So it’s been confirmed – the Sherlock Christmas special 2015 will take place in Victorian-era London!
Speaking at South by Southwest (SXSW) yesterday, showrunner Steven Moffat had this 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.”
Filming for the special began back in January, and is almost done. With that in mind, I’ve done some sleuthing – here’s three things you need to know about the Sherlock Christmas special 2015!
1. Sherlock and Jon in the Victorian era will be awesome
Remember that promo picture? Yes, that picture. The one that caused a disturbance in the Force, as if millions of fangirls suddenly cried out in terror when the BBC revealed a teaser picture for the special, with Sherlock and John all dressed up and looking decidedly Victorian.
Almost instantly, fans were speculating that it was a shoddy Photoshop job based on the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch seemed to be missing half a shoulder in the original picture, and the BBC were forced to release an amended version.
But now it’s confirmed: Cumberbatch and Freeman will be swanning about 19th century London (Excuse me for a minute, the mere thought of Cumberbatch all decked out in Victorian finery is enough to make me swoon.)
Intrepid fans have also deduced more details from casting calls made by a company that previously provided supporting artists to the show. Apparently, male mime artists and physical theatre specialists were requested for “an incredibly popular returning BBC drama that will be filming in Bristol in the first weeks of January”.
I for one, am ecstatic about a Victorian-era Sherlock Holmes adventure with Cumberbatch and Freeman. The leads look amazing dressed up as Victorian gentlemen (have I already said that?), and the streets of Victorian London with all the horse carriages and fog are a throwback to the classic adaptations of the Holmes stories.
It’ll be interesting to see how showrunners Gatiss and Moffat will explain this sudden jump back in time. Maybe the Doctor came by and scooped them up into the Tardis?
2. The sets will be gorgeous
One filming location is rumoured to be the historic city of Bath. Residents living around the Georgian houses of Queen Street were sent a letter informing them of filming taking place in early February, when the area would be decorated “in a Victorian theme”.
Bath is home to some gorgeous architecture, and is one of the last few places in the UK that can stand in for Victorian London.
Victorian Gothic mansion Tyntesfield House in Bristol is also set to be the backdrop of the Christmas special. Back in Jan, the official website for the stately home stated that the house would be closed for the next couple of weeks “to enable filming to take place internally and around its exterior”.
From the website, the House’s interior is decorated in the late Victorian style and looks amazing. It’s reopened now, so it might be worth your while to check it out if you’re in the area.
Smoke machines creating a mist around the Tyntesfield Gothic mansion today, where Sherlock was being filmed pic.twitter.com/eZ26CjsoIU
— Anthony Ward (@Anth0ny_Ward) January 17, 2015
Seriously, that picture could’ve come straight out of an old movie version of The Hound of the Baskervilles.
3. It’ll be based on The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
Longtime fans of Sherlock will know that Gatiss and Moffat build a lot of easter eggs into their scripts, incorporating elements from the original stories.
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) January 15, 2015
Back in January, Gatiss tweeted a still taken from one of the cameras on set, showing what looks like a silhouette of Cumberbatch wearing a deerstalker hat.
The accompanying quote is from The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, which was also set around Christmas time. It’s one of the rare Holmes stories where no one is murdered or taken to jail, making it eminently suitable for a lighthearted romp for the holidays.
Sadly, the list of what we do know about the next episode of Sherlock is a lot shorter than what we don’t know. The BBC still hasn’t released a synopsis, cast list, or even a title, so all of this is just conjecture.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with speculating.
What would you like to see in the Sherlock Christmas special 2015? Tell us!