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'Sherlock' season 3 Blu-ray review

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'Sherlock' season 3 Blu-ray set


"Sherlock" may have just finished airing its third season on PBS last week, but BBC Home Entertainment released the DVD and Blu-ray sets on Tuesday, Feb. 11, meaning fans didn't have to wait long to add one to their collections.

If you're a fan of "Sherlock," you'll enjoy the special features in the Blu-ray set, which consists of two discs. The first disc features episode 1, "The Empty Hearse," and episode 2, "The Sign of Three," of the season, while the second has the finale "His Last Vow" and all the special features: "The Fall," "Fans, Villains & Speculation" and "Shooting Sherlock." You can watch all three special features in less time than it would take to watch one episode of the series, so there really is no reason not to sit down and check out all of them, especially if you'd like some insight from Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and the rest of the cast.

The set itself is worth buying if you're a fan of the series, because while there may only be three episodes and three special features to it, nothing seems superfluous about any of them. Sure, it would have been nice to maybe have more special features, but for a show with only three episodes to a season, having three featurettes seem more than reasonable.

The first featurette is "The Fall," which, as you can probably guess from the name, is all about Sherlock's "death," and it goes through quite a number of fan theories about how Sherlock survived, some more detailed and possible than others. (The TARDIS is, of course, mentioned.) You can also see what went into filming each of the possible scenarios shown in the premiere, and the director of "The Empty Hearse," Jeremy Lovering, calls version 3, the one where he jumps onto an airbag, "the correct one." Before you start to think that that's actually true, continue watching because they make sure to note that Sherlock was very possibly lying in that scene with Anderson. And if you're interested in rewatching all the scenarios from "The Empty Hearse," watch this to the very end.

The second special feature is "Fans, Villains & Speculation," which covers quite a bit in a relatively short amount of time, from the script and a script read-through to the show's large fan base, from bringing in Mary Watson and what that means for Sherlock and John's relationship to a discussion of Lars Mikkelsen as Magnussen, from bringing Sherlock back from the dead and his reunion with John to putting Sherlock in the real world. That last part was why they showed him as John's best man, which resulted in what Gatiss accurately describes as "both a train wreck and a masterpiece." Plus, check out Gatiss and Moffat discussing the difficulty of the deductions, the success of the show, and what they want to do for season 4. However, it is Louise Brealey (Molly), who puts it best: "It's the gift that keeps on giving."

The final featurette is "Shooting Sherlock," which gives a very detailed look at filming one of the best sequences of the season when Mary was revealed to be a liar and shot Sherlock. The most interesting fact to note is that Amanda Abbington didn't know Mary's story when filming the first two episodes, and she admits she would have played the character differently if she had. "What she is is a new best friend of Sherlock's as well as the most extraordinary partner for this danger-obsessed man that is John Watson," Benedict Cumberbatch says of the reveal. The rest of the special feature offers a look at the rig used to show Sherlock falling backwards, the gunshot and wound, and a different kind of set-up for the camera.

Will you be buying a "Sherlock" season 3 Blu-ray or DVD set?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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