Sherlock series 3 episode 3 His Last Vow programme guide

Sherlock faces a new and formidable villain - master blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen, played by The Killing's Lars Mikkelsen

Series three Episode 3/3 His Last Vow


Sunday 12 January 8:30pm BBC1

The consulting detective’s latest case sees him coming up against the master blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen – the one man he truly despises. But how can he tackle a foe who knows the personal weakness of every person of importance in the Western world? 

Radio Times Choice

Fans of The Killing and Borgen will find His Last Vow, the final helping of the brief Sherlock feast, even more piquant, as it comes with a dash of Dane. 

Lars Mikkelsen stars as an icy, blackmailing media mogul, a sweaty-palmed creep called Charles Augustus Magnussen (based on Charles Augustus Milverton from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story The Adventures of Charles Augustus Milverton). He’s a streak of pure poison who guards an enormous vault packed with the dirty secrets of the rich and famous. 

Sherlock and Dr Watson (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) fall into his dark orbit after Sherlock is called in to help a politician escape from Magnussen’s slimy clutches (Mikkelsen plays him as Hannibal Lecter, but without the taste for human flesh, fava beans and a nice chianti). 

It’s a grand, filmic episode from scriptwriter/co-creator Steven Moffat that ping-pongs between sadness and surprises. By the end you’ll probably be torn between sniffling and cheering.

Radio Times TV editor Alison Graham


Sherlock Holmes   Benedict Cumberbatch       Mycroft Holmes   Mark Gatiss
Dr John Watson Martin Freeman Molly Hooper Louise Brealey
Mrs Hudson Una Stubbs Mary Morstan Amanda Abbington
DI Greg Lestrade Rupert Graves Lady Smallwood Lindsay Duncan
Charles Augustus Magnussen    Lars Mikkelsen

Writer   Steven Moffat       Producer   Sue Vertue       Director   Nick Hurran