Sherlock concluded its all too short three-episode run tonight with another cunningly titled episode - The Reichenbach Fall. Of course, I say "all too short", but part of the success of the series has been to leave viewers wanting more. The temptation for any writer is to outstay his or her welcome, whether with a series that has run out of steam, or a type of book that has passed its sell-by date. But this episode was probably as good as any we've seen to date. Will there be any more? We can only hope so.
I'm going to avoid spoilers, but I think even a Holmes super-purist would be impressed with the way the writers have taken themes from Conan Doyle's original stories, and updated them so cleverly that the effect is always of homage, not parody. And as the title of this episode suggests, there was a duel of wits between Sherlock and Moriarty which resulted in a dramatic climax.
Benedict Cumberbatch was as good as ever in the title role, but I was impressed also by Andrew Scott as Moriarty. At first, I wasn't convinced by the casting of Scott, which is certainly audacious, but the quality of his acting has won me over, as I'm sure it has won over many other doubters. The roof-top encounter brought out the best in both actors, while Martin Freeman was again excellent as the devoted Watson.
One of the many small touches that I've admired in this series was the casting of Douglas Wilmer, who celebrated his 92nd birthday earlier this month, as a guest in the Diogenes Club. Wilmer played Holmes in the TV series that I enjoyed very much as a young boy. He's not as celebrated as Basil Rathbone or Peter Cushing but I felt he was a very good Sherlock, and it was great that he was included in this terrific show.