Can you imagine Sherlock Holmes giving a ′Best Man′ speech at the wedding of his partner in crime solving, Dr. John Hamish Watson? Especially given that the latest incarnation of the Consulting Detective, played by the hauntingly sardonic Benedict Cumberbatch, is an arrogant, emotionless sociopath. But, that is exactly the sort of hilarity we can expect from the BBC series, Sherlock in the episode, The Sign of Three. The vision of producers Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss comes through like bubbles from a glass of champagne, delighting all true fans of Sherlock Holmes in this episode, mixing comedy with the drama of the dark side of humanity. Its as all terribly British as a plate of fish n′ chips with a cup o′ tea and a biscuit on the side!


Okay, I know many of you watch that dreadful series on CBS, ′Elementary′. You can call me a snob. You may call me a purist. You can call me anything you want other than Shirley, but Holmes belongs in London! Plain and simple! It may have worked for Emily, but the Americanization of Sherlock Holmes is just awful. Bad enough it has a female Watson and does tend to rip-off some of the aspects of Moffat and Gatiss, but the real problem is Holmes being in New York City. I′ve tried watching it a few times and I really wanted to like it, but I just cannot. Within five minutes, I′m watching something else.

Moffat, who resurrected Dr. Who, was the perfect person to bring us a 21st Century version of Holmes. Gatiss, who worked with Moffat on a couple of Who episodes as well as an earlier one-shot production of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero with Moffat before, have done an outstanding job with the Sherlock series. Right from the very first episode we were treated to a crazy Holmes beating cadavers with riding crops just to see how the wounds would look and taunting Scotland Yard and the Media with text messages. Watson wasn′t much better having some mental issues of his own after being wounded in Afghanistan. Even sweet, old Mrs, Hudson has some skeletons in her pantry.

But it all worked beautifully, resulting in a second, now a third season of the series. Last night′s episode picks up from the season premier where Watson gets engaged to Mary Mortsan, a relationship he takes up while Holmes faked his death for two years. Choosing Sherlock to be his best man becomes problematic on many levels as Holmes is something of a manic to start with. Helping Mary sort out the guest seating arrangement with his powers of deduction, such as who sent a cheap card for their RSVP, is mild compared to the trauma of a shy, awkward Holmes having to deliver a speech before a room full of humans who actually favor marriage.

My favorite scene is when Holmes takes Watson out for a pub crawl, bringing two lab beakers and insisting to the bartenders that he wants them each filled with precisely 443.7 milliliters of beer. Then watching them drunk as they attempt to solve a case of a ghost dating women over the Internet was hysterical, especially when Sherlock pukes over the ′crime scene′ while, as a drunk Watson put it, ″clueing for looks.″

Of course, Holmes gives examples of his friendship with Watson during the clumsy speech, based on cases John wrote about on his blog. Including the Case of the Bloody Guardsman, where Holmes and Watson try to save a British soldier who was somehow stabbed while locked in a shower after his duty stand at Buckingham Palace. While Sherlock could not figure out how an invisible man did the crime with an invisible knife, Dr. John does save the soldier′s life.

But all the pieces of both puzzles come together at the wedding during the speech. Holmes had narrowed down at least five actual ′victims′ of the ghost masher, whom he calls ′The Mayfly Man′, when it occurred to him during his speech that the last victim knew Watson′s middle name. So the best man speech now becomes an exercise in Sherlock′s power of deductive reasoning. Holmes tries to figure out who the Mayfly Man is as he must be at the wedding since the invitations mentions Watson’s rarely used middle name, but, he is unable to do so. Coached psychically by brother Mycroft, played by Gatiss, Sherlock narrows the guest list of potential targets down to Watson′s former commander who has been living in seclusion after death threats from the families of soldiers he led into a deadly ambush.

The game is afoot now! This is when Holmes makes the connection between the Mayfly Man and the Invisible Man with the invisible knife. The rest, as Holmes would say, is elementary. So the wedding ends on a happy note with a murder averted and the scoundrel arrested. We even get to see Sherlock dance a little bit, but not for long. While all are partying away, as happy, normal humans tend to do, Holmes slips away into the night, ready for another adventure.