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The plot of this episode was inspired by the Holmes short story, "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans."
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The music used in the Planetarium presentation on Jupiter is from The Planets suite by Gustav Holst, but it is the first movement ("Mars, the Bringer of War"), not the fourth ("Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity").
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The man who provides the voice over at the planetarium is Peter Davison who played the fifth doctor in Doctor Who (1963).
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According to the DVD commentary, this was the first episode to be produced after the BBC accepted the series. The series was filmed in reverse order because Steven Moffat, the writer of the first episode Sherlock: A Study in Pink (2010), was busy with the fifth series of Doctor Who (2005).
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According to the episode commentary, The voice of the little boy is provided by Louis Moffat, son of Steven Moffat and producer Sue Vertue, who played little Sherlock on the later episodes.
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According to the episode commentary, the smiley face on the wall of 221B Baker street is painted by the same light yellow paint used by the Black Lotus Tong in Sherlock: The Blind Banker (2010).
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Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss were originally not going to put a confrontation between Moriarty and Sherlock into the first three episodes, but realised that they "just had to do a confrontation scene. We had to do a version of the scene in 'The Final Problem' in which the two arch-enemies meet each other."
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According to the episode commentary, the photos of a young Carl Powers on the wall of 221B are actually childhood pictures of the show's Second Assistant.
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The main events of the episode probably took place on 29 March. Sherlock found and commented on John's blog 28 March. The first and second cases took place the next day and Case#3 on 30 March. Case#4 and the final scene happen on 31 March.
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During the scene where Sherlock receives his answer to his written request from the homeless girl, John meets him on the street to tell him information about the dead security guard from the art museum. Sherlock presses John for more information to which John exclaims, "Give us a chance!" In 2012 Martin Freeman played Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) where he meets Gollum, a corrupt little creature with whom he plays a riddle game. When Bilbo asks Gollum if he gives up, Gollum also exclaims, "Give us a chance!" In addition, there is also a character in this episode whose assassin title name is Golem.
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The title of the episode may refer to Sherlock's catchphrase "The game is on!". It may also refer to what scholars have dubbed the Sherlockian game, a pastime attempting to retrace the biographies of Holmes and Watson.
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Series co-creator Mark Gatiss, who also plays Mycroft Holmes, appeared in Doctor Who: The Wedding of River Song (2011) in prosthetic make-up based on the appearance of Rondo Hatton as the Hoxton Creeper in another Sherlock Holmes incarnation, The Pearl of Death (1944) with Basil Rathbone. The character known as The Golem in this episode has a strong resemblance to Hatton's deformed killer.
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According to the episode commentary, Sarah's flat was filmed in a four-storey house in Cardiff which was used for several locations, including Westie's flat.
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In the credits of Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS, some of the letters were highlighted red. Letters from this episode spells out P-I-P-S which refers to canon story "The Five Orange Pips".
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When Moriarty first comes around the corner, he's in front of a sign that says "Deep End".
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First appearance of Jim Moriarty.
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The actress playing the blind woman strapped to one of the bombs is Rita Davies. She also plays a minor character in the short lived series My Life in Film (2004), featuring Andrew Scott, who also plays Moriarty, the man who strapped that bomb onto her.
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