This would never happen in America. After a grand total of three episodes (the last is on Sunday night), the brilliant Sherlock is over, for now. Finished. Seven million-odd fans will have to wait until next year for another series.
I mean to say – three episodes! In America, if you like episode one of something, you can be darn sure there will be 22 more to follow, all cleaving like barnacles to the exact formula of the original. It’s a ruthless, cookie-cutter approach, but at least it means you’re not left in limbo just as you’re getting hooked on something.
Still, if Sherlock is taking an extended break, then let’s take advantage of the fact, dry our tears, and set out a wish list for series two.
The main thing that’s needed – and let’s not beat around the bush here – is at least one half-decent female character who is not a) a clucking landlady (enjoyable as Una Stubbs’s Mrs Hudson is) or b) a tetchy policewoman given to addressing our hero as “Freak”.
When Zoë Telford arrived as Watson’s love interest Sarah in episode two she looked like providing just what the, uh, Doctor ordered. She was likeable, laid-back and added a whiff of sexiness to the proceedings. Plus, she was Zoë Telford. In my book, Telford could read the Argos catalogue for an hour and it would be worth watching.
But it turned out Sarah was only in the story to perform damsel-in-distress duties: the Chinese baddies tied her to a chair and pointed a crossbow at her as she writhed and looked terrified. Once rescued, her services were no longer required.
So more of Sarah, please. And we also need more business for Mycroft, Sherlock’s mysterious, umbrella-twirling brother, as played with silky relish by Mark Gatiss. We like Mycroft, particularly as he’s the only person who can talk to Sherlock on equal terms, rather than floundering in his slipstream.
And while we’re on Gatiss, could he or fellow genius Steven Moffat please write all the episodes next time. Sorry, but episode two by Steve Thompson felt a teeny bit short on pizzazz. Look out for a couple of scenes in this week’s finale – a fight in a planetarium and the chilling, poolside climax – that show Gatiss at his outrageous best.
There are other niggles (more fights and chases wouldn’t hurt; Watson needs to stop tutting at Holmes’s insensitivity – it gets dull; and do we need 90-minute stories or would an hour be plenty?), but crucially: get out the cookie cutters if necessary and, please, give us lots more.