Sherlock Season 3 Episode 1 Filming Nearly Complete

Amanda Abbington and Benedict Cumberbatch. Image from @ryanfarrr

After last week’s initial burst of Setlock spoilers, things seemed to have mostly settled down in fandom. A cinematographer on the set has confirmed that they are six days away from the end of filming for the first episode The Empty Hearse.  What these next few days hold isn’t entirely certain, but Speedy’s Cafe did hint last week that they might be coming around to film soon.  The next few days could end up being all interior shoots or studio work, though, so there might not be much more forthcoming.  But what have we learned so far? Quite a bit.  I definitely feel adequately spoiled for the first episode of the season and I can’t wait to see glimpses of the next one.

Don’t read ahead if you don’t want to be spoiled. This is a comprehensive collection of spoilers gathered by fans in the past couple of weeks from the Sherlock set. It contains casting spoilers, pictures, videos, snippets of dialogue, and massive amounts of speculation. Reading back on this after the episode airs will either be super funny or super sad.

The Bloody Nose Scene

If you’ve been following spoilers it shouldn’t be a surprise that Martin Freeman’s real life partner Amanda Abbington is playing someone very close to John Watson. She’s been spotted on the set for several days, including what is possible the eagerly anticipated ‘reunion scene’ between Sherlock and John.  Apparently John headbutts Sherlock in the face at some point, probably when they meet again for the first time after Sherlock’s ‘death.’  This reaction is not entirely unexpected. Gatiss has been teasing since last May about a possibly violent reunion and the concept has been extremely popular among fans.  A video taken presumably of the scene immediately afterwards shows Abbington’s character having a brief conversation with Sherlock as he nurses his bloody nose just before we hear someone (probably John) shout a name that sounds like either “Mary” or “Harry” (I am firmly in the “Mary” as in “Mary Morstan” camp). Probably-Mary then says something like “I’ll talk to him for you” before joining John at a nearby waiting taxi.

Personally when I watch that video I hear “Mary,” but some are rooting for Abbington to be playing John’s sister, Harry, or even a new character named Mary that is possibly a cross over with Sebastian Moran (Mary Moran?).  These theories don’t have much evidence to back them other than wishful thinking and a severe distrust of Gatiss.  Some speculate the use of the name “Mary” might be a cover to hide her true identity.  Personally I think that’s a bit convoluted and I’m just going to assume the simplest explanation in this case is the correct explanation.  We hear “Mary” in the video, it’s confirmed by onlookers, and a possible inside source (validity of this source hasn’t been verified, so who knows) says that it’s Mary so it’s probably Mary.  But hey, rampant speculation is part of the fun of reading spoilers.

Personally, I’m fully anticipating loving Mary quite a bit.  I don’t know much about Amanda Abbington, but from the little I’ve seen of her during filming she seems adorable and charming.  It seems like Cumberbatch and Abbington have a nice chemistry on set together.  Of course, knowing that Mary dies in canon that makes me hate the fact that I’m probably going to love her.  I guess it’s not a Gatiss/Moffat creation unless our hearts get ripped out.  I’m looking forward to seeing if she appears on set for the next two episodes or if she’ll die in the first.  This might be hard to determine, though, as she is Martin’s partner and could very well just pop onto the set to visit without actually playing a role.  I guess we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled and speculation hats screwed firmly in place.

The Fancy Restaurant Scene

At some point during the episode there is a formal dinner scene, which was filmed at the super fancy Daffodil restaurant in Cheltenham. Some have speculated that it’s John and Mary’s wedding, but there’s not much to confirm that other than the fact that both Freeman and Abbington were on hand at the time. Benedict Cumberbatch was also on the set, though, which means they would be getting married after his return or this is simply a date and Sherlock is crashing it.  There’s also the possibility that Sherlock just a figment of John’s imagination in this scene.  The vast majority of this shoot was inside, but there was amazing opportunity for fans to snap gorgeous pictures of the cast as they came to and from the set. They also shot at a nearby cafe called Spencer’s, but there’s not a whole lot of information from that shoot.

The Bonfire Scene

setlockAnother scene that has had a lot of press is a bonfire scene that pulled in several lurking fans as extras. Yep, fans who showed up to watch the filming got to be part of it.  I’m trying my hardest to not be insanely jealous.  In this scene Sherlock and Mary (it’s Mary, guys) race through a crowd of people as Sherlock shouts ”move! Move!” The reason for his urgency isn’t certain, but some of the recruited fans state that John is actually in the bonfire. This hasn’t been confirmed, but multiple fans have come to the same conclusion after watching the stunt doubles in action. The “Dad” character on this casting list lends some more support to their reports.  Someone in the bonfire is talking.


How did that happen? Could a villain have put him there? Some long twisty plot where he gets kidnapped (again) and trapped?  Did he get drunk and fall into the bonfire?  Or did he just burrow underneath it to take a nap like an adorable little hedgehog?  Who the hell knows.  This definitely feels like the climax scene, though.  Whatever bad stuff’s going down in this episode will probably come to a head in this scene.  Again, trying my best not to be jealous of my fellow fans right now.  Holy crap, guys.

Miscellaneous Information

Yes John has a mustachio. No, I don’t like it. Sherlock and Lestrade were caught doing something in a Castle. You can also watch very off topic report about the cost of childcare that has a few seconds of set footage that tells us nothing except that Molly is back. Honestly, fan footage has been far more comprehensive than that so it’s hardly worth waiting through the boring bits.  Also we most likely return to the Diogenes club for at least one scene and 221b appears to have had a makeover.  And they briefly film at…. a landfill? I have no idea.  But there you go.


That thing about Gatiss confirming that Sherlock and John kissing was completely fake. So was the ‘Sherleaked’ video. However, that thing about Anderson saying “I believe in Sherlock Holmes” is completely 100% true. I know, right? Anderson! Of all the pranksters trying to pull stuff over on Sherlock fans, Gatiss is the best. Bravo, sir.

To everyone who has been following our summaries of the Sherlock spoilers, you might want to frequently check in on this page, which is where we will be posting all of our articles related to season 3 spoilers. And hey, we post some other cool stuff, so maybe even give us a follow (on Tumblr and Twitter and Facebook too).

You can also check out our major sources that we follow on various social networking sites. On Tumblr we have the three mighty warriors of the #Setlock tag: dudeufugly, londongypsy, and mycroft-holmes-approves.  Also, @ryanfarrr from Twitter is my hero. Bless that guy. I crown him King of Setlock. All hail the King.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They identify as queer.

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