Sherlock (2010– )
34 user 23 critic

The Reichenbach Fall 

Jim Moriarty hatches a mad scheme to turn the whole city against Sherlock.


Toby Haynes


Steve Thompson, Arthur Conan Doyle (based on the works of) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Sherlock Holmes
Martin Freeman ... Dr. John Watson
Una Stubbs ... Mrs. Hudson
Rupert Graves ... DI Lestrade
Mark Gatiss ... Mycroft Holmes
Andrew Scott ... Jim Moriarty
Louise Brealey ... Molly Hooper
Katherine Parkinson ... Kitty Riley
Vinette Robinson ... Sgt Sally Donovan
Jonathan Aris ... Anderson
Tanya Moodie ... Ella
Tony Pitts ... Chief Superintendant
Jaye Griffiths ... Prosecuting Barrister
Ian Hallard ... Defence Barrister
Malcolm Rennie Malcolm Rennie ... Judge


Moriarty comes close to stealing the Crown Jewels to prove it might be done but allows himself to be caught. Sherlock gives evidence at the trial where Moriarty has scared the jury into acquitting him and later visits Sherlock, camply taunting him with his superior computer skills, seemingly capable of any crime. Sherlock rescues two children abducted by his enemy, but his brilliantly accurate deductions, leading police to believe he may have been an accomplice in the kidnapping, get him arrested, going on the run with John. After a further encounter with Moriarty, who has persuaded a journalist to publish that he is an innocent actor paid by Sherlock to masquerade as his enemy for Sherlock's own glory, the two meet atop a very high building. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

20 May 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Reichenbach Fall See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ian Hallard, who plays Moriarty's defense attorney, is the real-life husband of Mark Gatiss, who plays Mycroft Holmes and who is also co-creator and writer of the show. See more »


Episode opens with Watson narrating the story to his psychiatrist, mentioning that his best friend Sherlock Holmes is dead. Story goes back 3 months to the day of Richenbach Case, followed by Jim Moriarty's crime spree, after which he get arrested. It is mentioned that his trial took 6 weeks, and story moves forward 2 months after the trial to continue Watson's adventures with Sherlock. However, by this time Sherlock should already be dead, and Watson's psychiatrist appointment must already been in past. See more »


[first lines]
Ella: Why today?
Dr. John Watson: [long pause] Do you want to hear me say it?
Ella: Eighteen months since our last appointment.
Dr. John Watson: Do you read the papers?
Ella: Sometimes.
Dr. John Watson: Um, and you watch telly?
Dr. John Watson: You know why I'm here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Certain letters in the credits of each Sherlock season 2 episode are red in color. In "The Reichenbach Fall" the red letters spell out the word "Believe". See more »


Featured in The Big Fat Quiz of the Year (2012) See more »


Stayin' Alive
Written by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb
Performed by The Bee Gees
See more »

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User Reviews

Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall
29 January 2012 | by dalelawson-1See all my reviews

Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall (Dir. Toby Haynes, Writ. Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat, 15.1.2012) is the final episode of Sherlock season 2, focusing on another of Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated stories. Holmes and Moriarty famously fight each other at the top of a waterfall until they inevitably fall off to their supposed deaths. I presumed that this episode would follow a similar premise to the original story by Doyle. But, like the other adaptations written by Gatiss and Moffat, it has been modernised and given an alternate plot. They did however hint toward the Reichenbach Waterfalls at the beginning of the episode when Holmes recovers a painting of it for a case. Early in this episode, two very exciting events happen. Firstly we see Sherlock wearing a deerstalker hat again, which has been a running theme throughout this season. And for any Sherlock Holmes fan it is always an exciting moment to see him don the deerstalker hat, like in Doyle's old stories. The second event that made this episode entertaining from the word go, was the return of Anderson. He appears in the first episode of season 1, Sherlock: A Study in Pink (Dir. Paul McGuigan, Writ. Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat, 25.7.2010), as a comical nemesis for Holmes when on a crime scene. In The Reichenbach Fall he appears again having been missing for the past four episodes. His character, alongside Sergeant Sally Donovan, helps this episode escalate into the adrenaline fuelled finale it becomes, and I for one am glad to see his return. Moriarty is fantastically clever in this episode, and the question everyone is left asking at the end is whether he is in fact smarter than Holmes. Moriarty begins the episode making what seems to be an unsuccessful decision which we are left to speculate as to whether it was foolish or dastardly clever. I for one enjoy watching these two intelligent characters pit their brains against each other in the hope to overthrow the other one. The ending is discussed in forums all over the internet as it was predictable for a few people, unexpected to some and confusing for others. The only disappointment I had with it was the lack of a cliff- hanger, which Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Dir. Guy Ritchie, 2011) didn't include either in their adaptation of The Reichenbach Falls story. But even without the cliff-hanger Gatiss and Moffat did manage to leave questions unanswered, making a third season hugely anticipated.

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