Sherlock: The Abominable Bride News

News Den Of Geek
12/14/2015 at 8:01AM

The Sherlock Christmas Special is now known as Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. We have all the details.

The Sherlock Christmas Special is going by the Gothic-sounding name of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. It's set to air on the January 1st, 2016, in both the US and the UK. It will also play in select US theaters, with tickets going on sale on November 6th. They can be purchased through Fathom Events.

Latest News

PBS has just given us another brand new trailer. Watch it here...

And here's the previous one...

Check out the official synopsis:

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!

There's a new teaser for Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. Watch it here: 

Here's a smart new promo poster featuring the now-confirmed title and airdate:

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy at last weekend's MCM London Comic Con, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have revealed a squeak more information about the forthcoming Sherlock Christmas Special, The Abominable Bride, arriving on BBC One and in select cinemas around the UK on the 1st of January.

Gatiss confirmed that The Abominable Bride "is mostly an original story, inspired by a reference in one of the [Doyle] stories to one of the ones that Dr Watson never wrote about." Steven Moffat continued, "There are loads and loads of details from the original stories, and there is a case referenced in the story about 'Ricoletti with the club foot and his abominable wife', so this is broadly speaking, that.”

The Doyle story in question is The Adventure Of The Musgrave Ritual, a tale of riddles, hidden treasure and death, and here's the line to which Moffat refers, spoken by Sherlock Holmes, "Here's the record of the Tarleton murders and the case of Vamberry, the wine merchant, and the adventure of the old Russian woman, and the singular affair of the aluminium crutch, as well as a full account of Ricoletti of the club foot and his abominable wife."

"Proper Gothic horror" is Amanda Abbington's description of the Special, with Gatiss calling it "a Christmas ghost story" and "the definition of a treat".

Head over to Digital Spy to watch the short video. 

Here's the trailer in case you haven't seen it yet...

First Footage

Steven Moffat went from Hall H to Ballroom 20 at SDCC 2015 panel, this time to bring some news about his other hit show, Sherlock.

While details on Sherlock season 4 were scarce, Moffat gave fans their first look at this year's Christmas Special, which is a standalone episode that takes place in Victorian times.

Watch it here...

New Throwback Photo

Since this year's Sherlock special is a standalone episode that takes place in Victorian times (it was only a matter of time, right?), the BBC has shared a new picture of the world's greatest detective team in a pretty fancy get-up. Check out this throwback photo of Sherlock and Watson in Victorian garb:

A Possible Story Tease

If you've been paying attention to the Twitter account of Sherlock Special director Douglas Mackinnon, you'll have seen the following picture accompanied by the words, "the stars were shining coldly in a cloudless sky," a quote from - yes - the Sherlock Holmes Christmas story, The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle

Mackinnon's Tweet was swiftly followed by one from Mark Gatiss, "it was a bitter night so we drew on our ulsters and wrapped cravats around our throats," another quote from The Blue Carbuncle.

Ever since the words Sherlock Christmas Special were announced, goose/jewel romp The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle has been a hot tip amongst fans. Are Mackinnon and Gatiss' hints to be trusted though, or are they simply toying with our expectations?

Filming in Bristol

Night shoots continue on the currently filming Special, with uncomfirmed rumours that Tyntesfield House in Bristol will be providing the backdrop to the latest scenes.

Filming on the 2015 Sherlock Special kicked off in Bristol on Monday the 5th of January and is thought to be continuing in the Cardiff studios as we speak. The Victorian vaulted cellars of music venue Colstan Hall are reported to be providing one of the Bristol backdrops for the episode.

Here's a calendar date for you: the Bath Chronicle recently published details of a letter sent to residents of the area surrounding Queen Street in Bath, informing them that filming is due to take place on the BBC series on Monday the 2nd of February, when Queen Street will be decorated "in a Victorian theme."

New Casting Call

The canny folk on the #setlock hashtag have discovered a couple of casting calls from Mad Dog Casting, a company that has previously provided supporting artists for Sherlock, that may give us a clue as to the content of the Special. A call for male mime artists and physical theatre specialists went out for "an incredibly popular returning BBC drama that will be filming in Bristol in the first weeks of January", and was reiterated last week with a notice specifying that it was "a BBC detective series". That seems fairly unequivocal, we'd say.

Additionally, a call for a male violinist with height and weight measurements matching those of Benedict Cumberbatch went out for filming in Bristol on Monday the 19th of January. Sherlock's going to be picking up the old Stradivarius in the Special - to play "Irene's Theme," we wonder?

The New Look

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were both snapped by trusty #setlock fans wearing the same period costume as in the preview image released by the BBC in November (see above).

Underneath that handsome top hat, Cumberbatch is sporting a shiny slicked-back hair do that, as does his costume, bears a strong resemblance to that worn by Jeremy Brett in the 80s-90s Granada Television Holmes series. Martin Freeman was also photographed in his David Burke-as-Watson-style brown suit and ‘tache (which, seeing how much the actor reputedly didn’t enjoy wearing his lip warmer in The Empty Hearse, must be going down a treat).


(Image sourced from @Derya_Yavuzz. Please get in touch if you know the original source so we can properly attribute.)

As noted above, we can expect a male mime artist to appear in the episode, as well as other "physical theatre" specialists. Could part of the Special take place in a circus or perhaps, Covent Garden?

It appears that Misfits' Natasha O'Keeffe will be appearing in the Special, thanks to this image snapped of her in what looks like a floral bridal headdress on the Bristol set.

A read-through for the Special took place in central London on Tuesday the 25th of November, before filming began this January. So far, the confirmed cast includes leads Cumberbatch and Freeman and regulars Amanda Abbington as Mary Watson (Morstan - well, nee something undisclosed beginning with an A but you know what we mean), Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper and Jonathan Aris as Anderson. We can expect more of the regulars to turn up as filming progresses, including the likes of Una Stubbs and Rupert Graves.

Lately, we've learnt that Blackadder alumnus Tim McInnerny (he most famously played Lord Percy Percy and Captain Darling in the BBC comedy) will be appearing as Sir Edwin, a name shared with Simon Kunz' character from His Last VowIs that just a coincidence? It would seem unlikely. 

We learnt in the same news story that Stephanie Hyam will appear as a new character called Jane, and that David Nellist will return as Mike Stamford (the mutual friend who brought Sherlock and John together in episode 1).

Creative team

The script has been co-written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, with Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor WhoLine Of DutyJekyll) directing the episode. Production Designer Arwel Jones is back of course, while Suzie Lavelle (Doctor WhoRipper Street) joins the team as the Director Of Photography.

What we don’t know

At present, we don’t yet have a title, synopsis, list of characters and cast, air date, or an explanation of why Cumberbatch and Freeman appear in Victorian dress. Despite the episode being repeatedly referred to as a Christmas Special, we’re yet to even have confirmation that Christmas 2015 is the planned air date. (If it is a Christmas story, the obvious choice would be The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle, of course).

In fact, Mark Gatiss told us in September, “It’s not a Christmas special. It’s a special, but we honestly have no idea when it might be on. We’re making it in January but we don’t know when it’s going to be on. Christmas would be nice. The scheduling is not up to us. I don’t think even the schedulers know [laughing].”

That er, doesn’t give us a great deal to go on, which leads us to…


(Image sourced from @Markgatiss, 07/01/15, caption: "Today's mood")

In BBC Books’ Sherlock: Chronicles, which came out in November 2014, co-creator and actor Mark Gatiss was asked to provide a word as to what to expect in Sherlock’s next adventures. The word he gave? “Ghosts.”

Was Gatiss talking literally or figuratively? Doyle’s stories aren’t given to otherworldly events. From The Adventure Of The Sussex Vampire to The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes’ adventures expose the rational causes of what some take to be supernatural manifestations. “This agency stands flat-footed upon the ground and there it must remain,” Holmes famously said in the former tale, “The world is big enough for us. No ghost need apply”. We’d venture that Gatiss was referring to the reappearance in series four of Jim Moriarty and perhaps even Irene Adler…

Still on the subject of ghosts, is it significant that Sherlock Special director Douglas Mackinnon Retweeted the words of @SherlockSkull on the 25th of November, when he said “Oh oh oh... Ghost of Sherlock past... Got it! Bam! #ShSpesh”? Can the period dress and the ‘ghosts’ reference be explained by the simple fact that the Sherlock one-off Special is set back in Victorian times as an homage to the character’s original era?

Perhaps another exchange on Twitter can shed some light on the reason behind the period costumes? On the 25th of November, after the BBC released the first image of Sherlock and Watson in Victorian-era dress, Doctor Who writer Jamie Mathieson Tweeted, “The big question is not how modern Sherlock ends up in the Victorian era, but how a Victorian character ended up here in the first place”, to which Sherlock Special director Douglas Mackinnon tantalisingly replied, “That’s only the half of it”.

Follow the team on Twitter

(Image sourced from @FearsomeHippo74.)

The hashtags to search for more updates (if you don’t mind spoilers, that is) are: #Setlock, #SHSpesh and #221back.

And here are some of the key players to follow on Twitter:

@Markgatiss Mark Gatiss (Writer & Mycroft Holmes)

@suevertue Sue Vertue (Producer)

@arwelwjones Arwel Jones (Production Designer)

@CHIMPSINSOCKS Amanda Abbington (Mary Watson)

@louisebrealey Louise Brealey (Molly Hooper)

@drmuig Douglas Mackinnon (Director)