Some spoilers may follow!
BBC has outdone themselves again and produced an episode that was so wonderful it’s hard to formulate the proper words to describe it. Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, which aired January 1, 2016, was advertised as a holiday special; however, it turned out to be so much more.
Starting off the episode with a recap of the previous seasons was a genius idea; it made sure that loyal fans were completely caught up or refreshed and new viewers would not be completely lost. Diving into the show with Watson (Martin Freeman) narrating the story; he recounts the moment when Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson first met; however, this depiction is not in the present day but in the 1890s. Here, we see the dynamic duo take on a new case involving a bride that went on a shooting spree, committed suicide, and came back from the grave to kill her husband; only then to proceed frightening and killing off men. As we move along in the typical Sherlock style, we find that Sherlock is still being haunted by the memory of Moriarty. During a drug-induced meditation session, we are jerked back to the present day, only to find out that the 1890s story we were emerged in is the thought process of the present-day Sherlock (Have I lost you yet?). Present-day Sherlock is trying to piece together an unsolved case from the 1890s that relates to what is happening in the present day; Moriarty’s rumored return after committing suicide. After a few moments in the present, Sherlock then falls back into the drug-induced dreamlike state to complete his mission. In the end, Sherlock solves the mystery (I won’t give that part away), with a wonderful historical twist revolving around the women’s rights movement.
The intricacies of this show are what make it so captivating to watch. Every viewer is encouraged to try to see things the way that Sherlock would; every detail counts. The actors and actresses did a phenomenal job at keeping the 1890s characters in line with the present-day characters. They were able to maintain all the characters that we have come to know and love, while adding a few new features as well as a fantastic wardrobe, of course.
“The stage is set, the curtain rises, we are ready to begin.” - Sherlock
As always, I am blown away at the stunning set detail and filming composition of the Sherlock show. The 1890s and the present-day sets were the same but decorated so intricately different; not a single detail was left out. For the filming, the angles and lighting, the only word to describe it is fantastic. Additionally, the filming aspect of the show adds another entire level to the plot. How the audience is presented with the show is as important as the story itself; the audience can only see what the cinematographers want them to see.
The twists and turns that Sherlock throws at you make it impossible to turn away from the show once you have started it. Riveting until the very end, audiences will be at the edges of their seats.