Friday, July 10, 2015

BBC Sherlock Christmas Special Teaser - Review

Benedict Cumberbatch Martin Freeman Victorian Sherlock Holmes Dr John Watson 2015 Christmas Special episode first look poster wallpaper image picture

Click here to read the list of Canonical references in this episode.

The first look teaser for the upcoming Christmas special episode of BBC Sherlock has been released.

As the camera pans back from the familiar close-up shot of the Baker Street. w. sign, we see that it is a foggy London teaming with hansoms and snowing heavily.Yes, as readers might be aware, this stand alone episode is set in the 19th century, the actual time in which Arthur Conan Doyle started writing the original stories and novels.

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman) return from one of their adventures. A frustrated Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs) wishes loudly that her famous tenant should inform her beforehand about his planned arrival.

Accompanying her is a young boy, who may or may not be Billie, Holmes' page in The Valley of Fear, The Problem of Thor Bridge and The Mazarin Stone. He is played by Adam Greaves-Neal, who portrayed Archie in The Sign of Three.

The rest of the teaser features a playful banter between Mrs Hudson and Dr Watson as they debate her opinions about his published stories. In true BBC Sherlock style, Mrs Hudson reminds him: I am your land lady, not a plot device!

She is concerned about her role being reduced to that of a lady who just shows the clients to her tenant's room and bringing food for them.

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Sherlock consoles her by commenting that he himself has been a casualty by being short changed in The Dog one” (reference to The Hound of the Baskervilles).

Mrs Hudson also complains about Dr Watson making her beloved 221 B so drab and dingy. The doctor promptly blames this on the illustrator (Sidney Paget?) and claims to have grown the mustache to hide his true identity.

Though very short, the clip gives enough footage to showcase the glory of Benedict Cumberbatch's Victorian Sherlock. Benedict looks quite comfortable, smoking the pipe and in full fledged Victorian outfit (Inverness cape, Deerstalker et al). This looks to be another home run for Cumberbatch. His Victorian Holmes looks to have more of the dry wit that characterizes the Canonical version so well.

Martin Freeman and Una Stubbs also look right at home in their Victorian versions. Freeman's Dr Watson seems to be carrying a criminal relic from their recent investigation, that he wisely chooses not to disclose to the curious young boy.

Hopefully, the script by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat will strike the right balance between humor and mystery to provide a solid episode, full of Victorian Goodness in true ACD style Sherlock Holmes.

Check out the clip below:

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Image Sources: Hartswood Films, BBC

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  1. I wish I could be excited. I adored the first series of Sherlock (that first episode is faultless) but for me the balance of detection and self-aware comedy has become too one-sided. This trailer confirms my fears - it's all 'what larks! They're in Victorian garb!' Decent jokes but insufferably smug. Hopefully, the finished article will remember to stop patting itself on the back long enough to tell a decent tale.

    1. I too liked the first season the best. The second season was high on melodrama and the third one on meta jokes and comedy.

      Hopefully, this special and the fourth season will be a return to form for the show.


  2. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole reason for this one-off was to show that Cumberbatch and Freeman would be just as great in their roles if the story hadn't been a modernized telling. Sherlock's first line made me smile -- so familiar, yet different, yet familiar... And I'm pretty sure that what's in the bag is a dismembered country squire.... XD I'm excited to see this!

    1. Agree with you, Sarah. I too have been looking forward to seeing Benedict in Victorian mode. And yes, I too liked his dialogue delivery in the clip. Looks more in tune with the Canonical version, than his modern counterpart that we usually see in the show.


  3. I simply cannot work enthusiasm for this episode. There's a fine line between witty and mocking, and this clip makes me think it will border on spoofing Canon. It's a bit TOO self-aware, which isn't to my liking. As someone who has struggled to embrace "Sherlock", this doesn't make me want to see it.

    I really wish I could love "Sherlock" as much as everyone around me does, but despite my best efforts, I cannot, and this special brings me no closer to changing my view. I respect Cumberbatch as an actor, but he hasn't dislodged Brett as MY idea of Holmes and I'm pretty sure he never will. Still, I may be surprised.

    1. You had a few nice words to say about Benedict. That's quite an improvement :)

      I personally like this show, despite the obvious liberties it takes with the Canon.