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10 Reasons To Be Totally Psyched About ‘Sherlock: The Abominable Bride’

After a two-year hiatus, a new 90-minute special episode of the phenomenally popular mystery series Sherlock returned Friday, January 1, 2016, on MASTERPIECE Mystery on KCTS 9. Holmesians rejoice!

While fans of the acclaimed modern retelling anxiously await the new episode, here is a list of 10 reasons to be totally psyched about the premiere of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
 
1. Simultaneous US and UK Broadcast
 
Huzzah! KCTS 9 viewers will see the premiere of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride on the same day as UK viewers. This joint BBC/PBS television event marks a first-time, same-day premiere on both sides of the pond for a Sherlock episode. We are especially excited about this new arrangement and hope that it sparks a trend for dual UK and US viewing in the future. 
 
2. Instant Online Viewing
 
More good news! Usually, MASTERPIECE Classic and Mystery series are viewable online one day after the broadcast, but the premiere of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride will be available instantly to livestream online as the television broadcast is airing.  
 
3. Special Theatrical Screening
 
Wait! There’s more! Don’t miss out on the Sherlockian event of the season. In addition to watching the premiere on KCTS 9, see Sherlock: The Abominable Bride on the big screen at your local movie theater (with extra features) on January 5 and 6, 2016 only. You know you want to see every pore on Benedict Cumberbatch’s handsome face and Martin Freeman’s handlebar mustache in fine detail on the big screen with your friends, family and fellow fans! 
 
 
4. Return to Victorian Times
 
Did the first trailer for Sherlock: The Abominable Bride leave your mouth agape and mind spinning? What’s with the Victorian clothes and scenery? 
 
While the original Sherlock Holmes mystery stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were set in the late 19th century, Sherlock, the new television series, is set in modern-day, technology-entrenched London. Writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have cleverly returned to steam train era, late Victorian London with Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. Viewing the three trailers, and seeing Sherlock, Watson and the rest of the regular cast in Victorian garb is surprising and thrilling. We have been told that this is a stand-alone episode and season four, which begins production in January, 2016, will return to modern times.
 
Speculation among Sherlockians is rampant about how 21st century characters based on 19th century characters have returned to their era of origin. Time slip? A dream? Or, will no explanation be offered? Based on observational deduction, we are opting for the last theory.   
 
5. Fabulous Victorian Costumes
 
The costumes and sets for Sherlock: The Abominable Bride look authentic and amazing in the trailers — with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock in the iconic deerstalker hat, smoking a briar pipe — shades of Basil Rathbone (1939-1946), Jeremy Brett (1984-1993) or Robert Downey, Jr.’s (2009-2011) portrayal of the famous detective!
 
While Victorian fashions for gentlemen are more elaborate with their fine waistcoats, walking sticks and top hats, we are really looking forward to what the costume designer has in store for the ladies. Mrs. Hudson in a bustle, anyone? And what about a finely crafted millinery masterpiece with lots of netting and feathers for Mary Hudson (Amanda Abbington)? Our one concern is what they are going to do with Molly Hooper. She certainly cannot work in the morgue at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1895 London. She could, however, be a nurse. Visions of Molly in a blue puff sleeved uniform and starched white apron work for us.     
 

6. Intriguing Gothic Mystery
 
“Ghosts. They are the shadows that define our every sunny day.” – Sherlock Holmes, The Abominable Bride
 
221b Baker Street here we come! Check out the official synopsis of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride:
 
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 unslakable 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! 
 
7. More Bromance
 
In Conan Doyle’s clever mind, putting together a high-functioning sociopath and a sensation-seeking doctor was the perfect combination to solve a murder mystery, but are they friends? If we put our own balance of probability and mental acuity in play, they are actually the most unlikely of friends. How does it work?
 
In fact, in the series three episode, The Sign of Three, Sherlock never expected to be anyone’s best friend and is surprised to learn that Watson wants him to be his best man at his wedding. Interestingly, their relationship throughout the series has been carefully crafted, and at this point, we begin to see a change in Sherlock’s social skills. Well, at least he is trying. Sherlock cannot function in the real world without his intermediary John Watson, and in return Sherlock supplies Watson with the adventures and challenges that he craves. They are the yin and yang in this bromance; intriguing to many and connecting the series by supplying an ongoing internal mystery. This personalized aspect of the series is one of the reasons we find Sherlock so engrossing. Yes, murders and mysteries are solved, but what is going to happen between Sherlock and Watson? Stay tuned!
 
 
8. Team Sherlock
 
While Dr. Watson is the “Mr. Carson” of 221b Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes also has a support network of other friends that care about him. Firstly, while Sherlock thinks everyone at Scotland Yard is an idiot (yes you, Anderson and Donovan), D.I. Lestrade (Rupert Graves) recognizes Sherlock’s genius and how much his incredible skills make his squad look better and help them solve crimes. His motives are not entirely as selfish as Sherlock’s, who sees his involvement only as entertainment.
 
Secondly, Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) is absolutely a dear. In this modern version of the Sherlock Homes series, she is not his housekeeper, but his landlady. Despite having her own flat downstairs, she finds her way into his life and fusses over him daily. Her repeated announcement that she is not his housekeeper is becoming further from the truth with every episode.
 
And lastly, what about Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey)? A specialist registrar in the morgue at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, Sherlock exploits her major crush on him in exchange for forensic information to solve cases. Her attempts to attract his attention with lipstick, figure-forming clothing and a jealous boyfriend have had little to no effect on his romantic interest in her. Unrequited love does get a reward, from time to time, especially when he tells her “You're wrong, you know. You do count. You've always counted and I've always trusted you.” We shall see if their ongoing non-relationship develops further.    
 
 9. Whip-Smart Writing
 
Tinkering with literary canon can be dangerous. Just ask any Jane Austen fan. Since 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes has grown beyond the icon realm into the literary God territory; inspiring plays and movies and television shows and books galore. Creator/writers Moffat and Gatiss have updated the story in Sherlock brilliantly, making “smart” the new “sexy” like no other series currently on television. They have managed to retain all the charm, suspense and quirky eccentricities of the original stories while creating tech-entrenched, modern mysteries with complicated heroes. We are curious to see how they will bring Sherlock and Watson back into the 1890s; keeping us intrigued during a slower-paced time without cell phones and modern technology. We hope that their deductive reasoning skills will be in high gear and we will see a clever disguise or two.
 
10. Stars Martin Freeman AND Benedict Cumberbatch
 
Since the first series of Sherlock aired in 2010, actors Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch have become huge stars. They were both well-known stage and television actors before the show began, but their movie careers really took off after Sherlock became a world-wide phenomenon. Freeman’s three Hobbit movies (2012-14) and Cumberbatch’s Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) catapulted them both into wider renown. Their busy filming and stage schedules are really why we have waited two years for the next installment of Sherlock. They now own the characters so entirely we cannot imagine anyone else being able to portray them, though we do give a reverent nod to Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law in the Sherlock movies by Guy Ritchie.
 
Looking to the future, we wish that Freeman would be cast as Claudius in the new re-boot of I, Claudius in production with HBO and BBC2, and that Cumberbatch, who does not need any suggestions on projects, will continue to surprise us.  
 
We hope that you enjoy Sherlock: The Abominable Bride as much as we know we will. We are looking forward to season four of Sherlock, hopefully broadcast in the fall of 2016. 
 
Watch a preview below, and don't forget to flip through our sneak peek photo gallery!
 
 

Photo Credits: © Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films and BBC Wales for BBC One and MASTERPIECE.

 

SUPPORTED BY

Laurel Ann Nattress

Writer, blogger, and editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Laurel Ann Nattress is a champion of Georgian civility, British culture and Masterpiece PBS. Visit her at Austenprose.com and follow her on twitter as @Austenprose

More stories by Laurel Ann Nattress

There are 11 comments

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Thanks for the great article! And especially for the heads up that this will be on the big screen here in Seattle on Jan. 5th and 6th! Will be great to see more great Sherlock writing, acting and the period costumes!

I'm not sure this part of the post is correct: "but the premiere of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride will be available instantly to livestream at the KCTS 9 video portal as the television broadcast is airing." It looks like it can't be streamed anymore...if we didn't do it at 6 pm (9 Eastern), we're out of luck according to the streaming site. Kind of disappointed that we missed our shot because we relied on this blog post. :(

Our apologies for the lack of clarity. The livestream was available during the initial broadcast at 9 p.m. ET via PBS Masterpiece. 'Sherlock: The Abominable Bride' will have an encore broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at 10:00 p.m on KCTS 9, and will be available for streaming online beginning Jan. 11, 2016, for a limited time.

What is the link to the livestream? I've checked on the "watch online" link above (on the main page and masterpiece page) and can't seem to find it. Thanks1

Our apologies for the lack of clarity. The livestream was linked in the word 'livestream' in point 2 above, and was available during the initial broadcast at 9 p.m. ET via PBS Masterpiece. 'Sherlock: The Abominable Bride' will have an encore broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at 10:00 p.m on KCTS 9, and will be available for streaming online beginning Jan. 11, 2016, for a limited time.

Would be nice to have a link to the live stream.

Our apologies for the lack of clarity. The livestream was linked in the word 'livestream' in point 2 above, and was available during the initial broadcast at 9 p.m. ET via PBS Masterpiece. 'Sherlock: The Abominable Bride' will have an encore broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at 10:00 p.m on KCTS 9, and will be available for streaming online beginning Jan. 11, 2016, for a limited time.

Regarding #2 - The television broadcast aired at 9 pm but I can't find Sherlock streaming live. Where's the "KCTS 9 video portal"?

2. Instant Online Viewing

More good news! Usually, MASTERPIECE Classic and Mystery series are viewable online one day after the broadcast, but the premiere of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride will be available instantly to livestream at the KCTS 9 video portal as the television broadcast is airing.

Our apologies for the lack of clarity. The livestream was available during the initial broadcast at 9 p.m. ET via PBS Masterpiece. 'Sherlock: The Abominable Bride' will have an encore broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at 10:00 p.m on KCTS 9, and will be available for streaming online beginning Jan. 11, 2016, for a limited time.

Why does this article claim that the Abominable Bride will be available for livesteaming at 9 PM? It isn't anywhere! Infuriating.

Our apologies for the lack of clarity. The livestream was available during the initial broadcast at 9 p.m. ET via PBS Masterpiece. 'Sherlock: The Abominable Bride' will have an encore broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at 10:00 p.m on KCTS 9, and will be available for streaming online beginning Jan. 11, 2016, for a limited time.

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