'Sherlock' Goes To The Victorian Era [Video]

Anna Johansson

The Christmas special of Sherlock will be getting a slight makeover as it goes to the Victorian era. The makers of the popular television show have been setting up this extra showing for quite some time, releasing a teaser trailer in July, and then showing several other snippets since then.

"The stage is set, the curtain rises: We are ready to begin," says Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the opening of the trailer set in 19th century England. Watch the full official trailer below.

The video shows a side of Watson we've never seen before. He's much more put-together and far better mannered. John Watson (Martin Freeman) and Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) are exactly the same as before, only this time, Watson has a thick mustache. We also see glimpses of Lestrade (Rupert Graves), Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss), and Mary Watson (Amanda Abbington), all in their retro, Victorian garb.

Steven Moffat, the creator and executive producer of the now-beloved Sherlock series, had a few things to say about the upcoming special at the San Diego Comic-Con this past year.

"We discovered there was some precedent for doing Sherlock in the Victorian era," he told the gathered crowd. "When we first did Sherlock, the press asked, 'How can Sherlock possibly survive in a world with an iPhone?' and when doing the Victorian, the press came in and said, 'How can he do this without his iPhone?'…"

"It's very much the show you know," Moffat continued. "It's the Sherlock as you know it, but in the correct era. It's one of the best ones we've made. I think it's really terrific."

The premise will still involve the same ingenious, crime-solving duo, but this time they'll have fewer technological resources than the modern-day productions. The tone also feels a little darker, both visually and mood-wise. It even hints at some gothic-style horror, occasionally lightened by the typical dry humor we're used to seeing in the series.

The heavy mood is partially delivered through the lighting and partially through Holmes's heavy quotes.

"We all have a past, Watson — ghosts," he says. "They're the shadows that define our every sunny day... Every great cause has martyrs. Every war has suicide missions, and make no mistake, this is war."

The scene is made infinitely more creepy by the glimpses of dark nights, horse drawn black carriages, guns being cocked, shadowy faces, and eery questions. At one point Watson asks "What made you like this?" The music crescendos ominously and Sherlock responds. "Oh Watson. Nothing made me. I made me."

The decision to have Sherlock go to the Victorian era has raised a lot of questions. Fans and the press alike want to know why Holmes and Watson suddenly end up in 19th century England, when we're used to seeing them in a more modern setting.

Moffat quickly quelled these questions by stating the following.

"We never bothered explaining what they were doing in modern London, so why bother explaining what they're doing in Victorian London, when that's where they're supposed to be?"

Moffat also divulged that the plot is still going to be based off the original stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but that he chose to give the female characters more of a role. In the original stories, even Irene Adler has very little to say, but Moffat has plans to change that in this upcoming special.

The Sherlock Christmas special, which was co-written by Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss, is not going to play any part in the fourth season of the show. It stands on its own as a unique, but exciting, addition to the world of BBC's Sherlock as we know it. For now, there is no predetermined air date for this special in the Victorian era, which assures us that there will be more trailers and spoilers revealed in the near future.

[Image via WPA Pool / Getty Images]