Is it possible that the instruments of the Russian government function with a one-for-them, one-for-me operating system? As in, we’ll maybe interfere with an American election for you, so long as we can get the people’s paws on the new episode of Sherlock? After a Russian-language version of Sherlock’s recent season finale appeared online on Saturday, BBC Worldwide is looking into the possibility that the leak came from the broadcaster of the Russian state, Channel One. The station holds the rights to Sherlock in Russia, and the leaked episode featured a continuity announcement identifying it as having originated from Channel One, according to The Telegraph. Analysts are suggesting that the leak could have been a punitive strike against the British company in retaliation to two moves: a plan to expand the BBC World Service’s Russian-language output, and the closing of accounts linked to Russia’s English-language broadcaster that the Kremlin believes the BBC was behind.
The BBC is working with Channel One to nail down definitively the source of the leak. According to Deadline, Channel One released a statement about the investigation, announcing it “has been cooperating with BBC Worldwide from the moment we were alerted to the appearance of the leaked episode and we are doing everything in our power to determine the source of the breach. Initial investigations suggest our content system was compromised by an unauthorized external third party.” Somewhere, Sherlock Holmes stands on the sidelines, hand raised, teeming with deductions, waiting to be called on.