His Last Vow – BAFTA screening

A description of the evening by Tania Peyton Twele, 10.01.2014.

BAFTA Screening of His Last Vow

On Wednesday a small group had the pleasure to attend a screening for the last Sherlock episode His Last Vow at the BAFTA HQ in central London.
The atmosphere was completely different compared with the screening for the season’s opener The Empty Hearse which had been held at the BFI before Christmas. Not only is the BAFTA venue half the size but as the audience for the first episode mainly consisted of journalists, cast, pro-
duction team and a significant amount of fans the BAFTA screening was a closed event for members, meaning only industry professionals had a chance to grab one of the tickets. However the BAFTA kindly had made a small amount of tickets available to a few journalists and fans.

It was once more a delightful pleasure to see that almost the entire cast joined the screening, only missed by the two lead actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman who sadly had other commitments and actor & writer Mark Gatiss who currently stars in Coriolanus at the Donmar Theatre. Rupert Grave, Jonathan Aris, Louise Brealey, Amanda Abbington and Una Stubbs mingled with the audience and as a special surprise the crowd found out after the episode ended that Moriarty himself, played by Andrew Scott, had sneaked unrecognised into the last row to watch the final instalment of this season with his former colleagues.

Before the screening started BBC Drama Controller Ben Stephenson mentioned how utterly thrilled everybody is with the huge success and the absolutely stunning viewing figures of the third season. He also took the time to thank the cast, production team, writers and producers for the incredible work they’ve done over the last years.
Speaking about the last episode he barely could hold back his enthusiasm, even said it’s “fucking good”. Of course the screening is embargoed by the BBC so he explicitly asked not to give away any of the twists and jaw dropping moments of the episode. As the BBC might not be threatening enough he smirked demonically and mentioned that the new villain, Charles Augustus Magnussen, was indeed a serious blackmailer and would track every single violator down. Hopefully everybody avoids the newspapers until the episode airs but it’s safe to say that CAM might have been spotted at The Guardian’s office the next day…

As a film industry audience might indicate it comes to no surprise that His Last Vow wasn’t accompanied by frenetic laughter and joyful sounds as the first episode.
But unlike the previous two episodes His Last Vow is a much darker story itself with literally breath-taking and heart stopping moments, which might have contributed to a much quieter audience as well.

Nevertheless the last scene, after some gasping and suppressed sobs, was followed by enthusiastic applause that almost lead into standing ovations.

The following Q&A lasted for about 25 minutes and included producer Sue Vertue, actress Amanda Abbington who portrays John Watson’s wife Mary Morstan, director Nick Hurran, writer Steven Moffat and Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen who plays the new villain in town, Charles Augustus Magnussen. Admiring applause from the audience followed each introduction though Lars got a slightly bigger one, as people were astonished by his extraordinary performance.

The cast stayed after the show for some drinks and all of them were more than adorable in taking pictures with the few fans or fan club members. Lars again took the leading role and came back several times for taking pictures and made sure every single time that the result was satisfying.

Steven Moffat even took the time to give business advice to a young director on how to reach the next step in his career.

As the Q&A obviously contains some spoilers a transcript will be made available after the HIS LAST VOW aired on Sunday.

The most exciting thing of course is common knowledge already anyway…

Sherlock will be back!

(Deutsche Übersetzung folgt in Kürze.)