Filming on the final episode of season 3 has begun. It’s titled His Last Vow and was written by Steven Moffat.
The most exciting news so far is the casting of Lars Mikkelsen as Charles Augustus Magnussen, this seasons antagonist. Yep, Lars Mikkelsen, who is Mads Mikkelsen’s brother. You know Mads. He plays Hannibal Lecter on NBC’s Hannibal. Oh? You don’t know him? Well pop on over to my Mads Mikkelsen film reviews and check him out. If Lars has even a small portion of the acting talent his brother has we are in for a treat this season. The character he is playing was originally called Charles Augustus Milverton (last name possibly changed due to Mikkelsen’s Danish heritage) and was featured in the short story The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton in The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Milverton is the “King of Blackmailers” in the story. Since Sherlock doesn’t always stick to canon it’s hard to say how much of the story they will keep and how much they’ll alter, but Milverton was a cause of great revulsion for Sherlock in the original ACD story. In fact, he found him even more disgusting than the many murderers he’d investigated throughout his career. If you are interested in reading the original story you can check it out for free here.
Today they filmed at a restaurant called Giovanni’s. The new villain was on the set as well as Benecict Cumberbatch in either a rather hoboish looking costume or possibly baggy sweats in an attempt to hide the costume underneath (or maybe Benny was just feeling lazy this morning. Who are we to judge?) Martin Freeman and his stunt double were also there, which is somewhat troubling as a stunt double typically means he’s going to be put in some sort of mortal peril. There was smoke on set (picture of the smoke, plus a bonus Gatiss in shorts), which is another worrying sign. It is the last episode, though, and those tend to be quite tragic. There are a lot of pictures of Martin hanging out by a door, which may or may not be opened by Mikkelsen. People in the #Setlock tag on Tumblr have stated that it’s opened by him, but we haven’t been able to find clear photographic evidence of such. Either way, John is putting himself in a dangerous situation and his stunt double is on hand, so I’d have some tissues and chocolate on hand when the episode airs. Our hearts might break.
It seems like a large portion of the filming was done indoors, but Mikkelsen was spotted outside going up to the door and curiously opening it. That and the aforementioned smoke have led some to believe they are breaking into his study to steal his blackmail letters. Someone else barges in on them, however, and murders Milverton. The scene in the story ends with them dumping the letters into the fireplace, which could explain the aforementioned smoke (still troubling to have Freeman’s double on set, but maybe the smoke has nothing to do with him being in danger!). How much of this is going to feature in the episode? It’s hard to say.
Another possible reference to the short story are the pictures in the window to Giovanni’s (another picture). At the end of the short story John recognizes Milverton’s murderer in one of the pictures, but Sherlock urges him to keep quiet. There was a woman on set that some initially suspected was playing Mrs. Holmes. It’s possibly that she will play Milverton’s murderer if they are, in fact, filming that scene today.
Here’s a lovely video compilation of some of the highlights from the set. The transitions between the footage is mildly headache inducing, so I apologize for that, but the content is fabulous.
Unexplained tidbits include an IV prop. Seriously not helping me not panic about John’s well being, you know? But it could be anything. Hell, it could be for Milverton/Magnussen after he gets shot. Who knows?
Also, Mark Gatiss pretended to shoot the Setlock bystanders with a machine gun. Benedict also interacted with the fans by waving and just generally being polite to those who trekked out to the set. It’s always fun to watch the cast and crew be playful with the crowd.
In addition to the usual #Setlock shenanigans, there has been a mysterious countdown on the Sherlockology Twitter account. Nobody is quite sure what they are counting down to, but we’re almost to the final number so we’ll all be finding out soon. It’s important to note that Sherlockology is a fan run Twitter account, but they do have access to some pretty awesome information. It’s worth paying attention to.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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