Sherlock (2010– )
47 user 36 critic

The Empty Hearse 

Mycroft calls Sherlock back to London to investigate an underground terrorist organization.


Jeremy Lovering


Mark Gatiss, Arthur Conan Doyle (based on the works of) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Sherlock Holmes
Martin Freeman ... Dr. John Watson
Una Stubbs ... Mrs. Hudson
Rupert Graves ... DI Lestrade
Mark Gatiss ... Mycroft Holmes
Andrew Scott ... Jim Moriarty
Louise Brealey ... Molly Hooper
Amanda Abbington ... Mary Morstan
Jonathan Aris ... Anderson
David Fynn ... Howard Shilcott
Sharon Rooney ... Laura
Tomi May ... Torturer
Rick Warden ... Bonfire Dad
Trixiebell Harrowell Trixiebell Harrowell ... Zoe (as Trixiebelle Harrowell)
Lovelace Akpojaro Lovelace Akpojaro ... Reporter 1 (as Lace Akpojaro)


Two years after the devastating effects of The Reichenbach Fall, Dr John Watson has got on with his life. New horizons, romance and a comforting domestic future beckon; but, with London under threat of a huge terrorist attack, Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so naturally to him. It's what his best friend wanted more than anything, but for John Watson it might well be a case of 'be careful what you wish for'. If Sherlock thinks everything can be just as he left it though, he's in for a very big surprise. Written by BBC

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 January 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hartswood Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


There is a hidden Doctor Who (1963) reference in the credits of this episode. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the head writers on both "Sherlock" and Doctor Who (2005), have dropped in a tease for fans of both shows. Letters spelling out "Weng-Chiang" were marked in red in the credits. In the 1977 Doctor Who six-part serial Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One (1977), Tom Baker (the Doctor at the time) wore a Holmes-like deerstalker hat while investigating a series of supernatural murders in Victorian London. See more »


Towards the end, when Sherlock and Mary are driving to save John, a brief scene before they arrive at the police barricade clearly shows a shadow of the camera/crew on the ground. See more »


Dr. John Watson: Mind palace!
Sherlock Holmes: Hmm?
Dr. John Watson: Use your mind palace!
Sherlock Holmes: How will that help?
Dr. John Watson: You've salted away every fact under the sun!
Sherlock Holmes: Oh, what, and you think I've just got "how to defuse a bomb" tucked away in there somewhere?
Dr. John Watson: *Yes*!
Sherlock Holmes: ...maybe.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, individual letters are coloured red. Together they spell Weng Chiang. See more »


References BioShock Infinite (2013) See more »


Opening Titles
Written by David Arnold and Michael Price
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User Reviews

19 March 2017 | by Bored_DragonSee all my reviews

My favorite episode so far. It's badly bashed online because it really has its flaws. The main argument is that this episode is more of a parody to Sherlock than it is new Sherlock story. The fact is that this episode does not bring new complicated crime and Sherlock's genius solution, and to a certain extent I can understand the disappointment of those who waited two years for this episode. But I, who waited for it just a few minutes, really cannot recall last time I had so much fun. It may be bad from the crime/mystery genre point of view, but it's not written in the stone that every episode must follow that pattern. It's premium entertainment and I am thrilled.


However, I have one objection. It is not a big deal and most of the audience won't even notice it, because it is obvious only to former Yugoslavian audience and Russians, but it needlessly undermines the quality of this awesome show. I will quote Bosnian guy who presented this issue par excellence:

"Besides Serbs always being the bad guys, torturing someone when they have nothing else to do, how come they wear Russian parade uniforms and talk their Serbian like a parrot with Aerosinusitis, which is hardly intelligible. I know that Mycroft had few hours to learn Serbian, but the other Serbian guy speaks his mother tongue like a text-to-speech software. It seems that using google translate instead of human keeps production costs low... just as the quality of it."

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