Chinese Netizens Eagerly Welcome BBC’s “Sherlock” Season 3


Sherlock Season 3” has been a trending topic on leading Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo over the past two days. Chinese netizens have been anxiously waiting for the popular series to continue since the last season ended two years ago in 2012 January. The show is well-known, unsatisfyingly for having only a few episodes each season compared to many popular American TV shows available online in China, but satisfyingly because the 90-minute episodes are considered similar to watching a movie.

The third hottest microblog post of the trending topic was posted on 2013 New Year’s Eve…

From Sina Weibo:

@南都全娱乐: #Southern Metropolis Exclusive# Apart from the UK, China will be the first place in the world to see #Sherlock Season 3# — Sherlock Season 3 returns o 2014 January 1. The riddle of Curly’s [Sherlock Holmes] fake death will be revealed! BBC has partnered with Youku to give Chinese fans a big New Year’s gift: Not only will there be near simultaneous broadcast, BBC unprecedentedly is also providing official Chinese subtitles! Now with the BBC doing this, maybe you all can now spare their Prime Minister! [偷乐]

Chinese fans of Sherlock had taken to urging the UK Prime Minister David Cameron about the show on his Sina Weibo page. Many Chinese netizens jokingly conclude that it must have worked because, recently, popular Chinese video streaming website Youku prominently announced the return of the series, and that it would be the exclusive and official host of the series online in China. It also advertised that it would make each episode available at the same time as it would be broadcasted in the UK (5am January 2nd Beijing time).


To the dismay of Chinese fans who either stayed up all night or woke up early, the episode was not available on Youku at 5am but was finally released several hours later at 7am…

From Sina Weibo:

@英国那些事儿: Sherlock Season 3 Episode 1 — You can watch on Youku now!


[Note: This microblog was posted at 7:04am January 2nd. The second image shows the Youku video player restricting viewing to internet users only in mainland China.]

Comments from Sina Weibo:


Woke up just in time! [嘻嘻][嘻嘻]


Those abroad, use [Google] Chrome, then download the Unblock Youku plugin.


Can’t wait anymore, going to watch it after getting off work, was thinking of waiting until the weekend…


Awesome! So awesome! My god, this is quite simply the happiest occasion of 2014!


Get out of my way~ I woke up this early just to go see Curly [Benedict Cumberbatch]!! [熊猫][熊猫][熊猫][好爱哦][好爱哦]


Youku is scum… not simultaneous at all.


I still remember that feeling of hopelessness from how far away something is when I first heard that I had to wait until 2014 before Season 3 would come out, but in a blink of an eye Curly [Benedict Cumberbatch] and Peanut [Chinese pun of “Watson”] have once again brought me into a legendary plot of ten thousand “what the fucks”, time sure goes by fast. btw, the two cute bastards have in this beginning of a new year once again melted the young girly heart of slovenly men… I won’t spoil it, everyone just say “what the fuck” ten thousand times silently in your hearts. [心]


The faked death was done only for the military doctor to see??? The entire street sealed, the killer taken care of by big brother Mycroft, but if they are this niubi, why did they have to fake the death at all??


Sherlock…Recently, I’ve been watching The Vampire Diaries, which is also very good. [心] Upvote me.


The feeling of being able to watch godly Sherlock after waking up is so good.

The second most popular microblog in the trending topic was posted earlier around 5:30am by Chinese netizens who were watching the actual BBC broadcast and threatened to post spoilers…

From Sina Weibo:

@英国那些事儿: This kiss of deep love between Curly and Moriarty will definitely be famous for all eternity, am I right!!!!!!

Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes gay kiss in Season 3.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


What is going on?!?!?


Youku is going to piss me off to death, am I right! [This comment was posted at 5:35am, after the show was broadcasted in the UK but had not yet appeared on Youku as promised.]


What the fuck?!


I was shocked!!! Luckily it was just YY.




Youku said 5am! [泪][泪][泪]


Fuck, don’t give spoilers.


Fuck, no way, he really is gay??????


Hahahaha, when I saw this, it scared me to death, ten thousand grass mud horses furiously ran by.


No wonder there’s a saying: “Gazing at a person for longer than 3 seconds is love”, kiss then!


At time of translation, the first episode on Youku has over 6.5m views, 19.5k comments (many Youku comments are cross-posted from Sina Weibo), and 55k upvotes.


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  • bprichard

    How thrilling for them.

  • North-eastern


  • critiker

    the core of the show is disturbing because it puts a homosexual as a SMART-ass person who should be emulated!

    • mr.wiener

      How awful. We can’t have smart arsed homosexuals being emulated. We should look up to butch manly smart arses like Noel Coward, Oscar Wilde , Ian McKellen [Gandalf to you],James Dean,Andy Warhol, Socrates,Anerson Cooper,Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Freddie Mercury.
      I loved your post though. I thought it was faaaabulous!

      • Rick in China

        James Dean wasn’t gay. Not that it matters towards your point.

    • markus peg

      Sherlock is not a homosexual, and even if he was so what?…

    • Q Ball

      Hes asexual.

      • SimpsonsGoldenAge

        He’s in love with Moriarty (female version) in “Elementary”

    • Surfeit

      If that disturbs you just wait till someone sneezes glitter all up in your face.

    • donscarletti

      Sherlock’s sexuality is always ambiguous. The closest thing to being a reference to him being gay is in the very first episode where he replies to whether he has a girlfriend with “not really my thing” but replies to the question of whether he has a boyfriend with a simpler “no” (not a strict affirmation, but could be interpreted that way). I’ve only watched up to the end of the second series but he never really shows any sence of sexual attraction to either sex in any of them, leading me to think that he’s asexual. Given the openness all the main characters, including Sherlock show towards the subject of homosexuality, I could hardly imagine he is a closeted gay.

      Moriarty gives off a more flamboyant vibe, but makes a jovial reference to pretending to be be homosexual as “Jim from IT” in 1-3, which strongly suggest’s he’s not. I would say that they are both asexual.

  • narsfweasels

    So they’ve finally finished being super-famous for long enough to make another season? Oh goody. I still want Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles back, but this will have to do.

    • mr.wiener

      I was terribly disappointing with that series, sorry.

      • narsfweasels

        Yes, your turn as “Guy at the Bar” was terribly disappointing :P

        I personally loved it, but it had plenty of detractors. It reminded me of the reimagined BSG in some ways – clever twists, believable characters. But it never had the ratings. I feel it deserved another series, or at least a direct-to-DVD movie to tie it off. Instead we got Terminator: Salvation. Sigh.

        • Kai

          I thought the reminagined BSG had the ratings? Its spin-off Caprica didn’t though, but BSG itself was really successful, wasn’t it?

          I’m mixed about TSCC. It had some highs but what I felt was a lot of lows. It wasn’t nearly as consistent as BSG was and whereas BSG made something campy very nitty gritty serious, I felt TSCC made something reasonably serious into a teenage drama.

          Also not sure if Summer Glau’s portrayal was “believable” either, and her transition from fake normal girl to robot didn’t make sense, and that’s the start of the series (though it’s not unusual for things to be rough in the first few episodes before the actors have gotten into their characters and how they want to portray them).

          Salvation was underwhelming but it was at least better than T3. Like other Terminator fans, I blame Christian Bale and am curious about what it would’ve been like if they used one of the earlier scripts where Conner doesn’t even really appear.

          • narsfweasels

            I treat T3 and Salvation like I treat Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection: they never happened.

            As to BSG, far as I remember it never did big ratings-wise but was a critical darling. Same cannot be said of TSCC, Dollhouse, Caprica and so on.


            I enjoy Sherlock, and I feel the chemistry between the two leads is brilliant. Just waiting for the return of The Walking Dead now.

      • SimpsonsGoldenAge


        • mr.wiener

          Grammar nazi .are you saying my Engrish haz a ploblum?

          • linette lee


          • Edward_Crowley

            Linette, you are back, have you been back to HK lately?

          • linette lee

            yes, I went back for two weeks during Thanksgiving holiday for family. :)

          • Edward_Crowley

            Ah, was not here then. New years eve was good.

  • slob

    I love Sherlock and S1 and S2 were excellent. S3 was such a let down after waiting nearly 2 fucking years. Seems to me they tried to make all the fanbase happy all at the same time which is pointless because we like the show for what they do with it, not what we think should be done with it.

    If they ruin season 3 after waiting 2 years for it, I’m going to write them an upsetting email.

    • Kai

      LoL, to be fair, the wait for S2 was like 1.5 years.

      I thought there was a bit too much spontaneous epiphany with Sherlock in this episode. Much of the entertainment is about how Sherlock pieces things together, or maybe I’m mixing Sherlock up with Elementary here. It’s been awhile.

      • markus peg

        I hope this website gives us a follow up on the reactions to the episodes, if they are anything like me they would have hated the second episode of series 3

        • Kai

          I didn’t know what you were talking about until I realized episode 2 should be out today.

      • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

        I think this espisode is more of a ‘return & set up’ for the rest of the series. It is why the case wasn’t as interesting as what was happening between Watson and Sherlock.

        • markus peg

          I thought that too, but if that’s true they should have more than 3 episodes per series as that means they have used “two out of three” for the “return” aspect.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            Personally, after watching the second episode, this season doesn’t seem to be on the level of the previous ones. I’m hoping the 3rd episode make up for the previous two. And I don’t want to wait years for the next season if it needs to carry onto that.

    • markus peg

      after watching 2 of the 3 episodes, id start writing the letter now… unless 3 is awesomely amazing this series has been a fail…

      seems like abusive phone calls to the BBC are in order lol

  • Nilerafter24

    Sherlock is good I guess though I prefer Luther. Less fantastical. Sherlock seems to try to dodge major story flaws using humor and inexplicable ‘Holmes Intellect’ that always saves the day. Also there’re no real life stakes for most of the characters. You know that at the end of the day every character you love will be okay, which is fine by the way; just not very intriguing to me personally.

    • Surfeit

      Luther is pretty good. I love seeing London in that way. Check out The Wire too!

      • ex-expat

        The Wire is a whole different level…one of the best ever.

        • Surfeit

          Plus, they got Method Man! “M E T – H O D maaan!”

      • Nilerafter24

        The Wire is probably one of the best shows ever. Up there with the Sopranos and Breaking Bad。

    • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

      Sherlock is supposed to be more fantastical though.

      And to tell you the truth: “Also there’re no real life stakes for most of the characters. You know that at the end of the day every character you love will be okay, which is fine by the way; just not very intriguing to me personally.” – That can be said about many of the shows on TV.

      • Nilerafter24

        That’s true but I guess I’m a fan of grittier and more realistic series e.g. Breaking Bad, Luther, The Wire, Oz, Game Of Thrones where the lines between right and wrong are often blurred, characters are multi-dimensional and risky actions can actually weigh heavy on them.

        • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

          That would take Sherlock out of the fantastical though. I am a fan of the stories of Sherlock Holmes, but I also enjoy the shows you mentioned (except Game Of Thrones, as I’ve never watched it).

          The thing with Sherlock is, that he doesn’t see there is a wrong or right, just that what he does is right. He wouldn’t get hung up on an action like a normal person (or as normal as you can say on TV in such shows) though you can see him changing somewhat, and only a little as the series has progressed. It is one of the differences between this Sherlock and the Elementary Sherlock, who seems more…emotional and less like the Sherlock from the books.

  • Jobjed

    Fuck…. only people with Chinese IP addresses can view the episode on Youku. CCP is being racist to foreigners again….

    • Kai

      LoL, try the Chrome + Unblock Youku plugin mentioned in the translated comments. I’m personally curious about whether it works though I don’t need it.

      • Jobjed

        OMG, thank you SO much. It works!!!

    • Jahar

      Does Youku pay to do that?

      • Jobjed

        It’s probably in their agreement with BBC. Youku bought the rights to have exclusive broadcast rights on mainland China and they uploaded it at the same time that BBC is broadcasting it in the UK.

        BBC would have ensured that Youku agreed to only broadcast for Chinese audiences so that their licensing rights in other territories won’t be devalued. Think about it like this; if Youku offered the entire episode for the whole world then everyone would have watched it before it was scheduled to broadcast in their own countries. This means there would be less viewers for the scheduled broadcast, advertising would be less valuable and the overseas distributors would not pay BBC as much for broadcast rights.

        • Jahar

          Yeah i was just wondering if they have legal rights to broadcast it or not. I don’t care about the time or anything. It’s good though that they are paying for it. A nice step towards cutting down on piracy here.

    • donscarletti

      Foreigners in China can view it on Youku, just like Chinese in UK can view it on the BBC. About as un-racist as you can get.

  • markus peg

    The BBC’s updated Sherlock is awesome, i loved hound of the baskervilles.

    [small spoiler alert]
    the gay scene wasn’t real that was a conspiracy theory from a fan girl. That scene was more to shock the fans when they 1st see it then relies its all bullsh*t.

    the next episode airs on Sunday [i think]

    • Kai

      I was shocked by the first scene (especially by the time he kisses Molly after coming in through the window), thinking they’ve ruined the show. Fortunately, it was revealed to just be a fan conspiracy theory.

      • markus peg

        Fans posted theory’s on the internet, i have a feeling the writer read the theory’s and recreated it as a joke, at first they (the fans) must have been pointing at the screen saying “i knew it! i told you! didnt i say thats how it happened”….. oh its not real… bummer.. lol

        • Kai

          Heh, yeah, Wikipedia entries on Season 3 pointed that out too. The writers were parodying the online fan speculation from the Season 2 finale. Have you ever watched Supernatural? The writers for that show do that a lot too, making fun of themselves and their fanbase.

          • mr.wiener

            They certainly do.

  • markus peg

    Question: who did the subs the BBC or Youku?
    I used fan subs from a Chinese forum.. tho they often make mistakes when it comes to numbers and dates or sometimes British jokes that don’t always translate.

    for example the when sherlock said ffff and then the next scene peanut was at work and asked the man to cough in English that sounds like fuck off (ffff cough) but the subtitles missed the joke.

    • Kai

      It says above that BBC provided it?

      Hah, yeah, the “cough” scene was funny. There’s a bunch of dialogue gags in the series.

      • markus peg

        i still asked because i watched it on TV and read that it would have Chinese subtitles (stupidly i assumed the broadcasted episode would allow the option to turn on or off Chinese subtitles but it only had English). I guess they are the real deal then, i wonder how much youku paid for the rights?…

        Sometimes official subtitles are better yet sometimes fan subs are better… as you watched the “official” subs how good would you say they were, did they miss things like the above mentioned cough scene like my fan subs did?…

        I am currently not in mainland China so i cannot watch that video on youku. its ironic, inside China i crave youtube and “lol cat” videos, outside of China i miss all the videos that say “mainland only”

        • Kai

          Given that I undestand English, I can’t say I paid too much attention to the quality of the Chinese subtitles, so I can’t say. I suppose I could fire up Youku and do a spot comparison but kinda lazy to do so at the moment as I’m trying to get to bed.

          I hear you about fan subs vs. official subs though. It all depends on the translator. We just usually expect official ones to be better because money and pros were involved, but yeah, sometimes they can’t compare with a die-hard bilingual fan though.

          Try to Chrome + Unblock Youku plugin trick the Chinese netizens mentioned.

  • vincent

    Dat voice

  • Themasterdoctor

    Very good episode, watch out for my cameo :)

  • mei mei

    i actually enjoy watching two guys making out

    • markus peg

      It would be weird if you didn’t enjoy it. =]

      That bit was so for the fans talking about Sherlock and peanut kissing lol

    • YourSupremeCommander

      You will far more enjoy watching me making out with myself.

    • North-eastern

      That seems like the reason why men become gays..

      • mei mei

        tbh i only ship two good looking guys ^_^

    • mr.wiener

      It does nothing for me, on the other hand 2 girls swapping spit also draws a “Meh” from me. Far too “look at uz” for my taste.

    • Peter Pottinger


      • mei mei

        shut up

  • PixelPulse

    I cant watch BBC Sherlock because of the fan base but at least they seem tame in China.

  • Jobjed

    Shhh…. it’s a joke. China has closed off numerous entertainment channels to the world such as Baidu MP3 because of concerns over IP violation protests from foreigners.

  • David

    Wow, these netizens REALLY like this show.

  • Nick in Beijing

    Chinese like to watch T.V.

    Who’da thunk it.

  • Zappa Frank

    I know, usually people suspect that Sam is the gay of the group.

  • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

    You didn’t watch it and you think Sherlock is gay?
    Sadly (or not, depending on your view) Sherlock isn’t gay.

    I prefer this one to Elementary. Elementary is basically another Mentalist, Lie To Me or Bones, or other such series. Even the casting of Watson as a woman is not really that surprising if you look at other similar shows in the US. There is always a man and a woman. Usually it is the man that is in the lead, but sometimes the woman. I would have been more intriqued to see a female version of Sherlock with a female Watson.

  • moeimoei


  • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

    Now all we need is the Sherlock Vs. Elementary debate.

  • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

    I’ve watched all of Elementary and that is particularly due to the lead actor.

    Both shows show isolation but Elementary does so its negative effects more than the other. Both characters do change (as does Sherlock in the book) but I see that both shows have their ups and down. There are just some things that seem more out of character of Holmes in Elementary than Sherlock (e.g. the case of the serial killer, where he punches the guy in the sound booth is very unlike Sherlock). There is also the Moriarty being Irene Adler thing ruined the show for me. That was really bad. Right now, I don’t know where they are going with Mycroft in Elementary, but he is pretty much pretty far from the source material.

    Then there is the focus on the side characters. The thing is, they don’t seem any smarter or dumber than the ones from Sherlock (Bell should have spotted the dust movement in the delivery van himself in the episode about the Steve Jobs like character dying). There are some things that they should see themselves and wouldn’t need Sherlock. Lucy Liu comes across as a nag. Sherlock stories were not much about side characters anyway unless related to the story. I know shows like Elementary need to involve the side characters more. Episodic series allow for it where something like Sherlock will not do so as much.

    I watch Elementary because it is interesting to see a different take on Holmes and it pretty much takes it away from canon as much as it can (if you gave the characters different names, not much fuss would have been made about it). I like Miller and his acting is pretty good. I’ve rated him as an actor for some time, I also think that Elementary’s Sherlock is an interesting character (which I can’t say the same about the other characters in it, including Joan).

    I guess my problem with Elementary is that the more I watch the show, the less it feels like Sherlock Holmes. As a person who read the books by Conan Doyle, there is so much liberty someone can take with the source material before the character becomes someone different. It is one of the reason why I dislike movies based on games. They always radically change the story to something nothing remotely like the game and just have some name dropping to sell the movie.

    • Kai

      I actually thought Elementary’s Irene Adler as Moriarty twist was quite inspired, especially in contrast to the bemused skepticism we all had going in knowing Watson was going to be female. Can’t judge Mycroft yet but I was hoping both Mycrofts in both shows would’ve be tubbier.

      Good point about side characters and episodic shows.

      Yeah, Lucy Liu’s Joan isn’t as interesting to me as Martin Freeman’s Hamish. There’s just this pervasive tension that a love story will be developed, while Sherlock is just standard buddy-cop fare even with the homoerotic jokes. Is our skepticism about a female Watson more a reflection of the intelligence of the Elementary’s creators or a reflection of how we the audience respond to male-female role dynamics?

      I was unimpressed with Elementary at first but it soon won me over. In contrast, I liked Sherlock from the start but apparently like a lot of people, Season 3 isn’t necessarily bad but not as good as the previous seasons. Still trying to put my finger on it.

      • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

        We are going to have to disagree with Elementary’s Irene Adler as Moriarty. To put it bluntly, it was stupid. It destroyed both characters and made Sherlock fall into the ‘love is blind’ cliche where, for all his ‘skills’ he wasn’t able to deduce a person he had been sleeping with as to what they really where. Basically, he missed it all that time, when in any other case he wouldn’t have.

        I think for an american show, there always needs to be a pervasive tension between the male and female lead. Even in X-Files, where the writers didn’t want it, they eventually caved into it. And the thing about Joan sleeping with Mycroft and Sherlock’s reaction seem to indicate some jealously, but not sure if it is because he hates his brother, sharing a friend or something else. It is why Watson being a woman isn’t actually something dramatic. It is just that because this is about Sherlock that watson being a woman seems like a big thing. It isn’t.

        I am personally, not that impressed with the writing of Elementary. I think they have done a decent job of a different version of Sherlock, but the set up and the surrounding cast are poor and poorly written. Majority of the cases are set up as seen it before plenty of times. I always have guessed who did it in each case or in the case of the serial killer, knew where he kept people. Of course, some might say it is the journey to the result, but the journey has to be enjoyable. I prefer Agatha Christie’s Poirot to Elementary when it comes to cases as it isn’t always clear who did it.

        • Kai

          Good criticism of the Irene Adler as Moriarty plot. I agree, yet still found the notion pleasantly novel.

          Hah, good point about X-Files too.

          I thought the Joan sleeping with Mycroft thing was a little out of the blue. I would not have assumed that was going to happen based on the depiction so I was a little confused when Sherlock mentioned it. Jealousy of sharing a friend or possible love interest is the obvious go-to, but I leaned towards him just being disgusted because its his brother and he loathes his brother.

          I don’t think Watson being a woman is “dramatic” either. I understand other people thought it was a big thing, but I don’t feel too strongly about it personally. I didn’t give a shit that Starbuck was remade as a woman either. As long as the chemistry is there, it’s fine, though I think Elementary is carried more by Sherlock than the Sherlock-Watson relationship. That’s a credit to Miller. Still, I kinda question if I’m being fair to Lucy Liu’s Joan..

          In terms of plot development and presentation, I’m currently leaning towards Elementary over Sherlock but I’m being heavily influenced by this season. Elementary has a more traditional presentation, which some might say is just for idiots who can’t follow the more elaborate but I believe arguably clever back and forth narrative structure of this season’s Sherlock that is relying a lot on flashbacks and visual metaphores. Shrug.

          Anyway, yeah, I like both of them. Two times the Sherlock-related fun.

  • Kai

    Wow, what you articulated really resonated with my own impressions watching both shows. Thanks for commenting!

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  • 樊超

    Never heard of this, will be never interested with anything from the BBC propaganda machine,
    Any REAL HAN ppl will despise these BBC propaganda junk.
    CHINA NO.1 !!!!!! in your face hahahahha

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