Series 3 (2013)
After the end of the final episode of the second series, Moffat and Gatiss both announced on Twitter that a third series had been commissioned at the same time as series two, and a part of the resolution to "The Reichenbach Fall" was recorded concurrently with series two. Production was originally set to begin in January 2013, but due to 'availability reasons' the recording of series three was pushed back to March 2013. Martin Freeman said in an interview filming would begin on 18 March. Gatiss has confirmed that he will write the first episode of the third series, and that it would be 'loosely based' on "The Adventure of the Empty House", in which Conan Doyle revealed that Holmes had faked his death. Gatiss plans to have Watson react very differently from the original character at the discovery of Holmes's return in series three; "I always found it a little unlikely that Dr Watson's only reaction was to faint for instance—as opposed to possibly a stream of terrible swear words," he said. Moffat and Thompson will again write the other two episodes.
Moffat aspires to tackle the fact that eventually Watson will be living apart from Holmes, though he is uncertain whether he will have Watson get married in this adaptation. Moffat also wants to use other villains and adversaries from Conan Doyle's original stories. Without revealing whether Moriarty faked his own death at the end of series two, Moffat has suggested that Moriarty will not feature heavily in future series of Sherlock.
Moffat and Gatiss have announced three words that allude to the content of the third series. These words were, "rat, wedding, bow". Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2012, Moffat said that these words "may be misleading, are not titles, are only teases or possibly clues, but might be deliberately designed to get you into a lather." The titles of the first two episodes were later revealed as "The Empty Hearse", written by Mark Gatiss and "The Sign of Three", written by Stephen Thompson.
The availability of Cumberbatch and Freeman dictated that two episodes for the third season would be shot beginning 18 March. On 23 May, production finished on the second episode, the final episode is scheduled to be recorded in late summer.
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