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'Sherlock' Series Three PBS Airdates Announced

Christine Bancroft |
October 23, 2013 | 10:21 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

A still for series three. (Sherlockology)
A still for series three. (Sherlockology)
If you awoke to a shrill, high-pitched noise that slowly developed into an all-out panic, don't be alarmed. 

It's just fans reacting to news that BBC's hit show "Sherlock" has had its long-awaited series three airdates announced. Or, at least, some of the airdates. Well, just the American airdate, really.

On Jan. 19, 2014, at 10 p.m., the first episode of the third series, "The Empty Hearse," will air, directly following PBS's other blockbuster, "Downton Abbey." First announced by Entertainment Weekly, the airdate for the British broadcast is still unknown.

"Downton Abbey," the other British show that has reached similar fervor Stateside, has had some loss of revenue due to gaps between British and American airdates (because no one would ever watch a show illegally online, not when they could wait five months after their British counterparts to watch it on television). Given this, there is a small possibility that Jan. 19 may be the airdate for both PBS and BBC1.

READ MORE: Into the Hive Mind: BBC's 'Sherlock' and the Adventures of the Fandom that Waited

After two years of rabid fan speculation regarding [spoiler] the cliffhanger ending to "The Reichenbach Fall" in 2012, when Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) takes a dive from a seven-story rooftop in front of John Watson (Martin Freeman) and (apparently) dies. Following in line with canon, Sherlock has faked his death during a face-off with nemesis Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott), leaving John devastated and alone. 

Your moustache is bad and you should feel bad, John Watson. (Sherlockology)
Your moustache is bad and you should feel bad, John Watson. (Sherlockology)
"The Empty Hearse," a play on the canonical counterpart story "The Empty House," will ostensibly feature the reunion between Sherlock and John. In "The Empty House," it takes Holmes three years to return to Baker Street, during which time Watson had lost his wife, Mary Morstan, on top of bereaving the death of his best friend. In the show, Martin Freeman's real-life partner, actress Amanda Abbington, will be introduced as this version of Morstan.

The announcement of the airdate comes after the (possibly unintended) release of some official series three art, leaked from a brochure at MIPCOM 2013, a media industry event, according to Sherlockology. However, after confirming with the BBC that the images are officially BBC artwork, they are not going to be the "final iconic key art for Series 3, which will be revealed in due course in the future," the website said. 

In the meantime, we will anxiously await the announcement of the UK premiere date, and emotionally prepare ourselves for the heartbreak inherent in watching this show, given that we get three episodes per series and then wait two years for another bite. 

You can see a few tidbits of "Sherlock" series three footage in the BBC Drama trailer released earlier this year. Note the motorbike, because that's supposedly Sherlock and Mary. On a motorcycle. Be still, my beating heart. 


You can reach Staff Reporter Christine Bancroft here or follow her on Twitter here. If you need her, she will be curled into a fetal position, crying and pterodactyl into the ether from excitement. 



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