Earlier today, Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss revealed three words essential to the plot of series 3’s adventures – they were rat, wedding, and bow. Join us as we take an in-depth look at the words’ significance, and the stories we expect to see when the show returns.

Last year gave us woman, hound, fall – three keywords which were clear references to the Arthur Conan Doyle stories “A Scandal In Bohemia” (“A Scandal in Belgravia”), The Hound of the Baskervilles (“The Hounds of Baskerville”) and “The Final Problem” (“The Reichenbach Fall”). Since the writers picked the three most iconic adventures for Sherlock’s sophomore series, these words pretty much spoke for themselves. This year however, they’ve gone down a more ominous route. Rat, wedding, and bow could all refer to several stories from the Sherlock Holmes canon – so we’re exploring the many adventures of the super sleuth to try and predict what’s ahead for our favorite characters.


Rat – “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”

Probably the easiest of the three words to decipher, there are very few things that “rat” could be referring to. Sure, Lestrade is often described as “rat-faced,” but it’s unlikely that a full 90 minute episode could be constructed from a facial description of a character who’s been with the show since it began – though we’re not putting anything past the writers of Sherlock. Instead, this is most likely to be a reference to “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The story sees Holmes and Watson travel to Herefordshire, where they’ve been commissioned to investigate the seemingly unsolvable murder of Charles McArthy. While trying to prove the innocence of McArthy’s son, Sherlock untangles a web of blackmail, gangs and robbery with the “rat” in question being a dying reference to the murderer.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” is Patience Moran, a girl who witnesses part of the crime being investigated. While in the original story she’s an incidental character, she shares a surname with Colonel Sebastian Moran – Moriarty’s right hand man and the person widely believed to be taking up the villain mantle from Sherlock’s arch-nemesis. Mark Gatiss has confirmed that “The Empty House” will be the starting point of series 3, a story in which Moran tries to exact revenge on the great detective. Given the writer’s reputation for mashing-up stories and characters, we wouldn’t be surprised if the similarity in surnames was utilized for a shocking plot twist…


Wedding – The Sign of Four

This is where things become a little bit harder to pinpoint. We’re fairly certain that “wedding” refers to the marriage of John Watson and the love of his life – but the trouble here is: which one? Canon enthusiasts everywhere are quick to make jokes about Arthur Conan Doyle’s ambiguity when it comes to John’s spouses – and that’s because the good doctor marries six women throughout the course of his life, none of which are ever mentioned by name. Of course, Moffat and Gatiss have joined in on the jesting and set up Martin Freeman’s take on the character with a string of girlfriends throughout the first two series. Now though, it looks like we’ll finally see him tie the knot for the first (and hopefully last) time.

The Sign of Four is the only time throughout the 60 stories where a potential spouse is mentioned by name, and her accompanying mystery is diverse and thrilling. After her father’s unexplained disappearance several years previous, Mary Morstan approaches the duo with a mystery concerning inheritance, assassination and a gun fight on the River Thames. As the complex plot unravels and a pact made between four convicts and two security guards is revealed, John falls in love with Morstan and the two become engaged.

As only the second Sherlock Holmes story in a long list, The Sign of Four could change the dynamic of BBC’s Sherlock. After marrying Mary, John moves out of 221B Baker Street to live with his wife. He returns for many more mysteries, and eventually moves back in after Mrs. Watson’s death, but for the vast majority of the canon, Holmes lives in the apartment by himself. Since Steven Moffat has made several comments about being “interested” in the effect marriage would have on Sherlock and John’s friendship, it’s only a matter of time until we hear wedding bells ring – and The Sign of Four presents the perfect opportunity.


Bow – “His Last Bow”

Here’s where things get a little worrying. There are very few things that this final word could point to, and only one story that justifies such an overt reference. “His Last Bow” tells the story of the last case Sherlock Holmes takes before retiring from “the game” and keeping bees until his eventual death. Could this mean our favorite high functioning sociopath will be arrogantly flipping up his collar for the last time?

Although Doyle went on to write 12 more stories (set before this final adventure), “His Last Bow” shows the super sleuth turn his hand to espionage for a final game of wits with German spy Von Bork. Largely believed to be a piece of propaganda ahead of World War I due to its patriotic nature and third person narrative (breaking from the usual tradition of John Watson “writing” Sherlock’s adventures). As Holmes takes on an undercover alias – “Altamont” – he finds himself tracking, capturing, and interrogating Von Bork in order to try and prevent a bomb from detonating.

“His Last Bow” lends itself to the grander scale and political implications that were introduced in series 2, and would certainly make for a great series finale. However, we’re not convinced it will actually bring the end of Sherlock. Moffat, Gatiss and Thompson are known for messing with the canon’s chronology to fit their narrative – and the former has promised that the series 3 finale will bring a bigger cliffhanger than “The Reichenbach Fall.” While we certainly wouldn’t put it past the writers to end the show on a cliffhanger, the modern adaptation is faring far too well commercially and critically to end before its prime.

What do you think of our predictions? How do you think the writers will bring these three stories into the modern day?

Starz has decided that their original programming can compete with the other hot shows airing on Sunday nights.

Network CEO Chris Albrecht has told THR that they are planning on moving all of their original shows including Outlander, Ash Vs Evil Dead, and Black Sails — which currently air on Saturdays — to Sundays. The move will begin July 17 with the Starz series Power. Outlander will likely not move to Sundays until next season.

“Sundays are a prestige night and we feel our shows are definitely going to be very competitive, not just in viewership but in the attention-getting business on Sundays,” Albrecht said to THR, “So it made sense to move.”

Outlander and Starz’s other original series will be going up against tough competition, including AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones. Albrecht says part of the reason he wanted to move the shows was to make sure they were part of the watercooler talk on Monday mornings.

THR notes that Showtime’s original series typically get DVR’d, “growing 214 percent [in viewership] during the course of a week.” This would suggest that a lot of people aren’t sitting in front of a TV on Saturdays and want to watch the shows on a different day of the week. So, moving their programming to Sundays may not impact overall viewership numbers much.

Starz recently overtook Showtime as the second-most subscribed to cable channel. HBO still sits at number one, though all three are facing tough competition from Netflix.

Disney has set its sights on another live-action retelling of an animated classic: The Little Mermaid.

Deadline reports that the studio “recently heard a new take and are currently evaluating whether to proceed with the idea,” and “discussions have also taken place with some major producers, including some with a strong connection to the studio.”

That’s all we know for now. A “new take” makes it sound like they could be contemplating an alternate story than the one we saw in the 1989 animated classic, but I’d personally prefer a direct adaptation. I want to see live-action Ariel sing some of the Disney classics! Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book has spoiled me.

Like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid is one of Disney’s most beloved animated movies, so expectations for a live-action adaptation will immediately be set very high. With their recent adaptation of The Jungle Book hitting theaters to very positive reviews and the first trailer for their live-action Beauty and the Beast being very well received, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Disney start to look at other potential animated properties for source material. (But you would’ve expected to hear about a live-action Lion King before Little Mermaid after The Jungle Book’s success, wouldn’t you?)

The Little Mermaid is the latest in a long line of animated-to-live action projects in the works at Disney. Others include an Aladdin spinoff looking at the Genie’s origins, The Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson, Dumbo with director Tim Burton, Mary Poppins with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt, and Tinker Bell with Reese Witherspoon. And then there are sequels to the adaptations like Maleficent 2 and The Jungle Book 2.

Be sure to cross The Little Mermaid off your animated-to-live-action bingo card.

Do you think Disney can pull off a live-action ‘Little Mermaid’?

With Donald Trump’s presidency looking less and less like a joke, these high-profile authors and writers believe the time for silence is over.

Over 400 authors have signed a petition to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.

The petition, titled “An open letter to the American people,” was written by Andrew Altschul and Mark Slouka. It unequivocally states that Trump must not become President of the United States, and explains why writers in particular are worried about the power of his empty words and fear-mongering rhetoric.

Signed by the likes of Stephen King, Junot Diaz, Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Cheryl Strayed, Colm Tóibín and Jennifer Egan, the open letter lays out reasons for openly opposing Trump’s candidacy, which they believe “appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society.”

The letter states:

“Because, as writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power;

Because we believe that any democracy worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate;

Because American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against one another;

Because the history of dictatorship is the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies;

Because the search for justice is predicated on a respect for the truth;

Because we believe that knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness are indispensable in a leader;

Because neither wealth nor celebrity qualifies anyone to speak for the United States, to lead its military, to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people;

Because the rise of a political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response;

For all these reasons, we, the undersigned, as a matter of conscience, oppose, unequivocally, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States.”

While there are plenty of arguments for why Trump should not receive as much media coverage as he gets, we have to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation when some of the country’s most respected artists take such a powerful stance as this.

The petition has been signed by over 7,000 people so far, and you can add your name to the list right here.

You can find out more about the group of writers who oppose Trump on Twitter, at @WritersOnTrump.