The first episode of the new season of Sherlock left fans reeling when - SPOILER - it killed off Mary, John Watson's super-spy wife. The shocking twist came at the end of an episode which has been heavily criticized for being long on plot contrivance and short on character, and for Ralph Jones of The Guardian, being more reminiscent of James Bond than Sherlock Holmes. "There is obviously an audience and an appetite for abseiling assassins, machine-gun shootouts and Benedict Cumberbatch getting sopping wet while kicking ass in an expensive suit ... But, like the perverse instincts that lurk in the palaces of our minds, this is an appetite that ought to be resisted." The show's writer Mark Gatiss has taken a leaf out of Arthur Conan Doyle's book and responded to Jones ... in verse.
In "To an undeserving critic," Gatiss points out that Sherlock Holmes was a man of action in the original stories: "Here is a critic who says with low blow/Sherlock’s no brain-box but become double-O./Says the Baker St boy is no man of action – /whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction." He lists several works featuring Holmes dispatching villains with martial arts, and concludes "There’s no need to invoke in yarns that still thrill, /Her Majesty’s Secret Servant with licence to kill/From Rathbone through Brett to Cumberbatch dandy/With his fists Mr Holmes has always been handy." The newspaper got into the spirit of the exchange, noting "The Guardian’s letters desk said it did not normally publish poetry or doggerel, but given it was Gatiss this could be the inaugural."Most INTERESTING FINDS on Amazon]