Sherlock fans are accustomed to waiting. The waiting times between seasons of the BBC drama are frightfully long, with only three episodes airing every two years. Yet even with the large gaps between seasons, Sherlock has a fanbase that easily rivals that of shows with far more hours of television. Season 3 of Sherlock wrapped up back in 2014, which makes it just about time for those fans to begin clamoring for more.
However, when the show returns it won't be a continuation of where Sherlock last left off. Instead, the series is airing a one-off, Victorian-era special with the cast playing the more traditional incarnations of their characters. Today we learned the special is titled, "The Abominable Bride," and will premiere January 1st - on both sides of the pond!
Sherlock seems to finally be taking a cue from Doctor Who and airing the episode on the same day in both the U.K. and U.S., making it all the less likely that U.S. fans will seek out the episode by some illegal means. Still, the airings are separated by a few hours, so U.S. fans wanting to avoid spoilers would do well to stay offline (or at least off Tumblr) on New Year's Day until "The Abominable Bride" airs on PBS.
But if it's the modern Sherlock you really care for, the BBC has also confirmed that filming will begin on the eagerly awaited season 4 in the spring, with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss writing away furiously. Presumably, BBC and PBS will continue to air Sherlock on the same day going forward.
In addition to the official title and airdate, there's also a few new photos from the special. Check them out below!
Previous episodes of Sherlock have all been either an adaptation or new spins on classic Sherlock Holmes stories, but unless a more well-versed Sherlockian can offer up further details, it doesn't appear as if "The Abominable Bride" relates to any of Arthur Conan Doyle's tales. If that is indeed the case, then this special marks a distinct change from what Moffat and Gatiss have done before - choosing to tell a new tale while also taking the characters back to their Victorian roots.
Judging by what we've seen thus far, "The Abominable Bride" should be a real treat for fans. It may be not the season 4 they were hoping for, but the opportunity to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman sleuthing around in period clothing isn't one to miss. If you haven't already seen it, you can watch the trailer for "The Abominable Bride" below, now with the U.S. premiere date and time.
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride airs January 1st on BBC and PBS, check local listings for times. Sherlock season 4 is expected to premiere later in 2016.