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The London Underground according to ‘Sherlock’

Posted at 5:00 pm, January 2, 2014 in Transport, TV
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Well, that’s it folks. After two years of waiting, we finally found out how Sherlock Holmes survived that surely deadly fall. And wasn’t it great? Not only did Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman bring two of our favourite characters back to life beautifully, but episode writer Mark Gatiss provided us with a wealth of memorable moments.

But Time Out’s favourite bit? Definitely the fact that it couldn’t have been more London if it tried. Between sweeping shots of cityscapes, a motorcycle chase through the capital and a plot based on the Underground, ‘Sherlock’ definitely did us proud. For the most part.

Unfortunately, just like summer blockbuster ‘Thor: The Dark World’, the tube’s geography, mapping and, well, everything was slightly off and as the producers didn’t send Derren Brown to convince us that everything was fine and normal, we had to point out a few inconsistencies. Sorry guys… Carly-Ann Clements

The first misdemeanour happens within the first 10 minutes when John gets on a Jubilee line train:

John Watson on the tube

Going north:

Sherlock jubilee line

Reads: Willesden Green, Dollis Hill, Neasden, Wembley Park

Before being magically transported to the District line:

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And going outside:

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And popping up in, what is supposed to be, Baker Street (which does in fact run on the Jubilee line) but is actually just a bit further down the road at Euston Square where the fake 221b Baker Street house lives on North Gower Street:

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Fast forward to halfway through the episode where it is revealed that a mystery man disappeared while attempting to travel on the District line from Westminster to St James’s Park on a Jubilee line train:

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Cue a mental tube montage that shows our mystery terrorist standing next to the northbound Jubilee line board:

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Sherlock deduces that the ‘five minute journey’ between the two stations (that usually takes  approximately one minute)…

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…must have taken 10 minutes.

Later, when John and Sherlock are one once more, they watch the footage together, after which Sherlock is sent a picture message of our Rat heading to Westminster tube station:

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He suddenly realises that one carriage has magically disappeared between the two stations, which wasn’t noticed before. And again there’s some pretty shots on the backdrop of that bloomin’ Jubilee line map:

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Does anybody else think these scenes were filmed at the abandoned Jubilee line station at Charing Cross?

When the clever boys have realised that the ‘underground network’ is actually the ‘Underground network’ and discovered that there’s a fictitious station on Sumatra Road (a road that’s actually in West Hampstead) that was never finished, the fearless duo head to Westminster station where a group of people are mysteriously loitering:

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Before the two, who had entered a station that only runs the Jubilee line and District line, walk past a poster for the Northern line that looks suspiciously like Charing Cross:

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And after walking through more of Charing Cross station, they enter the unused Jubilee line station (we knew it was coming):

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Seamlessly guiding themselves down the dark, never before traveled inner workings of the station:

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And finding themselves on the platform of the abandoned Aldwych station:

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Before running down what seems to be an unused part of the Piccadilly line:

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Where they find a District line train:

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And then Sherlock and John save London. Hurrah.

Throw in a bonfire at St James the Less which doesn’t have a grassy area in sight and is only actually 12 minutes away from Baker Street:

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And wasn’t actually filmed in London at all:

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A manhole that apparently leads straight up into the Houses of Parliament: 

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(which may or may not exist, who knows?!)

A Blue Plaque that has disappeared and become a lamp:

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And a villain who found it necessary to hide all the bomb components under the seats on a hidden tube carriage or, indeed, left a bomb lying around on a functioning, active tube carriage:

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And London really was in a dreadful state in this episode.

Mark Gatiss’s intentions may have been to compose an ode to the tube when he wrote this episode, but it has left a lot of people confused, upset and in some cases pretty angry. But we say, let’s celebrate a transport system that is worthy of being the focus of the most anticipated TV show of recent years and that is held so close to our hearts that people are more astonished at its portrayal in a fictional world than they are of solving a two-year mystery. And, let’s face it, the show was pretty good other than these few slip-ups, don’t you think?

Find out what our critics had to say about tonight’s episode in our review of ‘Sherlock: The Empty Hearse’ or what the cast and crew had to say in an interview with Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and writer Steven Moffat.

And for a bit of Benedict Cumberbatch appreciation, check out the 32 emotions you’ll feel while watching ‘Sherlock: The Empty Hearse’ as told by Benedict Cumberbatch gifs now.

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