the regeneration, the concept of the companion, how the Tardis generally works, and the arch enemy with a plunger for arms – Daleks (although, why you need a sink plunger in space is bonkers to me!).

I thought that the series will be all about the sci-fi side of things but the core is really about the characters and how they develop through their experiences and adventures.

I felt that the relationship between Rose and the Doctor began as a friendship and somewhat of a paternal love. Since Rose Tyler lost her dad, she bonded quickly with the relatively older version of the Doctor.

Is the Rose character believable as a girl willing to leave her planet and family to travel with a total stranger through time and space? If you’re 19 and full of wanderlust, the answer is yes! I may not be a Rose Tyler but I’ve met these girls before. I totally understand and wish I had the same drive when I was a teenager. Christopher Eccleston is a bit more subdued compared to the next doctor but he really does give the vibe that everything is going to be okay in the end because he’s dependable and intelligent.

What I Didn’t Like

What my feminist side disagreed with is the constant need to protect Rose when things get a bit too scary. It seems she has to prove herself time and time again that she’s capable of taking care of herself. But this is really just a minor issue.

The major ones are the effects and a few plot holes. It seems the budget was a bit tight considering this was 2005, technology was so advanced, George Lucas just can’t stop ruining his franchise with Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith. As for plot holes, I just don’t buy the plausible science of it sometimes. It seems so convenient that all their travels don’t OFTEN cause a rift in the time-space continuum, only when the plot calls for it to be. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter. What matters most are the characters and their motivations.

Series 2: Tenth Doctor with Rose Tyler

The Doctor and Rose kiss in the final episode of Series 1 but the blossoming relationship briefly hit a snag as it was revealed that the Doctor was dying and he needed to regenerate in order to survive. So goodbye Christopher Eccleston and hello David Tennant!

This younger version of the doctor looks a bit more appropriate as a love interest to Rose Tyler. they don’t go too far with that aspect though. It reminds of the earlier seasons of the X-files. In an interview, Gillian Anderson said that the fact that Mulder and Scully barely acknowledges the attraction makes each hug and show of concern that much sweeter. I think the same is true for The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Believe me, I was crying my eyes out at the end of the finale.

I may have a crush on David Tennant now and I’m glad he’s on 2 more series! I will miss Rose Tyler and I hope the next companion would be lovely as well.  Will the doctor mourn Rose for awhile? Or like a jackass, be getting another companion at the  first opportunity and concentrate all his devilish charm on her until she’s looking all puppy-eyed in love with him? Hmp!

I’ve noticed that they had better effects for this season. The writing and the witty dialogue was still solid but I can’t wait for the Steven Moffat 2010 series!