Sherlock – A Scandal in Belgravia

It’s been far too long since the last episode of the Moffat/Gatiss take on Sherlock Holmes, so I made a point of watching tonight’s new one in real time rather than catching up with it later, which is how I watch pretty much everything that isn’t actually Doctor Who. Though given that this series was created by Whomeister Mr Steven Moffat Sir and the excellent Mark Gatiss, who’s written and appeared in some excellent Doctor Who episodes, it’s closely related to The Best Thing on TV. Come to think of it, quite apart from the blatant costume nonsense in The Talons of Weng-Chiang, the Doctor has a lot in common with Sherlock Holmes. They’re both guaranteed to be the smartest person in the room, and both can be a wee bit annoying to lesser beings, which is pretty much everyone.

Anyway, the second series picks up where the last one left off, quickly resolving the little cliffhanger issue. There’s more fun with Sherlock being irritated by John’s blog, especially the post titles (The Speckled Blonde being a particularly fine example), in much the same way that the original was known to object to Watson’s overly popularised accounts of his cases.

Mark Gatiss is on fine form as Mycroft, and Lara Pulver is an excellent Irene Adler, who’s even more of a challenge here than in Conan Doyle’s A Scandal in Bohemia. The whole thing works remarkably well, and filled ninety minutes very nicely.

Steven Moffat, as always, has come up with some glorious dialogue. Sherlock asks John to punch him, so he can look authentically hurt in a scene neatly adapted from the source story. John is slightly confused by this, but manages to say

I always hear “punch me in the face” when you’re speaking, but it’s usually subtext

Now that’s as near to perfection as I’ve ever heard, and maintains the principle that Watson isn’t an idiot, he’s just not as brilliant as Holmes, which nobody else is either.

And when John is obliged to cancel a date to help Sherlock, she says

You’re a great boyfriend… and Sherlock Holmes is a very lucky man.

And when a thug makes the mistake of hurting Mrs Hudson, this ends up with Lestrade of all people getting the line

Exactly how many times did he fall out of the window?

All remarkably good stuff. The only problem is that there are only two more to go this year. And there’s no new Doctor Who episodes until the Autumn  :wah:

Look, Mr Moffat Sir, I know you’re very busy and all that, but would you mind writing more stuff?