Sherlock: Season 1, Episode 3

The Great Game (7 Nov. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 11,813 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 24 critic

Mycroft needs Sherlock's help, but a remorseless criminal mastermind puts Sherlock on a distracting crime-solving spree via a series of hostage human bombs through which he speaks.



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Title: The Great Game (07 Nov 2010)

The Great Game (07 Nov 2010) on IMDb 9.1/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Needham ...
Kemal Sylvester ...
Andrew West
Crying Woman
Lauren Crace ...
Nicholas Gadd ...
Scared Man
Caroline Trowbridge ...


Mycroft wants his brother Sherlock to investigate the murder of civil servant Andrew West and theft of the Bruce-Partington missile plans. Sherlock, however, prefers to assist Lestrade following a massive bomb blast. The sadistic bomber abducts a string of hostages, who will be released after Sherlock has solved a series of puzzles, including a twenty year old murder, an insurance scam and the alleged forgery of a long lost painting. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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7 November 2010 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The music used in the Planetarium presentation on Jupiter is from The Planets suite by Gustav Holst, but it is the second movement ("Mars, the Bringer of War"), not the fifth ("Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity"). See more »


After it is flung to the ground, John's jacket containing the explosives moves backwards and forwards on the poolside between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Sherlock Holmes: Just... tell me what happened from the beginning.
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References Jim'll Fix It (1975) See more »


The Planets: Mars, The Bringer of War
Composed by Gustav Holst
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Running down the Big Villain
22 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In this first real brush with James Moriarty, the notorious arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes going back to the original stories, The Great Game presents a kind of plot that is perfect for a Sherlock Holmes story: what happens when the 'Game' of it becomes the whole point, and that a mystery wraps into a riddle and then another mystery, all leading to a painting that may (or may not!) be a fake. At the start of the episode Sherlock is bored with the cases he's been having and is then rocked into one by an explosion that rocks his own 221 Baker street home. Then there's the big 'plot' of the thing, where people keep turning up with phone calls, frightened voices, and bombs attached to them. Will they go off or will Holmes follow the game to where it needs to go and crack the codes and so on?

He does, and the fun in watching this episode/film is how Holmes realizes that the man behind all of this is Moriarty, which makes him have to turn up the stakes for himself (more than usual anyway, which are already petty high), and it becomes one of the better stories for this Sherlock a) Cumberbatch is so good, b) Freeman matches up (or tries to keep up) with his co-star, and c) when Andrew Scott finally appears as Moriarty, he really brings it and makes a big impression. I love this Moriarty as a man who is super-intelligent, but also wants to see Holmes as something more extraordinary, not just another ordinary person. Moriarty is a freak, but so is Holmes, and they complete each other in that odd way of nemeses. That scene alone, the climax of the thing (and how it does a twist, and then maybe another twist, in the showdown), is worth watching the episode all on its own.

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