When you’ve waited two years for something what difference does an extra 24 hours make? That was the attitude of some of the world’s most dedicated Sherlock fans, who queued overnight outside the British Film Institute on London’s Southbank hoping to get their hands on a ticket to Sunday’s premiere screening of the long-awaited first episode of series three.
As it turned out, there were only a handful of return tickets available for an event that, as well as promising the solution to the detective’s death-defying rooftop leap, also featured a Q&A with stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.
But while not everyone got to see the show, many of the almost exclusively female Sherlock contingent were happy just to be there to meet fellow fans and catch a glimpse of their heroes (including Andrew Scott, aka Moriarty, who got mobbed when he came in unprotected through the civvies’ entrance).
Without giving anything away, here’s what some of those fans – and one popular fansite – had to say about the return of Sherlock…
Anna and Clara from Rome, Italy
Anna: “No words can describe what we have just seen. The episode had everything I could have hoped for, it’s amazing!”
Clara: “I really can’t believe I have just seen Sherlock season three after two years of waiting! I don’t believe it, it was really, really amazing.”
Amy and Sophie from London
Amy: “I just loved it, I thought it was really good. It was quite humorous as well – all the laughs and the jokes playing on the relationship between John and Sherlock. It was really good.”
Sophie: “I really like that it played on everyone’s theories about The Fall. As a casual viewer I thought it was great, it’s on a par with season one and season two so far.”
Amy: “I think it’s better than season one and season two, to be fair…”
Sophie: “It’s only the first episode!”
Amy: “I loved it though, I thought it was brilliant – it’s already better!”
Erin and Chloe from Hampshire
Erin: “We didn’t actually see the episode…”
Chloe: “We’re just here to see [the stars]. I just saw Una Stubbs and I completely freaked out!”
RT: “So what happens when you see Benedict Cumberbatch?”
Erin: “We just caught a glimpse – I don’t think we were prepared for it…”
Chloe: “I just felt all the blood go to my head. I felt like I was going to pass out!”
Erin: “This is our first time here so we’re really, really, really excited.
“We’ve met some really nice people here. It’s a really good atmosphere.”
Michelle from Huston, Texas, USA and Victoria from Barcelona, Spain, but resident in London
Michelle: “I was planning to come to London for the holidays but I scheduled my trip early just to be in this building at this time even though I couldn’t get into the showing.
“I got up at 5 ‘o’ clock one morning to get on the website to try to get tickets but of course they were all sold.”
Victoria: “I came here as early as I could to try to get a ticket but unfortunately I couldn’t so now I’m just waiting to see if I can get an autograph or a wave.
“I saw them from the balcony waving – I’ve seen Una [Stubbs, who plays Mrs Hudson], I’ve seen Lou [Brealey, who plays Molly Hooper].
Michelle: “I’m crazy about Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, of course. I was hoping Rupert Graves [DI Lestrade] would be here too because I’m a big fan of his.”
Victoria: “The experience itself is worth it. I’ve just met Michelle – we didn’t know each other – we were sitting there and we started talking, and with other people in the queue too, so I think that just adds to the experience.”
Michelle: “Sharing the experience with other fans is part of the experience.”
Victoria: “There are people from all around the world here – Korea, China, Italy, Japan…”
Naomi, aka Cumberbatchweb, the unofficial online guide to Benedict Cumberbatch
“I think the fans will be delighted [with the episode]. I think it certainly won’t disappoint them in any way, shape or form. There are so many different nods and little elements that the fans are going to completely love; little touches.
“I think that the reunion scene is absolutely beautifully done, that the relationship between John and Sherlock is as strong and as cleverly done as it was previously.
“And I think that anyone who might have had any concerns or worries about [John’s fiance] Mary [Morstan] can forget about it – I thought she was wonderful. I loved her reaction to Sherlock and I think the fans are really going to love it.”