Sherlock series 3 filming diary

Spoilers alert. Stay up to date with the latest location, casting and filming news, insider info and sheer speculation from the Sherlock series three shoot

Thursday 12 September


Setlockdown… and out

And to bring a very final close to prceedings, production designer Arwel Wyn Jones tweeted this picture of a desolate looking soundstage, bereft of the Sherlock set that once graced it. Sniff.

Tuesday 3 September

Sherlock goes down and out

With filming over, it seemed like a good time to take a look back at some shots from the set of episode three, featuring Benedict as we’ve never seen him before

Sunday 1 September

Filming wraps on series three!

It’s all in the can, people, as BBC1 tweeted this shot of the clapperboard that means all we’re waiting for now is (some post-production work and) an air date…

Tuesday 27 August

Remember back in April when certain well-known faces were spotted on the set of The Empty House? Turns  out there may have been one or two red herrings among them, as director Jeremy Lovering tells us “We did a few false shots“.

Thursday 22 August visits #Setlock – the fans talk Benedict and Martin

North Gower Street. London. Bulging barriers. Screams. It can only mean one thing… Our intrepid reporter stopped by to get a flavour of #Setlock and meet some dedicated fans.

Wednesday 21 August

Benedict gets political

Back in London for more episode three filming, the star chatted happily to fans between takes but he also used the attention as an opportunity to share his concerns on some political issues, holding up more handwritten signs for photographers to see…

Sunday 18 August

Benedict Cumberbatch tells the paparazzi where to go

On the set in Cardiff, Benedict took the time to issue a personal message to the paparazzi snapping shots of filming, telling them “Go photograph Egypt and show the world something important”…

Friday 2 August

The first series three trailer lands

“Our advice – keep watching to the very end!” That was the message from a BBC insider today, as fans were advised to stick around after the repeat of The Reichenbach Fall on BBC1. And those who did were rewarded, with this first tantalising teaser for series three…

Thursday 1 August

Benedict and Mark have fun with fans

As filming on series three finale His Last Vow continued in Cardiff, fans snapped the cast at work and play, with Mark Gatiss (lovingly, we’re sure) pretending to rake the onlookers with machine-gun fire…

Monday 29 July

Filming begins on His Last Vow – and Moriarty’s replacement is revealed

As shooting kicked off on the series three finale, producer Sue Vertue teased, and finally revealed, the identity of a new Sherlock villain. Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen, star of The Killing, will portray Charles Augustus Magnussen, whose name will be rather familiar to fans of the original Sherlock Holmes stories…

Friday 19 July

The final episode title is revealed

His Last Vow completed the series of pun-based takes on original Sherlock Holmes stories, echoing the title of the detective’s final adventure (chronologically speaking) His Last Bow (in which he turns spy to help the British war effort). It looks unlikely to be the last outing for Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s duo, though – producer Sue Vertue confirmed they had been signed up for a fourth series.

Thursday 18 July

Comic-Con gets a first look at series three – and a wedding is announced

Those lucky enough to attend the San Diego convention’s Sherlock panel were treated to a first look at the new series – a scene from episode two in which John asks Sherlock to be his best man, confirming what fans had long suspected. “Hot off the presses from a hundred years ago: John does get married,” said Steven Moffat.

Thursday 23 May

Filming wraps for the summer – time for a nice sit down…

You know a job’s been hard work when even Sherlock needs a rest… This unmistakable silhouette in the equally unmistakeable setting of 221B Baker Street was tweeted by Mark Gatiss and shows the detective apparently clad in a silk dressing grown enjoying a nice sit down in an armchair as a reward for finishing the first stint of filming on series three. The cast will reassemble to shoot the finale after a summer recess.

Wednesday 22 May

Live long and prosper

Today was the penultimate day of filming before the summer break that will see the stars head off for Hobbit and other commitments, yet Benedict was clearly still feeling the influence of his recent Star Trek exploits, as Sherlock turned Vulcan for this moody shot…

Tuesday 21 May

Steve leaves…

Shooting on episode two, The Sign of Three – and, therefore, the first block of series three filming – is drawing to a close, as bourne out by this shot from director of photography Steve Lawes as he bid farewell on his last day…

Tuesday 30 April

My Mad, Fat Sherlock

A BBC insider confirmed to us that Sharon Rooney, star of E4 drama My Mad, Fat Diary, had been cast in Sherlock, while exec producer Sue Vertue warned how filming on the series could play havoc with your waistline: “Problem with night shoots is you can tot up about 6 meals a day if you wake up early enough. 2.30am is apparently cake time!”

Thursday 25 April

Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch – and a cryptic clue

The stars dropped in for breakfast at Speedy’s Café on “Baker Street” during filming this morning, giving us the opportunity to make the excellent pun you see above.

Meanwhile, exec producer Sue Vertue tweeted this image (left, click to enlarge) of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss standing in a crypt-like building along with the message “No spoilers. #sherlock”.

What could it mean? There is, of course, nothing solid we can deduce from what is – quite literally – a cryptic clue, but it won’t stop us trying… The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual – one of Mark Gatiss’s favourite Sherlock Holmes stories – features an ancient treasure buried in an old cellar. Could that mystery be woven into one of the series three episodes…?

Tuesday 23 April

Sherlock goes boating – and a new director is revealed

The latest in the Sherlock crew’s “beautiful morning” series of tweets was “Beautiful morning for a crane shot…”, from director of photography Steve Lawes, together with a sunny canalside snap from the Sign of Three shoot. Will Sherlock and John be messing about on boats in this adventure? Or perhaps the happy couple from the wedding are honeymooning on a barge…

Meanwhile, we discovered that Doctor Who director Nick Hurran looks set to be in charge on the series three finale.

Monday 22 April

Filming starts on The Sign of Three – and a wedding is announced

“A beautiful morning to begin shooting on ‘The Sign of Three’!” tweeted Mark Gatiss as principal photography kicked off on episode two. Doctor Who and Ripper Street director Colm McCarthy was at the helm for a story written by Stephen Thomspon, which may or may not be based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel The Sign of Four

“Lovely day for a wedding,” added executive producer Sue Vertue a few hours later, tweeting a photo showing Sherlock’s name on a place-card at an unknown couple’s nuptials…

Tuesday 16 April

A game of pool…

“Glamorous recces  or a warning of what lies ahead !!!! :-)” teased production designer Arwel Wyn Jones as he tweeted this photo.

Could director Colm McCarthy’s episode The Sign of Three feature a return to the scene of Sherlock’s first showdown with Moriarty? Or is this just his way of telling us that work on series three of Sherlock is going swimmingly…?

Monday 15 April

Filming on The Empty Hearse finishes  and a new director is named

It’s a wrap people, episode one is in the can (more or less). Now on to episode two, The Sign of Three, with the cast read-through and the announcement that Doctor Who and Ripper Street director Colm McCarthy will be behind the camera.

Sunday 14 April

The Reichenbach Fall revisited… with some familiar faces

This weekend, Benedict Cumberbatch spent a decent chunk of time suspended from wires above the surface of London as he filmed the solution to the Fall. But while that might explain the presence of Andrew Scott, aka Moriarty, on the scene, what was TV illusionist Derren Brown doing there…?

Wednesday 10 April

Filming begins in London – and another episode title is revealed

Sherlock returned to his true home – and those all-important London landmarks and exteriors – for what executive producer Sue Vertue described as a “punishing” filming schedule. She also issued a plea to fans not to post “pictures or spoilers or ideally our daily locations.”

Meanwhile, a new puntastic episode title was revealed: the second instalment in series three will be called The Sign of Three, a play on original story The Sign of Four. Could it be another clue that John’s love life is about to get more interesting…?

Monday 1 April

Filming moves to Cheltenham

Sherlock found himself amid the grand Art Deco surroundings of The Daffodil restaurant – a converted 1920s picture house – as filming moved to Cheltenham in Gloucester. And one die-hard fan got her reward for braving the cold until long after the crowds had left when Benedict Cumberbatch stopped to chat and write her a personal message.

Wednesday 27 March

Amanda Abbington officially joins the cast – but who is she playing?

The BBC confirmed that Martin Freeman’s long-term partner is indeed among the cast of Sherlock series three. The question now is, who is she playing? Could Martin’s off-screen girlfriend end up being his on-screen love interest too…?

Monday 25 March

Filming in Bristol reveals a new cast member…

Bristol-based fans got a treat tonight when they gathered in Portland Square to watch a dramatic scene from Sherlock being shot – and appeared to spot a recognisable new face involved in a chase scene with Benedict Cumberbatch. Could Martin Freeman’s actress girlfriend Amanda Abbington really be part of the series three cast?

Saturday 23 March

The mystery of the purple shirt…

Mark Gatiss marked the end of the first week of filming with another Twitter pic – this time, a slightly blurry shot of a strangely recognisable collar, accompanied by a festive message: “Easter resurrection a bit early…”

Monday 18 March

Filming begins with an announcement…

As the cast and crew headed to Sherlock’s base in Cardiff for the first day of filming, Mark Gatiss tweeted a photo of clapperboard No1 and revealed the name of the opening episode – The Empty Hearse.

As Mark noted, “The game is on!” – speculation as to the significance of the title began in earnest, not least from

Friday 15 March

An early visit to 221B Baker Street

“Twas the weekend before shooting, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,” tweeted director of photography Steve Lawes – along with this picture, which is worth a thousand words…

(Click image to enlarge)

Monday 11 March

The read-through turns silly…


With a week to go until filming is due to begin, the cast gathered for the first round-table read-through. It all went very smoothly – Benedict and Martin even found time to don flat caps for a bizarre photo opportunity…