TV Crime Log: Sherlock, Silent, Bridge

imagesSherlock is back for the first of three new episodes on the very first day of the New Year, which is a cause for celebration, is it not? And everyone wants to know how he got out of that little situation.

Sherlock Holmes’s return from the dead will be of no surprise to anybody who has read the source material, of course, but it’s a bit easier faking your death by plunging into a waterfall in the middle of nowhere, as he did in Conan Doyle’s stories, than it is plummeting off a building in a busy London.

Writer Steven Moffat is a writer of considerable invention, so no doubt the answer will be both entertaining and highly-implausible. So, yes, the New Year kicks off with the first of three new Sherlock dramas – The Empty Hearse.

Consider the footsteps of the gigantic blurb:

After the devastating effects of The Reichenbach Fall, Dr John Watson has got on with his life. New horizons, romance and a comforting domestic future beckon. But, with London under threat of a huge terrorist attack, Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so naturally to him. It’s what his best friend wanted more than anything, but for John Watson it might well be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’! If Sherlock thinks everything will be just as he left it though, he’s in for a very big surprise…

Contemporary adaptations The Sign Of The Three and His Last Vow follow. But the question is, will there be another series? Martin Freeman’s career isn’t going too badly, I think, and Cumberbatch – well, he’s in just about everything. Let’s just enjoy Sherlock while we can.

It’s on next year — oh christ, 2014. New Year’s Day, 2014, at 9pm.

608Sherlock may be a rare telly treat, but Silent Witness, first aired in 1996 and starting its 17th series on January 2nd, is a TV staple.

Wash your hands for the blurb:

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Nikki Alexander, Forensic Scientist Jack Hodgson and Forensic Lab Scientist Clarissa Mullery return, but this time there’s a new head of The Lyell Centre – Forensic Pathologist Dr. Thomas Chamberlain.

Chamberlain’s confidence and political nose make him a good choice to lead the Lyell Centre after the death of Leo Dalton, but his sudden arrival and new approach is met by a frosty reception from Nikki, Jack and Clarissa. It’s not long before his judgment is called into question, but how quickly will Thomas be able to prove his worth?

In the opening episode, Premiership footballer Isaac Dreyfus finds his days at the top are numbered when a sex tape links him to the brutal murder of a young woman, threatening to destroy his reputation and marriage. Dreyfus desperately fights to prove his innocence, while disillusioned Adam Freedman turns to a mysterious source for help to avenge the murder of his wife and child.

Nikki struggles to come to terms with Leo’s death following the arrival of the new Lyell Centre boss, pathologist Thomas Chamberlain. However, her feelings surface when DI John Leighton and DS Anne Burchett demand results in the two unsolved cases. When Nikki questions the motive behind the murders, a re-examination of the Freedman crime scene leads Jack to make a startling discovery.

Despite a revolving cast – ah, Amanda Burton, those were the days –  Silent Witness still delivers sturdy ratings for the BBC, so it’s no wonder that it’s back for another five stories. Those are divided into two parts, and wrapped within an ear-splitting operatic credit sequence. The first Silent Witness story, Commodity, is on at 9pm.

608-1And, I don’t know about you, but the UK-version of The Bridge – The Tunnel left me a bit cold. The melodrama was there, but the sly humour and terrific chemistry between the two leads seemed to have got lost somewhere in translation. I’ve been missing me some proper Saga.

So, this is good news, the second series of the original is back on BBC4 on Saturday four whole days into the new year — 2014, god help us – at 9pm.

The blurb requires you to shut the door behind you:

Thirteen months after the events of the first season, a coastal tanker leaves the Öresund waterway and heads straight for the Øresund Bridge.

When the coastguards board the ship, they discover there are no crew on board. Three Swedish and two Danish youths are also chained to the below deck.

Saga Norén of Malmö County Police is put in charge of the case and contacts Martin Rohde,, who is still haunted by the death of his son. Together, they start the journey of investigating the case.

Happy New year, persons.

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