In only three short seasons, Sherlock has become a worldwide phenomenon. Not only has it become one of the BBC’s most popular shows, but it has also elevated stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) to the Hollywood A-list. Not bad for a series with only nine episodes.

The scheduling model of Sherlock is to release three ninety-minute episodes every two years. The sets of three episodes work as an event miniseries, and each miniseries tells the interconnecting story of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.  The model works around the actors’ busy schedules, but it also serves to build anticipation for the next season. Though there hasn’t been a confirmed air date for season 4, fans rejoiced when it was announced there would be a one-off Christmas special in 2015.

BBC One has just released a promotional image for the upcoming special, set to take place in Victorian England. Though the setting and costume design were previously revealed, this promotional image represents the first official full body look at Cumberbatch and Freeman in their new costumes.

Check it out below:

Sherlock Christmas Special Image Sherlock: New Christmas Special Image Released

Details about the plot of the upcoming special are sparse. Moffat has confirmed the time period and the fact that this episode will be out of continuity, but little else. The team behind the series is looking to try something new by returning to the era in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters were created.

While not exactly what fans are clamoring for, the departure from the overarching storyline of the Sherlock series opens up the possibility to try new things and experiment with the show’s formula. Seeing Cumberbatch’s take on Sherlock Holmes in a historical setting could open up the character to new interpersonal developments and allow for altered relationships with the rest of the principle cast. Without a focus or reliance on technology, it will be interesting to see how these interpretations of the characters adapt to the setting.

Moffat has promised that the fourth season of Sherlock will be a dark series about consequences. While the previous seasons have had plenty of grim moments, the series has always taken care to show lighter, character-building moments. This special could be the last time we see a happy side of Sherlock and John’s lives for the next few years, though whether it will mesh with the rest of the series or ultimately stand apart remains to be seen.

Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat and executive producer Sue Vertue will be joining actor Rupert Graves for a Sherlock panel hosted by Nerd HQ. The panel is set to take place on July 9th at 10:00 a.m. PST. Though not technically affiliated with San Diego Comic-Con, Nerd HQ events take place simultaneously and feature an overlapping list of creators and celebrities.

The Sherlock Christmas special is expected to air in December.

Source: BBC One

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