I enjoyed it a great deal when I first watched it, and seeing it again now, it’s certainly the best Sherlock by some margin. It’s complex, funny, and incredibly intricately structured, mysterious sexy comical touching and thrilling. There’s twist upon twist upon twist but everything is paid off faithfully and in full. The many Conan-Doyle titles that our heroes mangle in the early minutes are a hoot. Almost every scene delights with a surprising new tangent.
Lara Pulver, who’d previously hardly registered with me in Robin Hood is just breathtaking in this, whether in her war dress or alternative garb. It’s a great episode for Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson too, and the best story for the very wonderful Louise Brearley as Molly as well.
The only flaw – which is minor yet hugely irritating in the scenes where it occurs, even on second watching – is the appalling violin-miming. It’s a pleasure to see Sherlock taking up the instrument, but was there any effort to make it look like Cumberbatch’s random bowing was producing those sounds?