Sherlock (BBC): Season Two Showdown with Moriarty

by JoHarrington

A spoiler free review of Sherlock 2; with links to buy the DVDs in Europe, if you're American and can't wait!

BBC's Sherlock Season Two falls into two categories. It is either the most widely talked about or the most hugely anticipated series, depending upon whether it has yet been aired in that country.

It has thus far been shown in Europe, with the Americas missing out until May 2012. Then BBC America has this television ministry ear-marked in its schedule. The fan forums are full of people who can barely wait!

So what is all of the fuss about?

Sherlock: Season Two 2 Disc DVD Box Set

What is so Good about BBC Sherlock Second Series?

In a nutshell, it's favorite tales brought into the modern day, all building to amazing climactic scenes.

Part of the excitement is that we are on familiar ground with the stories unfolding in season two.

Even the most casual Sherlock Holmes fans (and those who know of him by osmosis) will be aware of a handful of cases. The Hound of the Baskervilles is probably the most famous of all.

This second run not only takes the viewers there, making us all feel like die-hard Holmes aficionados, but also through two more well-known adventures. People always applaud familiarity.

But that isn't quite it. The grand finale is one of the best ever in television history; and that is what is keeping the forums buzzing.

If Season One whet the whistle with the introduction of Moriarty, then its sequel takes that clash of the titans to a whole new level. Read this spoiler-free run through to gain a taste of what makes this one of the most exciting shows on television right now.

Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia Trailer - Series 2 Episode 1 - BBC One

Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia

Sherlock Holmes in love? Surely not! But he's certainly met his match!

Irene Adler is brought right into the modern day, from a Victorian opera singer to a 21st century, high society dominatrix.

Sherlock, quite literally, doesn't know what hit him.

He can't even bring himself to say her name. She becomes, and remains to him, simply The Woman.

This story blatantly borrows from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic A Scandal in Bohemia, but there are references to many other stories too.

The idiotic King of Bohemia has gone. In his place is an unidentified member of the British Royal Family. Adler has pictures, which she calls insurance. MI5 naturally call them potential blackmail material. Via Mycroft, Sherlock Holmes is dispatched to try and recover the incriminating images from Irene's Belgravia home.

Things do not go according to plan. Not only are Sherlock and John Watson not alone in hunting the lady, but they have her to reckon with too.

Irene Adler's intelligence could well equal Sherlock's own; and she knows how to use every asset at her disposal. The fact is, she might not even be the enemy here. The lessons that she has to teach will stay with Sherlock for a long time to come.

Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville Trailer - Series 2 Episode 2 - BBC One

Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville

It was the case that we were all waiting for! And it did not disappoint.

Sherlock is bored. He's facing nicotine withdrawal and boredom. Did I mention that he was bored?

Dr John Watson is about ready to slap his genius friend into the back of tomorrow, if he doesn't settle down.

But he's not the only one cheering when a decent case finally comes along to distract the irritably hyper-active detective.

Ask a dyed-in-the-wool Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes fan to name you one of his cases and we'll be here for a month. Ask everyone else and the most likely answer will be The Hound of the Baskervilles. Many people have heard of the story, without even knowing that it's Sherlock.

There is, of course, a very good reason why this particular tale is so popular. It's because it really is that good. There are elements within it that stay in the mind and imagination pretty much forever.

With such a legacy behind it, the show's writers couldn't really deviate too much from the canon plot. Aspects get up-dated to fit the changing times, but otherwise all plays out as Conan Doyle directed it.

On the off-chance that you really don't know this tale, the summary would be this: there is a big black dog roaming the wilds of Dartmoor. By 'big', assume the understatement of the century. This canine is gigantic, perhaps even demonic, and it kills. It rips people to shreds; yet there are still those who say that it's simply a myth.

Could this have anything at all to do with secret government experiments at a nearby military base?

Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall Trailer - Series 2 Episode 3 - BBC One

Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story, Holmes apparently fell to his death at the Reichenbach Falls. How scared should we be?

This is it. This is the story that everyone is talking about.

If you've already seen it, then you're welcome to jump over to this Wizzle here to discuss it.

If you haven't, well, I have some advice for you.

The night that it's shown, lock all of the doors. Take the telephone off the hook. Banish your family and friends to where they'll be silent, and not bother you. Shut out the world and immerse yourself in Sherlock. You will be glad that you did.

Season One ended in a showdown between Sherlock and Moriarty, with Watson along for the ride. That was a rehearsal. This is where it all gets real. It's impossible to over-hype the telling of this tale. It is going to go down in history as one of the seminal moments in television history.

Jim Moriarty wants to destroy Sherlock Holmes. He wishes to discredit him, drive him insane, turn all of his friends (both of them) against him and ruin his reputation. Then he'll consider killing him.

Moreover, Moriarty has the genius and the funds to carry out his desires. Just for good measure, he intends to manipulate Sherlock into ensuring that Moriarty gets away with it all.

The stakes were never so high. Someone is due a fall.

Unfortunately, it's probably not the person for whom all of the fans are rooting. After all, there is a precedent and we all know what happened to the canon Sherlock in The Adventure of the Final Problem...

Sherlock Season 2 on Amazon Instant Video

Where to buy Sherlock 2 in Europe and Elsewhere

Is BBC Sherlock Season Two not yet available in your country? Import it from somewhere else then!

Amazon (UK) Sherlock - Series 2 [DVD]
Already aired on British television, Sherlock 2 has been released in Region 2 DVD box sets in the UK.

Amazon (Germany) Sherlock - Staffel 2 [2 DVDs]
Already aired on German television, Sherlock 2 is available in Deutsch!

Amazon (Canada) Sherlock: The Complete Second Season
Sherlock 2 is not yet available in Canada, but Canucks can sign up for pre-order.

Amazon (France) BBC Sherlock - Series 2 [DVD]
Sherlock can only be bought as a British import in France.

Amazon (Italy) Sherlock - Series 2
The Italians have to make do with a British import.

Amazon (Japan)
Another British import for Sherlock, but readily available in Japan.

Amazon (Spain) Sherlock - Series 2
Again, this is merely an import from Britain and so in the English language.

While Sherlock Season 1 is on sale in China, the second series has yet to even make it to pre-order or import.  Watch this space for that one!

More Articles About Sherlock (BBC)

Music from the BBC mini-series Sherlock has been released on two official soundtrack albums. Buy your copies here.
In both literature and television, Sherlock had an apparently fatal clash with Moriarty. Fans of the BBC series are working out if history will repeat.
A spoiler-free review of the entire first series of BBC's Sherlock. Buy the DVD box sets in North America, Europe or Asia.
Updated: 01/24/2014, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 05/13/2014

Oh! I saw that you'd written about Sherlock and meant to check it out. I'll do that now!

Bruce-Bowden on 05/13/2014

Great article Jo. Good to know there are other Sherlockians on the site.

JoHarrington on 03/21/2012

I'm glad that you liked it. I really, really can't wait for Sherlock 3. I'd happily even forgo another Dr Who to free Moffat and Gatiss up to write Sherlock; and that's from a life-long Who fan!

Thanks for commenting.

katiem2 on 03/21/2012

Well I've been waiting for this, as you know I love Sherlock Holmes. Great article this fans happy :)

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