The game is afoot once more. With only weeks to go until a new standalone Sherlock episode arrives on our TV and in cinemas, the BBC has released a trailer for ‘The Abominable Bride,’ giving us our first glimpse of the mysterious figure shrouded in her veil. Speculation starts now.
For this one-off special, Sherlock has returned to 1895 Victorian London; which is precisely when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set his original stories. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the genius detective once more, with Martin Freeman starring opposite as Dr. Watson. For this outing, he’s sporting a very impressive handlebar moustache. Despite the time jump, showrunner Steven Moffat has assured fans that the highly anticipated fourth season of Sherlock will return to its modern setting, and this special is just that: special, different, and completely not tied into any previous or forthcoming episodes.
The official synopsis for ‘The Abominable Bride’ hints at the classic Sherlock Holmes tales, blurring the supernatural with a classic murder mystery. However, unlike previous outings, it is not based on a Conan Doyle story, marking the first time that Moffat and co-writer Mark Gatiss have branched out and written something completely new.
Dr John Watson, meet Mr Sherlock Holmes.
We’ve been here before - but what if this wasn’t the modern day but the late Victorian period? What if the world’s most famous consulting detective and his best friend lived in a Baker Street of steam trains, hansom cabs, top hats and frock-coats?
Welcome to ‘Sherlock’ in 1895!
Some things, though, remain reassuringly the same. Friendship, adventure and especially, MURDER…Why is Thomas Ricoletti a little surprised to see his wife dressed in her old wedding gown? Because, just a few hours before, she took her own life…
Mrs Ricoletti’s ghost now appears to be prowling the streets with an unslakeable thirst for revenge. From fog-shrouded Limehouse to the bowels of a ruined church, Holmes, Watson and their friends must use all their cunning to combat an enemy seemingly from beyond the grave and the final, shocking truth about… the Abominable Bride!
The trailer easily draws us into the eerie setting, complete with dark and dingy alleyways and thick fog hovering around the streets of London- everything that one would expect in a Victorian murder mystery, and yet the characterization remains the same. In particular, the simple pleasure that Cumberbatch’s Sherlock derives from making a joke about the morgue is bound to raise a smile.
Over on Tumblr and on various forums, speculation has already started, focusing on who exactly the abominable bride might be. Various fan theories abound, as they always do with anything surrounding Sherlock, including the suggestion that we might once again see Mary Watson (Amanda Abbington) taking a darker turn - though she does appear in the previous trailer with Watson by her side. We’ll find out all the answers when Sherlock airs on both sides of the Atlantic on New Year’s Day.
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, airs on New Year’s Day at 9pm on BBC1 in the U.K, and on PBS in the U.S. Sherlock season 4 is expected to premiere in the latter half of 2016.