Talk:His Last Vow

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Mark Gattiss[edit]

The BBC do not list him as co-writter for this episode here but is listed as Executive Producer. He his however writer / co-writer on the first two episodes1, 2. I think its highly dubious that he is in fact co-writer on this episode. The initial Radio Times source didn't include him as co-writer either and i think the one added is highly likely mixed up.Blethering Scot 13:50, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

We'll find out on Sunday. I have no problem removing it until then. Matty.007 13:52, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Just read this in the Sherlock article: "Moffat and Gatiss each write one episode per series, with the other written by Stephen Thompson", so removed Gatiss for now. Matty.007 13:57, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I think thats fair enough, if he is in the credits then we can re-add him.Blethering Scot 14:03, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Sunday[edit]

I know that this episode airs on Sunday, and that there will be a massive amount of editing, with a plot far too big. So, for people who look at the talk page before editing, please add only the essential plot details, otherwise it is possible they will be removed, thus your editing time has been wasted. Thanks, Matty.007 11:41, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

TV.com[edit]

Why do we need to know what a small site with 40 votes thinks about His Last Vow? Matty.007 20:23, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

While we're at it, I think that we don't normally use IMDB (correct me if I'm wrong), only Rotten Tomatoes. Thanks, Matty.007 20:36, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Don't personally see why any of them should be used including Rotten Tomatoes, but hey they generally are. However TV.Com certainly isn't notable enough, nor has a high enough vote rate to be comparable or representative enough of general opinion to be included and should be removed.Blethering Scot 20:43, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
That was also my opinion, the IP who added both IMDB and TV.com simply adds them if I remove them. I gave him a TB to this page, so he has no excuse if he doesn't reply. Thanks, Matty.007 20:46, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I've raised this here, as the IP won't let the sites be removed. Matty.007 20:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Sources and allusions[edit]

This is getting out of hand, IPs are adding the faintest possible links, with no sources, and simply re-adding them. If something is added, it needs a source. Matty.007 11:24, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Addition[edit]

Pinging Elendil's Heir and Mezigue: what I see (and what I presume Mezigue sees too) is the addition of Mycroft refers to "my colleague" having said, "This country will sometimes need a blunt instrument," a reference to MI6's head M in the James Bond stories having said that about 007, but goes on to say that the country will also sometimes need a dagger, that is, his brother Sherlock Holmes as unsourced dubious trivia, way outside of the bounds of what we include in an article. Also, per WP:BRD, you should have discussed it after either the first or second revert by two different people. Thanks, Matty.007 17:33, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Correct. Mezigue (talk) 19:24, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:His Last Vow/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: J Milburn (talk · contribs) 17:32, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Happy to review. I'm a big (though not massive!) fan of Sherlock- I'm surprised you've had to wait so long for a review. J Milburn (talk) 17:32, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! TV articles seem to take longer for people to review. I'll try and reply to issues ASAP. Thanks, Matty.007 17:50, 8 June 2014 (UTC)


  • The lead has an uncited direct quotes- I appreciate the desire to keep refs out of the lead, but direct quotes definitely need sources!
  • Can I suggest that you keep spoilers out of the lead section? If you feel they are necessary, that's OK, but better to keep endings in the plot section, to my eyes.
  • I'm afraid the plot section is just too long. Do you think you could trim it to under 500 words? 300 words is sometimes cited as a good length, but I appreciate that you may want this to be a little longer.
    • Sorry, missed this. Trimming isn't my strong point, but I'll have a look. Thanks, Matty.007
  • "Closing dialogue of the episode, discussing a story Mycroft told Sherlock about "the East wind" during their childhood, echoes a famous speech from the original story, "the East wind" originally being a patriotic metaphor for Germany and their allies during the First World War." This is rather difficult to follow.
  • "Mycroft refers to "my colleague" having said, "This country will sometimes need a blunt instrument," a reference to MI6's head M in the James Bond stories having said that about 007, but goes on to say that the country will also sometimes need a dagger, that is, his brother Sherlock Holmes." Apparently unsourced? Also clumsily written- be aware of MOS:LQ, for instance.
    • Yes, I hace removed it twice, and another editor has removed it twice. Removed again. Thanks, Matty.007
  • "A close examination of the memory stick shows it is actually labelled "A. G. RA" (no full stop after the R or A)." Is this OR, or is it in the source cited?
    • No, but it is in the episode, is that enough for it to stay? Thanks, Matty.007
      • There are surely dozens of quirks like this- mentioning them without a source reeks of OR. I'd remove it. J Milburn (talk) 18:45, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The second paragraph of the casting section is apparently completely unsourced, including a direct quote.
  • What's The Punk Effect? Is that really the best reference available?
  • "Tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail claimed" Personification

More to come... Dinner's ready...

  • J Milburn: done all except where specified, thanks for the review! Best, Matty.007 18:40, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  • "The episode was aired in the United States of America on 2 February 2014, on PBS Masterpiece.[24]" Unless you're going to list every international broadcast, I feel this should go.
  • Digital Spy is a bit bloggy- again, perhaps not the best source for professional opinion. Nothing from other good newspapers? The Times, perhaps? Radio Times? Same for TV.com and Screenrant.
    • In the GA The Hounds of Baskerville, and one of the better UK review sites I would have said. No review I could find from The Times, and I only just googled that. No definite review from the RT I could find. TV.com was one of the few negative reviews. I have no problem removing screenrant, but again there aren't that many reviews. Thanks, Matty.007
      • What makes you think that Digital Spy should be considered a reliable source? Same for TV.com?
  • A lot of personification in the reception section, which should be avoided if possible.
  • What's Entertainment Outlook? Definitely reliable?
  • Same for BARB.
    • I checked this one when I put it in: "BARB is the official source of television viewing figures in the UK". Thanks, Matty.007
  • Liberty Voice?
    • Removed with removing sentence. Thanks, Matty.007
  • There are some formatting issues in the references- a lot of unwarranted italics, some inconsistencies. I'm not going to fuss too much about that, but it's something to be aware of.
    • I use ProveIt, and it does italics for the 'Work' section, such as the Huff Post. Is that incorrect? Thanks, Matty.007
      • WP:ITALICS explains when italics are necessary- periodicals, and possibly (though I hate it) websites. J Milburn (talk) 19:22, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The Sherlock Holmes and 2014 in British television categories should be removed- this should (and, I think, is) be in subcategories.
    • Sherlock (TV series) is a subcategory of Sherlock Holmes, so SH removed. I also removed 2014 television episodes as Britist TV episodes seems further down. Thanks, Matty.007

Again, attempted fix of all except where stated. Thanks, Matty.007 19:05, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Times articles[edit]

Ok, seeing as I mentioned The Times, here are some Times articles. There are literally dozens of other reviews out there- if you're keen to replace the blogs (which I think you should be!) I can copy some more over. J Milburn (talk) 19:31, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Billen, Andrew (11 January 2014). "'When I said I'd got Sherlock people wanted me dead'; Amanda Abbington has loved playing Mary, the wife of Dr Watson, acted by real-life partner Martin Freeman. That's despite threats from 'insane' Sherlock fans, she tells Andrew Billen". Saturday Review, The Times. pp. 4–5. 

Sherlock, that almost dangerous TV cult, specialises in the big reveal, the surprise that poleaxes, the twist that rocks. This season, however, the most pleasant shock of them all has been Amanda Abbington. When we read that the 39-year-old best known as the head of accessories in Mr Selfridge had been cast as Dr Watson's bride and, furthermore, that she was the long-term partner of Martin Freeman who plays him, here was a case we could all solve. A relatively unknown comic actress had been promoted to the level of her own incompetence. A crime had been committed and the motive, my dear Watson, was nepotism.

As so often, Sherlock wrong-footed us. Abbington is terrific as Mary Watson, shining brightly between the glory that is Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes and the reflected glory that is Freeman's Watson. She adds emotion and humanity to a cerebral, sometimes cold, drama and her own brand of working-class intelligence and wit. Sherlock's showrunners, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, surely know what they have got in her. In tomorrow's season finale, she features more prominently than at last week's wedding. Viewers will weep as she miscarries after being kidnapped by the sexually frustrated Mycroft and then thrill to her eleventh-hour rescue by Sherlock, in drag. That, incidentally, is not a plot spoiler. It's a lie.

When we meet in a grand hotel convenient for Baker Street, Abbington, who turns out to be brunette rather than a Mary Pickford blonde like Mrs Watson, is not dressed in Mary's Jane Bourvis wedding dress. She wears a black cashmere jumper, jeans and a pair of old Trickers boots, the outfit of a jobbing actor whose career, to put it mildy, has known lows as well as highs. In 2010 she won, for example, a lead role in ITV's Married Single Other, "the next Cold Feet", but it was cancelled. Ten years before there festered 18 months with no work at all. She has got through "seven or eight" agents - "a rough, ballpark figure," she deadpans. She is one of those overnight sensations 20 years in the making. She looks happy, but a little relieved, like someone who has achieved a lucky escape - so happy and relieved that our hour together becomes an impromptu celebration of her good humour and her borderline reckless candour.

"When I told everybody I was playing Mary, there was a small group of people who wanted me dead," she says. "And the problem, I think, with Twitter and anything like that is that it's easy to bully people because you're behind a computer screen. So I got, 'She should just die. How dare she play Mary Morstan?'"

They were not talking about the character but her? "Yes, but apparently it's quite common, issuing blasé death threats to people."

She should just die? "Yes, she should just f-off and die."

What was their problem? "I think they take the John and Sherlock storyline so seriously that they wouldn't want anyone coming between them."

There seems, I say, to be an almost subconscious desire among viewers for those two to end up in bed together. "I know, there really is. On the one hand I can sort of understand it, but on the other hand, I don't really. They bounce off each other so well on screen that I think it's inevitable people go, 'Oh, they must love each other.' But it's like a very brotherly love. I don't think it's a sexual thing, at all."

The only precedent that comes to my mind is the wilder fantasies of One Direction fans who speculate that the boy band members are sleeping with each other because that is easier to take than the thought they might have girlfriends. I wondered what she thought of all the whooping and screaming during a public screening of the first episode of season three just before Christmas.

"I'm really glad that people love it that much. But there is a tiny fanatical aspect to it. It is a very small strain of fans. The majority are lovely, but there is a small component that are insane, that, I think, are genuinely quite mad about it. You just have to keep very careful about what you say because anything can ignite that passion with them."

Did it get to her? Was she frightened? "No because I had a feeling about who these people were and I knew it wasn't in any way properly threatening. I imagined if I met these people in real life they wouldn't want to kill me."

Happily, in any case, as soon as the first episode aired, the trolling ceased. Less happily, she knows the difference between real and virtual bullying. Brought up an only child in North London by her cab driver father John, and his wife Patsy, a cleaner ("she'll hate me for calling her that"), she had a hard time being bullied at primary school, mainly because she was short - although she would grow to a respectable 5ft 4in, just 2½in shorter than Freeman.

"I didn't tell anyone for ages. Eventually it just got unbearable and my mum went round and banged on one of their doors and said, 'If your child ever does anything like that to my daughter again, I won't be responsible for my actions.' This girl was just relentless: picking on me and shoving me, putting my PE kit in the bin, taking my packed lunches every day. It was just constant chipping away."

Today her great protector is Freeman, who sometimes wades in on Twitter to defend the jokes on @chimpsinsocks (Abbington's Twitter handle) and declares their author "awesome" if she is having a hard time from Sherlock nuts. They almost met twice before, once on a series, once at a party, and then, when they did, on the set of Channel 4's controversial series Men Only in 2000, they fell in love. Neither had met anyone who could make them laugh so much. They moved in together within months and now have two children, Joe, 8, and Grace, 4. They have never married except on screen (twice before Sherlock, actually). Grace would like it if they did, and Abbington does not rule it out.

"We have fiery rows and they're great. It clears the air and then you're fine," she says, explaining Freeman and she do not have identical world views. He, for instance, is the stricter parent. Where there is no conflict is over their careers. This is remarkable since almost as soon as they met, The Office happened sending Freeman's career skyward while she entered 18 months without a call-back. At the now defunct drama school in Hitchin she attended - after her hopes of a career in dancing were scuppered by a groin injury - she never dreamt of stardom.

"He was actually very sweet because he'd always say, 'Is there a part in this for my girlfriend?' but there wasn't. I can't remember what the break was where it happened. I think it was probably 20 Things to do Before You're 30 I did with Mathew Horne [in 2002]. I think that was where it started to happen again."

As for how she won the Sherlock part, she owns up to the claims of nepotism rather than resisting. "I was saying this to Mark Gatiss the other day: 'I've been with Martin for 13 years. We can have a slight bit of nepotism.

That's fine. I've worked hard and I've been out of work a lot and I've worked a lot. A little bit of nepotism every now and again is OK.' " She and Freeman were watching The Hound of the Baskervilles at Gatiss's place and he had said he wanted to talk to them both about the role of Mary Morstan, Watson's fiancée. She thought he was looking for casting advice. When he said they wanted her, she wept not only at the "honour" but at knowing they would be sharing working time as a couple after 18 months in which he had been away for up to four months at a stretch in New Zealand filming The Hobbit.

"He's been on his own for a long time and I've been in this family unit. just the three of us, for a long time, so the dynamic changes. You have to sort that out and get back into some sort of equilibrium again."

Did they know their relationship was strong enough to survive? "Yes. I mean, it was tough, and we're never going to do that again. We're never going to go that long apart again because it's not good. It's not healthy. We both said, 'You can see why people have affairs.' You can totally understand why you do, because you miss the person that you love. Luckily we both don't agree with that at all. We're both very faithful to each other."

Freeman returned in the spring just as Amanda was entering a crisis of her own making. The Inland Revenue had asked her to declare herself bankrupt after she failed to meet a tax demand. She had put money aside to pay but had dipped into it during another lean spell. The insolvency was annulled after Martin, reputedly on millions for playing Bilbo Baggins, wrote her a cheque. She is now paying him back. (He is not as well paid as the papers think, she says.) She is terrible with money but not profligate. They eat at a Pizza Express near their home in Hertfordshire.

"I was deeply ashamed, deeply ashamed that it had got that far. It's taught me to save and it's taught me to think of the future and it's taught me to be terrified of the tax man because he never goes away."

So 2013 was the year she played a leading role in Mr Selfridge and joined the best television drama of the decade. It was also the year she had her assets frozen and endured unhappy separations from the father of her children? "I know. Professionally it was amazing. Personally it was one of the hardest ever."

Freeman, she understands, is the star now -he is off the day after we meet to film the TV version of the Coen Bros Fargo in Canada - even if she cannot quite reconcile that fact with the man who takes the rubbish out to the bin. Yet this is her moment too. This month she returns as jilted Josie in ITV's Mr Selfridge and with a juicy plot line. Moffat and Gatiss's whim of steel notwithstanding, she will be in more Sherlock and, she thinks, we will not have to wait another two years. What else would she like? To play Lady Macbeth, compete in Strictly and get a cameo on Doctor Who, she says, letting her ambition rip a little at last.

"I don't," she says, "want to just do this and fade into obscurity again." Something, my dear Watson, tells me that is not going to happen.

Sherlock: His Last Vow in on BBC One tomorrow at 8.30pm

  • "Pick of the Day; Sunday 12 Sherlock". Saturday Review, The Times. 11 January 2014. p. 28. 

For this writer (and the many who have voiced their opinion on social media), the problem with Sherlock is that the convoluted plots often don't stand up to serious scrutiny, yet it is the sort of programme that demands you analyse every second of it. But this deficiency is masked by the fact that it is an absolute riot, as demonstrated by Sherlock's best man's speech last week (if you didn't well up, you have probably had your tear ducts removed) and watching his brilliant mind rendered useless by alcohol on the stag night.

These wonderfully written and acted scenes should surely see Benedict Cumberbatch waltz off with the Best Actor Bafta, unless they decide to give it to Martin Freeman's moustache, which stole the show in that frequently ludicrous series opener. Caveats aside, though, it is still one of the best things on the box. This is the third and final part of the current run, and with ratings soaring (nearly ten million tuned in to watch on New Year's Day) it is doubtful we will see the high-functioning sociopath plunging off any buildings at the denouement. His Last Vow finds our hero entering into a long conflict with Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen aka Troels Hartmann in The Killing), the "Napoleon of blackmail", and the one man Sherlock truly despises.

Ah. Well, you found more than I did when I googled His Last Vow review The Times. I will add some/all of those when I next get some Wikipedia time-I am quite busy until Thursday but I should have some time. Thanks, Matty.007 20:03, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I have access to Nexis, which is absolutely invaluable for articles like this. You can gain access to this kind of thing through The Wikipedia Library- you may be able to get hold of some login details free of charge. (Take as long as you need, by the way.) J Milburn (talk) 20:17, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I can't see Nexis on the listhere. These are from before it aired, are there any reviews from after it aired? Thanks, Matty.007 16:52, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Not from The Times, surprisingly. Here's a review from RadioTimes. I'm also seeing a lot of hits for the Critic's Choice TV Awards, and here's an article which may be worth citing. You mention Serena Davies's review, which is here, but you don't actually cite it. Here's a review from The Independent which you don't cite. The Telegraph and The Independent are great sources- rely on their reviews rather than the bloggers! Here is a better source for the viewing figures. J Milburn (talk) 17:44, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
More from The Telegraph here and here. There are a lot of good sources out there- these are what should make up the bulk of the citations, if possible! J Milburn (talk) 17:49, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Those views are only overnight, and are already in the article. I trust BARB, owned partly by major UK channels: BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, BSkyB... I think BARB is fine, but I have removed TV.com and screenrant. I will take a look at adding the things you listed (as an aside I requested access to HighBeam). Thanks, Matty.007 17:50, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Hope you don't mind me striking as used, I'll try and add at least one of these each day. Thanks, Matty.007 16:47, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── J Milburn: I have added the linked ones, but I feel the Times articles aren't massively relevant. If you feel otherwise, then I will look into adding them. Thanks, and sorry for my time delay, Matty.007 13:50, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

No problem- if you feel some don't belong, some don't belong- I only thought best to avoid blogs when better sources are out there. I'll take a look at the article again soon. J Milburn (talk) 13:52, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. May I once agan apologise for how long I left this, I forgot about it for a little. Thanks, Matty.007 14:29, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
J Milburn: sorry to bother you, will this be reviewed before Wednesday? Thanks, Matty.007 15:14, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Closing review[edit]

Ok- I'm going to go ahead and promote at this time. The article's not perfect, but I do think that it's ready for GA status. If you're thinking about taking this further (and I think it will have a chance at FAC!), here are some more things to think about:

  • The plot section still feels a little long.
  • The citation style is a little inconsistent, and the use of italics is questionable in some cases.
  • The reception section still leans on some less-than-ideal sources when better may be available. It's also structured in a rather "X said this. Y said this. Z said this" way. Also, avoid personification. The Times doesn't say anything- a Smith, writing in The Times, says something.
  • The allusions section comes across as a little listy, and some of it comes across as trivial.
  • To stress again, go out and find the best sources. If the broadsheets, a noted critic or even an academic publishing in a peer reviewed journal has said something about the episode, that belongs in here!

None of this detracts from this being a decent article, but it does stop it from being a great article. Hope this has been helpful. J Milburn (talk) 20:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

J Milburn, thank you very much for the detailed review and copyedit. Just to clarify, if I fixed these points, do you think the article would have a decent chance at FA? Thanks, Matty.007 14:01, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Once these issues are fixed, I'd get another editor to take a look through the article with a critical eye, and/or submit to PR. I'd be happy to give it another look over if you are pursuing FA status. J Milburn (talk) 16:22, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Some pointers[edit]

  • "This leads the pair into conflict with Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen), a "terrifying"[2] villain; Magnussen was introduced as the main villain of series 3, "the one man Sherlock truly hates"." -avoid quotes, I'd reword as "This leads the pair into conflict with villain Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen), a character which was introduced as the main villain of series 3, whom Sherlock despises."
  • "The title of "His Last Vow" is a play on the title of "His Last Bow", the final Sherlock Holmes story chronologically (though not the last published). " -citation needed
  • "Some filming was in Cardiff,[18] and some in Leinster Gardens" -avoid using "some" in this context which looks scruffy and repetitive.

Overall it looks in good shape. It's not easy making contemporary TV episodes sound "encyclopedic" but I've think you've done the best you can for it. I'd ask somebody who regularly works on TV articles for some input and see what they think.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Thank you very much for the pointers Dr, attempted fix of all. Thanks, Matty.007 12:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)