Sherlock: Season Four
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Sherlock: Season Four (DVD)
Sherlock is back on British soil once more, while Doctor Watson and Mary prepare for their biggest ever challenge – becoming parents for the first time. The hit drama returns with three new episodes promising laughter, tears, shocks, surprises and extraordinary cases.]]>
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Episode 1 "The Six Thatchers" = 1 hour, 31 minutes, 34 seconds on Blu-Ray
Episode 2 "The Lying Detective" = 1 hour, 28 minutes, 24 seconds on PBS
Episode 2 "The Lying Detective" = 1 hour, 32 minutes, 17 seconds on Blu-Ray
Episode 3 "The Final Problem" = 1 hour, 28 minutes, 20 seconds on PBS
Episode 3 "The Final Problem" = 1 hour, 32 minutes, 11 seconds on Blu-Ray
Blu-Ray/DVD has the uncut BBC version.
My timings do not include the closing credits, which were longer on PBS Masterpiece.
WARNING: EDITED VERSIONS ARE ALSO ON AMAZON VIDEO
Unless there is a mistake in their listing, it would seem that Amazon Video downloads are the edited PBS versions:
Episode 1 "The Six Thatchers" = "1 hour, 28 minutes" advertised on Amazon
Episode 2 "The Lying Detective" = "1 hour, 29 minutes" advertised on Amazon
Episode 3 "The Final Problem" = "1 hour, 28 minutes" advertised on Amazon
Season Four was the work of the same team that created the first three-and-a-half seasons:
-- Written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who are responsible for eleven of the thirteen episodes of "Sherlock" broadcast since 2010.
-- All supporting characters return for Season Four:
---- Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes
---- Rupert Graves as Inspector Lestrade
---- Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson
---- Amanda Abbington as Mary Morstan Watson
---- Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper
---- Andrew Scott as Moriarty (he just won't stay dead - this is not really a spoiler: Moriarty never stays dead. Basil Rathbone killed him off three times to no avail).
Despite this pedigree, a lot of reviewers on Amazon hated Season Four, especially "The Final Problem"
This is in contrast to the three previous seasons, which were greeted with Universal Rapture.
Amazon Ratings (March 2017):
-- Series 1 = 95% positive, 2% negative (4,700 reviews)
-- Series 2 = 97% positive, 2% negative (3,500 reviews)
-- Series 3 = 92% positive, 5% negative (2,500 reviews)
-- Series 4 = 65% positive, 28% negative (186 reviews)
-- Abominable Bride = 83% positive, 8% negative (400 reviews)
[positive = four or five stars , negative = one or two stars (not many three star reviews for Sherlock)]
-- No commentary tracks, but the Blu-Ray/DVD includes ten bonus features totaling 1 hour, 49 minutes, 25 seconds.
-- All four-and-a-half seasons of "Sherlock" are English SDH subtitled for the hard-of-hearing.
-- The first publicity photos for Season Four show new cast members Baby Watson and Toby the Bloodhound.
Despite it's title, "The Final Problem" is the only one of thirteen "Sherlock" episodes not based (at least loosely) on a Conan Doyle story.
The Season Four finale veered strongly in the direction of horror/science fiction.
As an elderly gentleman, I prefer my mysteries straight.
Nevertheless, as mystery/horror/science fiction, it was extremely well done.
No regrets about giving the fourth season five stars.
There are a lot of references to the original stories.
The most obscure one ever is @ 57:01 of Episode One "The Six Thatchers":
Two Norwegian fishing boats are moored at a dock.
Freeze the picture and zoom in.
The boats are named "Flekkete Band" and "Lovens Manke" ("The Speckled Band" and "The Lion's Mane")
Movie reference: In the 1970 Billy Wilder film "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes", a mysterious Belgian woman, Gabrielle Valladon, begs Holmes to find her missing husband.
As part of the investigation, Sherlock and Gabrielle pose as husband and wife: "Mr. and Mrs. Ashdown".
"Gabrielle Ashdown" is the alias on the forged passport used by Mary Watson in "The Six Thatchers".
In the final scene, Holmes and Watson emerge from a building labeled "Rathbone Place".
Rathbone Place is an actual street in London
It's been there since the Eighteenth Century, so it wasn't named after Basil.
The building used in "Sherlock" is actually somewhere in Wales.
Watch the bonus feature "Behind 221B The Final Problem":
@ 21:45 you can see a woman gluing a "Rathbone Place" sign to the building.
SPOILER - DON'T READ THIS PARAGRAPH UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE VIEWED THE FIRST EPISODE:
The second biggest controversy seems to be the death of Mary Watson in Episode One.
The TV writers are getting a bum rap here:
It was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's idea to kill her off.
Watson met Mary Morstan (not an assassin/secret agent) in 'The Sign of Four' (published 1890).
They married, and for the next several stories Watson moved out of 221B Baker Street.
Readers were not happy.
Conan Doyle noticed.
By the time 'The Norwood Builder' was published (1903), it is revealed that Mary has passed away (off-stage) and Watson has moved back into 221B.
Sherlock: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
Sherlock: Season 2 [Blu-ray]
Sherlock: Season 3 (Blu-ray) (Original UK Version)
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Sherlock: Season 4: REVIEWED ON THIS PAGE
I will let you know more when I find out more.
See the first Comment (dated August 20, 2016) for the latest developments.
Click on "sort by oldest"
Six months after Season Three was released on Blu-Ray/DVD, The Season 1-3 Limited Edition Gift Set was released:
Sherlock Limited Edition Gift Set (The Complete Seasons 1-3 Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
In addition to tiny statues of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman,
Season Three also included commentary tracks (not on the original Season Three Blu-Ray) for "The Empty Hearse" and "His Last Vow" (with Stephen Moffat and Martin Gattis).
Plus an additional bonus disc of extras from Season Three.
I assumed that BBC Home Entertainment would eventually issue a separate Season Three Deluxe Edition with all the commentaries and bonus features.
After three years I am still waiting.
All is not lost:
-- The commentary tracks (audio only) are available on-line.
You can synchronize them with your home video.
-- Printed transcripts are also available.
See Comment One, dated August 30, 2016 (click on "Sort by oldest").
Soon we will be treated to a "Season 1-4 and The Abominable Bride Gift Set".
What are the odds that those weasels at BBC Home Entertainment will include new commentaries for Season Four?
And will they remember to include the commentaries for Season Three in the new gift box?
Where have I heard that before?
Someone who went by the name of Mr Holmes wasn't it? Perhaps he can explain how this 'Series 4' detailing the exploits of London's premier detective arrived at my doorstep this morning, hand delivered by a mysterious gentlemen in ill fitting garments and a waistcoat of lurid orange with stripes of fluorescent yellow, grunting in a guttural language I am unfamiliar in, before disappearing into a carriage of blood red and vanishing through a smog bank.
The package handed to me had travelled a great distance of time. It was housed in a box of stiffened card, the like of which I had not seen before, for it opened along a perforated edge allowing it to reveal its contents in the manner of a puzzle box. I expected a book, but it was like no book I have ever seen. Tucked inside was a translucent cobalt jacket held shut by an invisible clasp, inside which I find three mirrored discs that reflect a mesmeric blue ray of light that struck at my temples like a poison dart before a small pamphlet fell from the case. A pamphlet which carried on it a miniature portrait of Sherlock Holmes himself, a photograph of such clarity that it appeared to jump from the paper. It carried with it the title SHERLOCK SERIES FOUR.
A bill of sale also fell from the box from which I spied the particulars of the organisation behind this unexpected delivery. An organisation named after the unexplored wilderness of South America, a dark unchartered region of untamed land where the river AMAZON coils like a serpent through dense undergrowth.
And then I looked upon its postal date and felt a chill upon my spine. The bill was dated January 2017. What an odd occurrence I thought, a mystery ripe for enquiry and one that Mr Holmes himself would no doubt relish. For I appeared to be the wrongful recipient of a time travelling postal delivery system; if such a thing exists by the year 2017.
I will conceal this note inside the package, sealing it with string before writing in ink upon the box RETURN TO SENDER and posting it into a pillar box. I hope it arrives back at my London address, this time to its correct recipient. That being a Mr JOHN SMITH of TARDIS TOWERS. Someone who, I realize with wry amusement, must still be awaiting their birth date..
Tonight I shall retire beside the fire, with sherry glass in hand, speculating on what a future Sherlock tale will be like. Closing the curtains upon London and under candle light I will then return to my page within the Strand Magazine, hot of the press so to speak, to read the latest from the pen of Arthur Conan Doyle himself. This being dated January 1897.
I am hoping now that things have been settled, we can get a season five - without having to wait years. However, if they have concluded the series, they went out, actually, on a high note.
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I'm a Sherlock fan , just waiting for season 5 .