Steven Moffatt’s 21st century update of Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most talked-about BBC shows of recent years, pitting Benedict Cumberbatch’s meticulous detective against a host of contemporary foes – while keeping a little of the emotional repression of Conan Doyle’s creation.
Now for an upcoming Christmas special, Moffatt is doubling back on himself, taking Holmes and Watson back to their original Victorian setting, but clearly with a sprinkling of post-modern wit. As you can see from this trailer launched at Comic-Con, there’s plenty of winking self-referentiality, both to Conan Doyle’s stories and the TV series itself.
Mrs Hudson the housekeeper complains about her lack of billing in the stories (a sly nod to her eventual scene-stealing on TV) while Watson, played by Martin Freeman, notes that he’s had to grow a moustache to get noticed – perhaps a meta joke acknowledging Cumberbatch’s stratospheric rise to Hollywood fame?
Moffatt told the Comic-Con crowd that “It’s still the same sense of humour, it’s still very much the show you know… But it’s in the ‘correct’ era, which was unbelievably thrilling.” But what do you think? Is this return to the 19th century a conceit too far, or are you as excited as ever? Fulminate or rhapsodise in the comments below.