The Sherlock Christmas special has nothing to do with the rest of the show
When Sherlock finally returns later this year after a break of nearly two years, it won’t be exactly what most fans have come to expect from the show – and yet in another way, it is exactly what others may expect.
Sherlock will return at Christmas with a feature length, 90-minute special. If you’ve been waiting for the show to pick up after the third season’s finishing twist though, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. According to EW, the show will take the pair of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) back to their traditional home of Victorian England in a standalone story, not connected to the rest of the show.
“The special is its own thing,” Moffat told EW. “We wouldn’t have done the story we’re doing, and the way we’re doing it, if we didn’t have this special. It’s not part of the run of three episodes. So we had this to do it – as we could hardly conceal – it’s Victorian. [Co-creator Mark Gatiss] and me, we wanted to do this, but it had to be a special, it had to be separate entity on its own. It’s kind of in its own little bubble.”
The BBC previously released a promotional image of the pair wearing Victorian era clothing, but this is the first confirmation that the story would be set in something of an alternative universe – assuming it is an alt-universe. Knowing showrunner Steven Moffat, there will be some twist that fans won’t see coming, but will connect the unlikely storylines in a way that will be ripped apart on the Internet for months to come.
Following the one off, a fourth, three episode season will follow in the early part of 2016. A date hasn’t been revealed yet, and knowing the BBC it probably won’t be until someone leaks it. The BBC will then deny it and deny it for no real reason, right up until it confirms the release date and verifies the initial leak.
As for the special, EW went on to say that it is ” widely expected to air in the UK around December.” Given that it is being billed as a Christmas special, that’s probably a safe bet.