Type
Scripted
Premiered
Jul. 25, 2010
Status
Returning Series
Runtime
90 min.
Country
UK
Network
BBC One TV Network

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Sherlock (UK) » Season 3
Sherlock (UK) - 03x01 The Empty Hearse

3x01 The Empty Hearse

ratingratingratingratingrating
4.6/5 (47 votes)
First Aired: Jan. 01, 2014 on BBC One
Summary: A couple of years after the shocking effects of The Reichenbach Fall, Dr John Watson has managed to move on with his life. London is under threat of a huge terrorist attack and Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so easily to him.

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Main Characters in this Episode


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Guest Stars

DI Lestrade played by Rupert Graves (II)
Anderson played by Jonathan Aris
Howard Shilcott played by David Fynn
Laura played by Sharon Rooney
Torturer played by Tomi May
Bonfire Dad played by Rick Warden
Zoe played by Trixiebell Harrowell
Reporter 1 played by Lovelace Akpojaro

Episode Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Neat, don't you think?
Anderson: Hm...
Sherlock Holmes: What?
Anderson: Not the way I'd have done it.
Sherlock Holmes: Moran didn't disappear. The entire Tube compartment did. The driver must have diverted the train and then detached the last carriage.
Dr. John Watson: Detached it where? You said there was nothing between those stations.
Sherlock Holmes: Not on the maps, but once you eliminate all the other factors, the only thing remaining must be the truth. That carriage vanished, so it must be somewhere.
Sherlock Holmes: I think... I'll surprise John. He'll be delighted.
Mycroft Holmes: You think so?
Sherlock Holmes: Hmm, pop into Baker Street, who knows, jump out of a cake.
Mycroft Holmes: Baker Street? He isn't there anymore. [Sherlock turns to face Mycroft with a puzzled look] Why would he be? It's been two years. He's got on with his life.
Sherlock Holmes: What life? I've been away.

Mistakes/Goofs

  • Goof (continuity error): Sherlock's tombstone appears to have changed locations between this and the series two finale. In the latter, the tombstone stands somewhat isolated, in front of a huge tree, with no more tombs around. In "The Empty Hearse", however, the tombstone stands behind the tree, in the middle of an opening, with several other tombstones around.
  • Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When discussing the missing part of the underground-train Sherlock refers to them as 'carriages' while just moments ago they learned from the train enthusiast that they are called 'cars'. Sherlock would have integrated this information immediately after learning this (if in fact he didn't already knew it before) and would not keep referring to it by the wrong name.
  • Goof (crew or equipment visible): Towards the end, when Sherlock and Mary are driving to save John, a brief scene before they arrive at the police barricade clearly shows a shadow of the camera/crew on the ground.
  • Goof (factual errors): When Sherlock examines the body in the cellar (41:21) He misses the fact that this "body" is probably a skeleton robbed from a School or University. As can be clearly seen on the hand of the skeleton where individual bones of the fingers are held together with iron wires.
  • Goof (continuity error): The train shown on security footage is 1996 Stock train for Jubilee line. The wagon found by Sherlock and John is 1972 Stock for Bakerloo line. And the interior for that wagon was borrowed from D78 Stock for District line.

Trivia

  • The multiple alternate explanations for Holmes surviving the fall within this episode are, in part, based upon viable alternate fan theories discussed online.
  • The name of the abandoned tube station "Sumatra Road" is a subtle reference to The Giant Rat of Sumatra, a case that is mentioned in 'The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire' as one of the many "unseen" adventures Holmes and Watson have had.
  • SPOILER: Writer Mark Gatiss is a known admirer of Clive Barker's work and has narrated the "Books of Blood" series for BBC Radio. The episode contains references to the series; the London Underground scenes are influenced by the 'Midnight Meat Train' (a boy disappears on a railway carriage with no feasible way of exiting) and the bonfire scene is influenced by the book 'The Forbidden' (a girl is within a bonfire that is set alight in front of children and their parents).
  • SPOILER: Showrunner Mark Gatiss has said that they changed the solution to how Sherlock survived the fall from Series 2 due to the layout of St. Bart's Hospital. "We were going to do it as a two-stage trick. There was going to be a platform, like a window-cleaning platform, which Sherlock would hit, then another body would drop out of it. That's why there's a reference in the newspaper to the refit of a historic hospital, then we changed our minds because Toby Haynes, the director of Reichenbach, noticed that the ambulance station was at exactly the right point."
  • John tells Sherlock that he is "The best and the wisest man [he's] ever known" this is a direct quote from the 1984 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes episode "The Final Problem". In "The Final Problem", however, Dr. Watson is narrating this line after he supposes Sherlock to have fallen off of the Reichenbach to his death.
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