Moffat and Gatiss have done it again and welcomed television into the new year with another stupendous movie length episode.
Of course each of the episodes before it has been based on one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales, however this particular installment is harder to work out. There has been much debate over exactly which of the original Sherlock stories this episode is based on, however there may be a reason for that.
Of course, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the very first stories of Sherlock Holmes for The Strand Magazine, so perhaps this episode was not based on one story, but several. There are many hints of Doyle's short stories including The Five Orange Pips and of course countless wonderful additions of classic Sherlock that we haven't seen in this series before. These include an overweight Mycroft and Sherlock questioning Watson on whether he brought his revolver to an investigation, Watson of course denying he has before admitting that in fact, it is with him. Not to mention the entertaining addition of classic Sherlock lines such as 'Elementary my dear Watson' and 'Prey continue'.
In fact, Moffat and Gatiss have taken everything that Sherlock Holmes ever was and turned it into a visual masterpiece.
Additionally, a scene consisting on a conversation between Sherlock and Mycroft is equally as appealing as Sherlock walks between sunlight that shines into a dark and dreary room. This is what film making is all about, and it is done expertly.
This episode reminded me again how infrequently casting is done so well. Scott and Cumberbatch feed off each other in a brilliant game of who is the cleverest, their final conversation taking place at Reichenbach Falls, another reference to the original stories of Sherlock Holmes.
Here's to another two years of waiting ...