BBC's Sherlock has gained popularity over the course of its three seasons. While the show's success can largely be attributed to the onscreen talents of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, it's also noteworthy for bringing the classic characters into the modern era long before Elementary brought the concept to the U.S.
However, for a while it's seemed as if the show would be ditching its contemporary take on the detective and his assistant/friend Dr. Watson for a setting more in line with the characters' literary origins (temporarily, anyway). Now we know for sure, courtesy of co-creator Steven Moffat.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Moffat about the upcoming Sherlock Christmas special, and he has confirmed that the 90-minute episode takes place in Victorian London. Here's what Moffat had to say:
"The special is its own thing. We wouldn’t have done the story we’re doing, and the way we’re doing it, if we didn’t have this special. It’s not part of the run of three episodes. So we had this to do it – as we could hardly conceal – it’s Victorian. [Co-creator Mark Gatiss] and me, we wanted to do this, but it had to be a special, it had to be separate entity on its own. It’s kind of in its own little bubble."
We already speculated that this was the case. Bringing Sherlock and Watson back to the era in which they were originally conceived by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is certainly a fun idea, and Moffat and Gatiss have a definite point in taking advantage of the novelty of this special episode to tread more experimental ground. After all, this allows the show's creators to imagine how these modernized versions of the characters would fare in another time period, offering fans a taste of what Sherlock would be like without its central premise of a modern-day setting.
Plus, the show already has season 4 confirmed to be in the works, and as Moffat points out, this approach could only be taken on a special episode such as this that exists outside the primary canon of the show, as it wouldn't jeopardize the integrity or storyline of the main series. Just the sight of Cumberbatch and Freeman donning the traditional look of their iconic characters should be fun for fans, and with the knowledge that whatever happens in this episode doesn't really count, it gives the creative team the freedom to explore this world with virtually no restrictions.
Are you excited that Sherlock will be taking a trip back in time, in a manner of speaking? Sound off with your thoughts below.
No air date has been announced for the Sherlock special, but it is expected to air in the UK in December.