The premiere episode of Sherlock series 3 made its debut at an event attended by the cast in London over the weekend, and the first review is in.

Sherlock fansite Sherlockology penned a spoiler-free review for those who are clamoring to see episode 1, “The Empty Hearse,” which airs New Years Day in the United Kingdom.

The website describes series 3, episode 1 as a “triumphant return” and an “unusual episode” for the show, but that doesn’t make it any less great than what you’re used to from Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

“The emphasis is focused not so much on an actual dedicated case – though that bubbles along nicely all the same and will also be described in zero detail here – but the emotional fallout that follows the return of a best friend from the dead,” they write. “Indeed, the episode could be alternatively titled ‘The Long Reunion’, with the simple themes of the need for forgiveness and regaining someone’s trust running tightly throughout the entire duration.”

They add high praise and interesting analysis when it comes to Sherlock and Watson’s reunion two years after the former supposedly dies. “The Empty Hearse is infused with uproarious comedy, wicked and knowing writing, huge surprises, lovely in-jokes and thrilling action, all while taking us to places in London we haven’t been before onscreen in the series. But it is also hugely concerned with the instant that Sherlock Holmes and John Watson come face to face with each other again, and in that singular spine chilling moment, a scene that effortlessly shifts tone in seconds thanks to the sterling performances of the two leading actors, it certainly does not disappoint.”

“It’s the moment that drives everything afterwards in the episode, a push for emotional realism that was maybe lacking in Conan Doyle’s original prose, and thus the focus is fixed purely on the characters and their reaction to the return of Sherlock Holmes into a world that has moved on without him.”

The episode sounds fantastic and the thoughts are in line with those that we had while watching a clip from episode 2 at San Diego Comic-Con: The show is different in a good way.

Their full review can be seen at this link.

Sherlock series 3 premieres in the United States on PBS January 19.

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