Now that the third series of Sherlock has finished airing on both BBC1 for UK viewers and PBS Masterpiece for US viewers and has been released on DVD, here are five things I'd like to see with the fourth series.
1: Keep The Ensemble Feel
Maybe I'm going against the grain of tradition with this particular verse but one of my favourite elements of the third series was not only just the further examination of Sherlock and Watson's friendship but the expansion of other characters. I enjoyed the fact that Lestrade, Molly, Mycroft, Mrs Hudson and of course, Mary had far larger role in this series and their respective dynamics with the boys.
2: Returning Characters
It was nice to get a brief momentary glimpse of Irene in The Sign Of Three during Sherlock's mind palace antics but I kind of wouldn't mind seeing her again in a slightly larger role. Not to the extent of her role in A Scandal In Belgravia but another proper interact with her and Sherlock would be nice at some point during the fourth series. I suppose more of Billy as well, given how much fun he was to watch in His Last Vow wouldn't go amiss as well as Sherlock and Mycroft's parents too as I enjoyed their scenes with the Holmes boys as well.
3: Mary Must Live
Having done a rewatch of the third series on DVD, I still maintain the fact that Amanda Abbington's Mary Morstan was easily one of the best things about the current series. Credit given where it's due, it's a tribute to Abbington herself as well as writers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Stephen Thompson that Mary managed to be an asset to the show without disrupting the 'Johnlock' dynamic. More to the point, given the general reception towards the character/actress, the interesting backstory she's been given and the fact that she's carrying John's child, there's definitely more to do with the character than simply kill her off for cheap drama/angst purposes.
4: Tread Carefully With Moriarty
I'm still not entirely sure if it's a wise idea to have Moriarty back into the mix and I'm saying this as someone who massively enjoyed Andrew Scott's take on the character in the first two series. Assuming that the character is actually physically back in action for the role because it's going to take some explanation as to how he survived blowing his own brains out. I just hope on this front that Moffat/Gatiss/Thompson know what they're doing with this one.
5: Perhaps Some New Villains?
I think of instead of Moriarty being the big focus (aside from probably the Series 4 finale), perhaps it's best to make sure the first two stories have fairly memorable villains. Series 3 first two stories had both an unknown terrorist and the Mayfly Man, both of whom were okay but did a lot better with the rather repugnant, Charles Augustus Magnussen. Maybe the fourth series would do well to introduce the likes of Sebastian Moran for a modern audience, especially given that even Elementary have introduced that character. I'm sure there are plenty of great actors out there who could do wonders with that role and go up against Benedict Cumberbatch in the same memorable way that both Andrew Scott and Lars Mikkelsen have done in the first three series. Casting suggestions, anyone?
Sherlock - Series 1-3 are now available on DVD.