Come January 1, 2014, it'll have been two long years since the premiere of Sherlock Series 2. That's right, 'A Scandal in Belgravia' was broadcast way back on January 1, 2012. It makes sense, then, that Team Sherlock have picked New Year's Day as the airdate for the first episode of Series 3, The Empty Hearse. In other words: happy new year, Sherlockians!
Die-hard Cumberbabes and Freemaniacs will already have worked out that the title of the Mark Gatiss-written 'The Empty Hearse' is a play on the title of original Conan Doyle story, 'The Empty House', as well as Mr. Holmes' 'death' - a fact in dispute considering his later appearance by his own grave, of course, and the way there's a third season at all.
The BBC have also announced that episode 2, 'The Sign Of Three' (written by Stephen Thompson), will air on Sunday January 5 and episode 3, 'His Last Vow' (written by Steven Moffat), will air on Sunday January 12. 12 days, three Sherlock episodes. It's going to be a bad fortnight in the ovary explosion department of your local A&E.
Again, there are plenty of clues what to expect from these three episodes, with the second almost certainly involving Dr. Watson's marriage, something reinforced by the clues issued over a year ago: "rat, wedding, bow". That's "bow" as in Conan Doyle's story "His Last Bow", rather than something an elf might wield in The Hobbit.
On the topic of The Hobbit, The Desolation Of Smaug (featuring Freeman as Bilbo and Cumberbatch as both The Necromancer and the titular dragon) will hit cinemas December 13, 2013, which should serve as a decent fix before #SherlockLives takes over Twitter on January 1.
P.S. If you're a fan of the show, you'll definitely want to get your hands on an iPad and download the lastest issue of Empire (the one with Transformers: Age Of Extinction on the front). In it, you'll enjoy a 360 degree tour of 221B Baker Street, with audio bonus features whenever you tap on a prop. Plus, there's an exclusive photoshoot with show creators Gatiss and Moffat, which only mentions hardcore porn once. Here's a taster - of the feature, not the hardcore porn - below.