10 Ways Sherlock Went From Great To Terrible

From 'no s**t, Sherlock' to fairly s**t Sherlock.

Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch

How did the brightest jewel in the crown of BBC drama fall from critical darling to the forgotten and - dare it be said - slightly dated drama it is today?

Season one of the surprise hit show was a bold re-imagining of the classic Victorian detective set in modern London, a simple concept that proved to be an immediate classic. Season two only built on these strong foundations by giving its two leads meatier roles and giving us one of television's most emotional climaxes in The Reichenbach Fall.

However, after Sherlock swan-dived off the side of St Bartholomew the show never really reached such levels of brilliance again. There was the odd moment of genius here and there and of course Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman always delivered sterling performances no matter the quality of the script.

Whether it be the terrible Christmas special, the lengthy wait between episodes or the increasingly ridiculous mind palace scenes, here are the ways Sherlock went from great to terrible.

10. Leave Them Wanting (And Waiting) More

Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch

Sherlock has always prided itself on releasing three feature film-length episodes a series but the catch being the gap between each series became gradually longer and longer as time went on.

The gap between the third and fourth series alone was three years, not including the intervening disappointing Christmas special, which eventually only came to harm the series as people's expectations were sky high after having to wait so long. With most TV series churning out a new series every year, American series priding themselves with 20 episodes per season, it is no wonder people began losing patience with a show whose next series was constantly in limbo.

Of all the problems the show suffered this was the most understandable as Cumberbatch and Freeman became the hottest actors in the world and were beckoned by the luring lights of Hollywood. While Cumberbatch was busy working with the likes of Steven Spielberg, J. J. Abrams and Danny Boyle, Freeman had been cast as Bilbo Baggins in the sprawling Hobbit trilogy. It was a miracle any episodes got made as these actors struggled to line up their diaries.

While it helped their career post-Sherlock it did not help the show become a regular fixture in people's life.


An avid cinephile, love Trainspotting (the film, not the hobby), like watching bad films ironically (The Room, Cats) and hate my over-reliance on brackets (they’re handy for a quick aside though).