This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.
|"The Great Game"|
|Episode no.||Series 1|
|Directed by||Paul McGuigan|
|Written by||Mark Gatiss|
|Produced by||Sue Vertue|
|Original air date||8 August 2010|
|Running time||89 minutes|
John receives news of an explosion on Baker Street and rushes back home, only to find Sherlock safe and Mycroft pressing Sherlock to investigate the murder of an MI6 clerk and the disappearance of a flash drive with important defence plans. Sherlock refuses and is then called to Scotland Yard. Inside the bombed-out flat was a strongbox containing a mobile phone similar to the one belonging to the victim from "A Study in Pink".
A message leads Sherlock to a pair of trainers. He then receives a call from a terrified woman, reading a message from a third party. If Sherlock doesn't solve the puzzle in twelve hours, the explosive vest she is wearing will detonate. While Sherlock examines the trainers, Molly Hooper interrupts him and introduces her new boyfriend Jim. Sherlock deduces that Jim is gay, and Molly storms out. Sherlock traces the shoes to a schoolboy drowned in a pool in London years ago, the first case Sherlock was interested in as a youth. He proves the boy was poisoned with botulinum via his eczema medication. Sherlock announces the solution to the bomber. The woman hostage is freed.
A second message shows a blood-stained sports car, and another hostage phones Sherlock to give him eight hours to solve the mystery of its missing driver. Sherlock interviews the missing man's wife, then the owner of the car rental, and deduces that he was recently in Colombia. Finding the blood in the car had been frozen, Sherlock concludes the lost man paid the agency owner to help him disappear. Sherlock announces the solution. Once again, the hostage is freed.
A third message and hostage point Sherlock to the death of a television personality apparently from tetanus from a cut. However, the wound was made post-mortem. Sherlock pins the crime on the housekeeper, also her brother's lover, who murdered her by increasing her botox dose. Although Sherlock solves the puzzle, the blind hostage starts describing her kidnapper's voice. The kidnapper detonates the bomb, killing her and eleven others.
The fourth message is a photograph of the River Thames without hostage calls. At the matching riverbank, Sherlock finds a security guard's corpse, identifying it as the work of an assassin called Golem. Sherlock tracks him down, but is too late to stop another murder, an astronomy professor whom the guard talked to after he realised a recently discovered painting by Vermeer was a fake. While Sherlock is examining the painting, the fourth hostage, a child, calls and gives Sherlock ten seconds to prove the forgery. He spots a supernova within the painting that occurred centuries after the real painting was made, just in time to stop the bomb. The museum curator confesses the forgery and that her accomplice was called Moriarty.
Investigating Mycroft's case in secret, Sherlock and John trace the MI6 clerk's death to his prospective brother-in-law, who confesses he stole the flash drive and accidentally killed him. The man still has the drive since he had no idea how to sell it. Sherlock uses it to lure out Moriarty, but John shows up instead, wearing an explosive vest. Moriarty appears and turns out to be Molly's boyfriend, Jim. He tells Sherlock to stop interfering, but Sherlock refuses. Moriarty leaves momentarily, and Sherlock takes off John's vest. Moriarty soon returns with multiple snipers targeting both Sherlock and John. Sherlock aims his handgun at the explosive vest – mutual assured destruction.
As with all episodes of Sherlock, the plot combines those of a number of works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
According to the DVD commentary, "The Great Game" was the first episode of Sherlock to be produced after the BBC accepted the series. The series was filmed in reverse order because co-creator Steven Moffat, the writer of the first episode "A Study in Pink", was busy with the fifth series of Doctor Who.
Andrew Scott made his first appearance as Jim Moriarty in "The Great Game". Moffat said, "We knew what we wanted to do with Moriarty from the very beginning. Moriarty is usually a rather dull, rather posh villain so we thought someone who was genuinely properly frightening. Someone who's an absolute psycho." Moffat and Gatiss were originally not going to put a confrontation between Moriarty and Sherlock into the first three episodes, but realised that they "just had to do a confrontation scene. We had to do a version of the scene in 'The Final Problem' in which the two arch-enemies meet each other."
Sherlock's residence at 221B Baker Street was filmed at 185 North Gower Street. Baker Street was impractical because of heavy traffic, and the number of things labelled "Sherlock Holmes", which would need to be disguised. The laboratory used by Sherlock was filmed at Cardiff University School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.
"The Great Game" was first broadcast on BBC One on 8 August 2010. Overnight figures had been watched by 7.34 million viewers on BBC One and BBC HD, a 31.3% audience share. Final viewing figures rose to 9.18 million.
Critical reception was highly positive. Chris Tilly of IGN rated "The Great Game" a 9.5 out of 10, describing it as "gripping from start to finish". Of Moriarty's appearance, he said it "didn't disappoint either, the villain of the piece being unlike any incarnation of the character yet seen on screen". He also praised the writing, saying, "Credit should go to writer Mark Gatiss, his script the perfect combination of classic Conan Doyle storytelling with modern-day plot devices and humour, creating a sophisticated mystery that was the perfect marriage of old and new.", and the performances of Cumberbatch and Freeman. John Teti, writing for The A.V. Club, awarded the episode an A- and called it an "extraordinarily dense 90 minutes". He further singled out Andrew Scott for praise, writing that his "portrayal of Moriarty is a thrilling departure from earlier incarnations of the man". The Guardian's Sam Wollaston was optimistic for the programme, describing it as "smart, exciting, and just the right level of confusing" and described "The Great Game" as "a mash-up that totally works" and "an edge-of-the seat ride".
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Sherlock (TV series)|