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Exclusive Sherlock preview

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Save some champagne: Sherlock will return on New Year’s Day. Which, obviously, means Sherlock himself is alive. Which, in turn, should mean that we’re in for a crazy good explanation of how he survived his tumble off the side of St Bart’s at the end of Series 2. Speaking to ShortList, the man who plays him, Benedict Cumberbatch, was in no mood to reveal spoilers, but said we’re “in for a treat”.

So, what do we know?

Well, after Sherlock’s untimely ‘demise’, his wingman John Watson (Martin Freeman) is channelling his boundless grief into an excellent Magnum PI moustache, and getting on with his relationship with girlfriend Mary (Freeman’s real-life partner Amanda Abbington). This peace and quiet is shattered by the return of his pal. Says Freeman: “If you can imagine you thought someone you loved [was dead], and it transpires they’re not, it’s a huge piece of news.”

Cumberbatch adds that this massive news may not be broken in the most socially adept way: “He is Sherlock, so he doesn’t necessarily go about introducing himself back into John’s life in the best way possible.”

Co-creator Mark Gatiss also had this message for the impatient fans waiting for the explanation behind Sherlock’s ‘resurrection’: “Conan Doyle threw him off a waterfall and left him for 10 years. We left it two and a half minutes before saying he’s back. And there’s that old adage – ‘the suspense is killing me, I hope it lasts’.”

Looks like we’ll just have to bide our time on the big reveal, but maybe if we stare at these exclusive shots long enough, it will reveal some secrets. Like a detective-based Magic Eye.

Sherlock Series 3 starts 1 January 2014 on BBC One

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