This year will see Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman's John Watson stripped of all the convenient technology of modern life in the Sherlock Christmas Special, a new episode of the show created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. The episode will be set against the Victorian era backdrop of the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and Watson's mustache will be back in full force, but otherwise the dynamic of the characters can be expected to remain unchanged.
The BBC has already released a full clip from the Sherlock Christmas Special, showing Holmes and Watson returning to 221b Baker Street after successfully completing an investigation, and dealing with a harangued Mrs. Hudson (who isn't pleased at her portrayal in Watson's stories). So far an official synopsis has not been released, but a cryptic tweet by Gatiss during filming suggested that it may be based on the short story "The Red-Headed League."
Now the characteristically slow tease of Sherlock footage has continued in the latest BBC trailer for upcoming fall and winter programs, which kicks off with a short new clip of Holmes lighting a pipe (smoking wasn't considered a bad habit in the 19th century) and saying, "From the beginning, then." Amanda Abbington, who was introduced in Sherlock Season 3 as Mary Morstan, can also be seen in the closing clip of the trailer, though this appears to be from the crime drama series Cuffs rather than Sherlock.
While the offering of new Sherlock footage is brief, there are many other interesting upcoming titles showcased in this trailer. Highlights include a look at thriller miniseries The Night Manager, which stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Hugh Laurie (House), as well as a new adaptation of War and Peace starring Lily James (Cinderella) and Paul Dano (12 Years a Slave).
Though the cast members' busy schedules and the 90 minute episode lengths mean that Sherlock's seasons are short and very spread out, the show has nonetheless attracted an enthusiastic fan base. Though the mysteries themselves can be somewhat lacking, Sherlock's high production values and the strong chemistry between Cumberbatch and Freeman mean that each new feature-length installment is usually a treat.
As for the future of the series, Cumberbatch's new commitments as Marvel's Doctor Strange are probably going to keep him occupied for much of the foreseeable future, but Moffat has made big promises about Sherlock Season 4 and we can hopefully look forward to more episodes in 2016.
The Sherlock Christmas Special is expected to air on BBC One and BBC America in December 2015.