BBC Worldwide have this week announced the production of a DVD and Blu-Ray box-set based around the BBC's beloved detective drama Sherlock for global distribution in the not too distant future. The programme aired its monumentally successful third run - which comprised of "The Empty Hearse", "The Sign of Three" and "His Last Vow" - earlier this year and is set to return to our screens in 2015 with (at least) a one-off special co-written by (the names which follow are displayed in bold as they've only just been confirmed this very morning) Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
Now, before we get down to business and reveal what special features lie in store in the so-called 'Series Three: Special Edition' compilation that weren't available in the original release, it's probably worth us voicing our opinion on the matter of beefed-up re-releases such as these. This writer will gladly admit that he purchased the original box-set back in January under the (arguably naive, but unquestionably innocent) illusion that it would be the one and only retail version of the new series and whilst there's plenty of financial logic to the Beeb's election to re-kit the set with a few extras that weren't present first time around, it's incredibly tough not to feel more than a little short-changed by their simultaneous decision to withhold the news of the potential existence of the set for several months until such a time when most hardcore fans of the show had purchased the original release, knowing full well that countless followers would give in and shell out another tenner or more for a barely-altered compilation in the hope of sating their constant appetite for more footage of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in action. The old mantra of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" may well still guide the Beeb's commercial approach at present, and to some extent rightly so (certainly, recent sales figures don't seem to indicate that this tactic isn't having a positive impact), but our prediction is that at some point the penny will drop and fans will start to demand better overall service.
With that assertion now out in the open, here's a definitive list of the content (new and old) which comprises the soon-to-be-released 2-disc set:
- "The Empty Hearse" (90 minutes)
- "The Sign of Three" (90 minutes)
- "His Last Vow" (90 minutes)
- Seasons Two & Three Outtakes Video (running time TBC)
- Audio Commentaries featuring the voices of Steven Moffat, Una Stubbs, Sue Vertue and Mark Gatiss (3 x 90 minutes)
- PBS Documentaries (3 x 45 minutes)
- Unlocking Sherlock Documentary (1 x 60 minutes)
- "Many Happy Returns" (a 7-minute prequel to Season Three)
Sherlock Series Three: Special Edition will crack the case in all worthy entertainment retailers this November 3rd for an RRP of £13.99 (DVD) / £17.49 (Blu-Ray).