'We want people to be in a frenzy of speculation': Sherlock fans take to the internet to share theories on how Holmes faked his own death

By Georgina Littlejohn

It was one of the most nail-biting television cliffhangers in recent years that left viewers on the edge of their seats.

But the drama of Sherlock Holmes's 'suicide' quickly turned into a yet-to-be solved mystery truly worthy of the world's greatest detective.

Holmes - it turned out - had actually faked his own death at the end of the third and last episode of the last series, which aired on Sunday night.

'We want people to be in a frenzy of speculation': Sherlock fans take to the internet to share theories on how Holmes faked his own death

Cue a frenzy of internet activity as die-hards took to the world wide web to share their thoughts and theories on how he managed to appear dead on the ground - and then live and kicking a few months later.

Twitter, Facebook and fan forums were swamped as a legion of armchair detectives posted their theories on the faked death, which saw Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, throw himself off a hospital roof in front of friend and sidekick Dr John Watson, played by Martin Freeman in the episode entitled The Reichenbach Fall.

Dead and buried: At the end of the episode a grave marked with Sherlock's name is shown convincing viewers that the detective is dead

It can't be true: Dr Watson, played by Martin Freeman, talks to his friend's grave and tells him that he can't be dead... little knowing that he's not

The most popular theory is that pathologist Molly Hooper, played by Louise Brearly, helped Sherlock in his mission.

Molly, who has had a crush on Sherlock since she met him, could have helped him by faking death and post-mortem certificates and providing a cadaver to bury as well as arranging for the paramedics to be immediately on the scene.

Sherlock is seen asking Molly for help in an earlier scene when he tells her: 'I think I'm going to die'.

You'll be seeing him again soon: Dr Watson walks away from Sherlock's grave...

...before the detective appears behind a tree by his graveside having faked his death

And the forums were alive with this theory, with one poster saying: 'Molly, being a coroner/pathologist/wonder lab girl, is the perfect agent for Sherlock's plan. Aware that he will need to fake his own death, he needs to place his faith in someone who can help him die - officially.'

Another added: 'The "Holmes" which we see landing on the pavement is in fact a dead body dressed up to look like Holmes, which he collected from Molly at the morgue.'

A helping hand? Was pathologist Molly Hooper in on Sherlock's plan to fake his own death?

Some suggested the man that actually fell from the building was Sherlock's nemesis Jim Moriarty who had committed suicide moments earlier on the roof by putting a gun in his mouth, and Holmes had wrapped him in his coat and thrown him over the ledge.

Of course, we mustn't forget that the fall was witnessed by Dr Watson who was speaking to Sherlock on his phone and saw him standing precariously on the rooftop.

But as he runs to reach his friend as he falls, Watson is knocked over by a cyclist which disorientates him, which would be enough of a diversion for Sherlock to pretend to be lying dead on the pavement before being safely taken away in the back of a waiting ambulance.

Some have also suggested that Sherlock's brother Mycroft was in on the plan and arranged for the cyclist to knock Watson down, distracting him from what was going on by the hospital.

Other fans have claimed that a rubbish truck is seen pulling up alongside the hospital which Holmes could have landed in before making the body swap.

One fan combined both theories and said: 'Holmes leaps off the roof, out of view of Watson, lands in the rubbish truck, and violently deposits the body which is hidden inside. It was Mycroft who took care of the details of the plan such as the truck and the bicycle.'

But one viewer suggested that Dr Watson never witnessed a fall because he was hallucinating.

In the second episode, The Hounds of Baskerville, Holmes, Dr Watson and their client Henry Knight, played by Russell Tovey, were drugged which tricked the trio into thinking they had seen a terrifying wild dog - so could it be that Sherlock used the same drug on Watson?

Another incident in the episode could also be linked to an incident in the show where Sherlock finds two missing kidnapped children but the girl starts screaming at him as if she knows him and is scared of him.

Fans have suggested that Moriarty was behind the kidnapping and either wore a mask that looked like Sherlock - which the detective then put on Moriarty's dead body before pushing him off the roof.

Show co-creator Steven Moffat said there was a good explanation for Sherlock's survival - and all the clues were in the episode.

He said: 'It's all set up. We just want people to be in a frenzy of speculation.'

But he added that he would not be revealing any more clues, and added: 'We're going to be complete b******* about it.'