Sundays with Sherlock – The Great Game

“The Great Game” is the third and final episode of the first series of the television series Sherlock. It was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 8 August 2010. It was written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Paul McGuigan.


Sherlock Holmes is bored without stimulating cases. Mycroft Holmes urges Sherlock to investigate the death of Secret Intelligence Service clerk Andrew West and the disappearance of a flash drive containing missile plans. Sherlock refuses and is called to Scotland Yard where he receives a mobile phone matching the victim’s from “A Study in Pink”. The phone shows a photo of trainers, and a hostage calls: if Sherlock cannot solve the puzzle in twelve hours, a bomb will kill her. Sherlock traces the trainers to Carl Powers, a schoolboy who reportedly drowned in a swimming pool. Proving the boy was poisoned with botulinum toxin via his eczema medication, Sherlock announces the solution to the bomber, and the hostage is freed.

A second MMS shows a blood-stained sports car; another hostage phones, saying Sherlock has eight hours to solve this mystery. Finding the vehicle without its driver, Sherlock interviews the missing man’s wife and the car rental boss, whom he deduces was recently in Colombia. After learning that the blood in the car had been frozen, Sherlock announces that the missing man paid the agency owner to help him disappear, and the hostage is freed. A third message and hostage point Sherlock to the demise of Connie Prince, who allegedly died from tetanus. Sherlock disproves the cause of death, and Watson interviews Prince’s brother Kenny; Sherlock pins the crime on the housekeeper Raoul de Santos—Kenny’s lover—who murdered Connie by increasing her botox injection. Despite Sherlock solving the puzzle, the hostage is killed for describing the kidnapper.

The fourth message is a photograph of the River Thames, and no hostage calls; Sherlock and the police discover security guard Alex Woodbridge’s body on the riverbank. Sherlock claims that Woodbridge was strangled by an assassin called the “Golem” using his bare hands. After tracing Woodbridge’s interest in astronomy, Sherlock deduces that the guard had uncovered a forged Johannes Vermeer painting about to be exhibited. While Sherlock examines the painting, a child hostage calls: Sherlock has ten seconds to prove the forgery. He spots a supernova in the painting that post-dates Vermeer, thus stopping the bomb. The museum curator confesses the forgery and outs her accomplice: a man named “Moriarty”.

Watson investigates West’s death and Sherlock discovers it as the fifth mystery. They track down Joe Harrison, West’s potential brother-in-law, who admits to stealing the flash drive and accidentally killing West in an argument; unable to sell it, Harrison keeps the drive. Instead of luring Moriarty with the device, Watson arrives as the fifth hostage, wearing an explosive vest. Moriarty appears and leaves after a brief interaction with Sherlock and Watson. However, as Sherlock takes off Watson’s vest, Moriarty returns (having changed his mind) with multiple snipers aiming at Sherlock and Watson. Sherlock then aims his handgun at the explosive vest, intending mutual assured destruction.

Book related things according to Wiki:

Sherlock’s surprising ignorance, discussed on John’s blog, about several commonplace subjects including astronomy, comes from A Study in Scarlet, as does Holmes’ annoyance about ordinary people filling their minds with useless subjects.

Andrew West, the name of the MI6 clerk, comes from “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”.

Thoughts and what I can remember from reading the originals:

And so ends season 1 of Sherlock Holmes. This was a really long and drawn out episode and I thought it was better than, say, the Blind Banker. There are minute hints and nods to other books and stories I felt that Wiki does not cover, or I can mistakenly be remembering things wrong. The fact that Watson writes a blog on their adventures for example only gets some mentions here for the first time. As most of us know, Sherlock would never be so well known if Watson did not write about him the way he did.

Watson also finds it fascinating the way Sherlock’s mind can work stuff out so quick, almost like he got handed the script beforehand. Even while Sherlock can be a bit of a dick towards everyone, Watson still sticks by his side.

I am not completely sold on the way Moriarty is portrayed. I guess I am just not a fan of the actor playing him, or is it the decision from the higher ups that I should be criticising? Both him and Sherlock let slip how bored they are more than once during the episode, which never happens during the books. Sherlock is always respectful towards his arch nemesis. Also if you are that bored at EVEYTHING, shooting a brick wall indoors also does not sound like anything that can clear that feeling up, I am pretty sure you’d be stuck with quite severe tinnitus afterwards. That counts doubly for just mercilessly killing people, even if they have some dogey past. Like I said, I am not to keen on this version of Moriarty… Shoot me.

I do like that Sherlock asks Watson at some point to look at a shoe and tell him what he sees, that is also from the books, Sherlock would on ocassions ask Watson’s opinion to see if Watson learned anything on their travels together.

Can’t say I am big on Mycroft’s characterisation either, I do not  know why. Both Holmes’ come off as such smug cunts, excuse me for my lack of better English. I wonder if the people that made these episodes actually read any of the originals. Or were they just really trying to be clever.

One thing that also pissed on my batteries was a very bitchy police woman telling Watson he would be better of taking up a different hobby like fishing or some other English past time I cannot recollect now. I also did not appreciate the “freak” comment she snidely remarks when talking to Sherlock.

Apart from that I do not have an aweful lot more to say. So far I think I enjoyed the series a lot more than I did now having read the originals. Are there better rendered Sherlocks out there? I know I liked the Lucy Lu Watson at some point in the past, but that was a whole different show.

Anyhow, as far as I know this is where Stooge and I probably part ways. I am not sure if I am going to do season 2 next month as I am hardly left with any time due to work and our high season draining me. These episodic “reviews” are also a lot harder to write I am afraid. I have had fun doing this with a friend as well as have my wife watching alongside me. I would like to thank Stooge again for reaching out back when he did and that we took a chance on this series.

11 thoughts on “Sundays with Sherlock – The Great Game

  1. I have to agree about the overall portrayal of Holmes and Moriarty as bored little boys throwing temper tantrums. THAT is definitely all on the producers.

    I have not not seen the Lucy Liu tv show but I did watch the 2 movies starring Iron Man. They were surprisingly enjoyable and I wish there had been a couple more of them.

    thanks for sticking it out. I won’t be reviewing any more of this series either. Without your questions I simply would have written some blather and called it a day. It’s certainly been a learning experience though. But trying to do season 2 looks like a mountain so I’m going to just avoid reviewing it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I might be spelling it wrong my whole life. I was told to write it as i hear it since a young age, seeing as awe sounds the same in both cases, i can see where i went wrong. Looks like i’m going to have to go rewrite a whole bunch of posts now… Let’s just say i was indeed awe struck at how awful it was🙈


  2. Mhm, I don’t think there even exists a really reliable portrayal of Holmes in TV/movies – each of us has created our own version in our heads, I guess. I agree that Cumberbatch’s Holmes is a bit like a child prodigy with genius level of intellect and no emotional sensitivity. I still liked it enough to watch the next two seasons, I think 😉 I really soured on the series in the last season, it went on to totally contradict everything we know about Doyle’s Holmes and it pissed me off ;).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right there with you ola. Maybe i shouldve just not rewatched it, but it was fun the first time around. I was naive enough to believe the sherlock everyone was making movies about was a direct comparison to all the books of doyle only to find out years later how much of an idiot i am

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can sit through them, read LOTR once, cant and dont think i ever will again as i loved it the first time around but each time i think about it all i think is how an idiot frodo was. Unpopular opinion

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.