happy many returns


With all my heart I wish you many happy returns of the day! Let all your fond dreams, hopes and expectations come true in your new year. I wish you always to have cheerful mood, good health, strength to resist difficulties and patience, big success in all your dealings and great personal happiness! Thank you for the bright light you give me! Thank you for your being in this world! Happiness and good luck! Happy birthday Flo! 🎉🎁🎂🎈💕

(I’m sorry that, I missed Flo’s birthday.)

Want to instill doubt in someone? “Change minor details in their surroundings.”

Yes, this post is about Sherlock. Specifically, about the reason for all of those pesky set design flaws that grew larger and larger as series 4 progressed.

For example, the skull picture we normally see…

…turns into this.

Or when Ella’s office looked like this…

…but turned into this.

There are hundreds of examples but how about simply one more.

John’s flat looked like this…

…but turned into this.

If you watch Many Happy Returns, which takes place before Series 3, you’ll see John’s front door doesn’t actually exist under the staircase – that was an unnecessary change in Series 4.

So what do all of these changes have to do with making an impression on the audience?  Well.  Everything.

When you want to get a group of people to doubt their own memory – or to plant new ones – you have to change things about what they already know, but don’t let on that you’ve changed anything.

And who does this for a living?

Derren Brown, the illusionist who had a cameo in The Empty Hearse. He’s also a very good friend of Mark Gatiss’. He has a fascinating video you can watch about this exact technique I’m explaining. By changing details visually, one can change how people doubt their own abilities to perceive reality, and also question their own memories.

Do you know all the outrageous things series 4 fed us?

– Mary is just an ordinary housewife with a good heart
– John would never save Sherlock from a serial killer
– John would beat Sherlock senseless
– Sherlock simply needs love from family to complete him
– John has a bunch of friends that love to look after his baby
– John would blame Sherlock for any harm befalling Mary
– John would easily forgive Mary for shooting his best friend in cold blood
– Mary knows Sherlock and John better than anyone ever could

These things blatantly contradict everything we’ve ever known about these characters. Still don’t believe Mary is a manipulative psychopath? Go read the HLV script; it just made its rounds on the internet today.

You’ve been wondering why series 4 is so screwed up, narratively and visually? It has a purpose. It is to make the audience doubt – to make the audience doubt their own ability to comprehend reality.

Is it working?


Happy Birthday Jonathan Daniel Hamm! (March, 10th 1971.)

‘’You know, a lot of people look at me and go ‘Oh my god, you’re so lucky, you have this, you have that, you’re this, and you’re that. Wanna trade places with me? Like, now? Sure. Do you want to do it when I was 23 and living out of my car? And had no parents or prospects? For me, it’s all about understanding that it is not the end of the world. The sun’s going to rise tomorrow. Pull your pants up. Take a shower. Don’t wallow.’’

If you want some fun Sherlock Stats today, here’s something to think about.

In the whole of this entire series from S1-TAB (including Many Happy Returns) Sherlock and Molly have a whopping total of eight minutes and twenty-six seconds (8:26) of screentime together.

This is a show with (excluding S4) 1087 minutes of screentime total. This would mean that roughly 0.8% of that screentime is occupied by Sherlock and Molly on together.

Keep in mind that in many of these moments of screentime together, there are other people in the shot as well; counting only times when the two of them were featured on screen together would have further decreased the time.

Just something to think about!

(Re: the clip of he watson’s flat in the parenthood video (x)) No, you’re not going mad, there certainly wasn’t a door under those stairs in John’s flat in ‘Many Happy Returns’. There was a dresser right up against the wall with the TV on:

(the picture of the fern is still in it’s place, though!) So, they’ve obviously gained a back garden and a back door since we last saw the flat.

in ‘His last vow’ here is the front door & the view through the kitchen to the living room:

To me the staircase looks different, much closer to the wall and to me it looks like the stairs change direction (behind John’s head in that last cap) much lower than in the parenthood video.

Has John been doing DIY in his spare time? ;)