TV - Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Holmes and Watson

Steve Taylor-Bryant holds on to his deerstalker and heads for the 19th Century as he watches Sherlock: The Abominable Bride...

I've not been nervous watching Sherlock before. I like Steven Moffat's writing most of the time and he makes a good team with Messrs. Gatiss and Thompson. I like Bendydick Cucumberpatch and his chemistry with Martin Freeman has always been pretty good. I like the modern interpretation on a classic and I'm not in any way protective of the source material so the artistic license that the team take with Conan Doyle's characters that upset a lot of folk doesn't get to me. However... Tonight it's different. Tonight it's old fashioned. Tonight it's done in style that Conan Doyle wrote it. Tonight it's in Jeremy Brett territory and that, ladies and gentlemen, is bordering on heresy!

We've been here before - but what if this wasn't the modern day, but the late-Victorian period? What if the world's most famous consulting detective and his best friend lived in a Baker Street of steam trains, hansom cabs, top hats and frock-coats?

Welcome to 'Sherlock' in 1895!

Some things, though, remain reassuringly the same. Friendship, adventure and especially, MURDER...

Why is Thomas Ricoletti a little surprised to see his wife dressed in her old wedding gown? Because, just a few hours before, she took her own life...

Mrs Ricoletti's ghost now appears to be prowling the streets with an unslakeable thirst for revenge. From fog-shrouded Limehouse to the bowels of a ruined church, Holmes, Watson and their friends must use all their cunning to combat an enemy seemingly from beyond the grave and the final, shocking truth about...the Abominable Bride!


This was billed as a TV Special and that's quite an apt description if you are taking 'special' to mean that dodgy cousin you have that licks bus exhausts. Throughout the show Cumberbatch did his best to channel Brett, Watson did his best to channel Freeman's previous boss Brent and Mrs Hudson was definitely channelling Aunt Sally whilst Mycroft Gatiss was just consuming anything and everything and throwing in some Pythonesque moments. Parody is not quite the word to use as it doesn't quite go that far but there was definitely no one involved taking it even remotely seriously. And that's not a bad thing.

You see, once I'd got past the pantomime that was Molly with a moustache, I quite enjoyed the tongue-in-cheekiness of it. It's refreshing to see so called serious people poking fun at themselves and the entire thing had a Fry and Laurie feel to it, like those posh comedy sketches Cambridge and Oxford educated folk come up with that 75% of us don't really get. It was so far away from what we were all expecting that I can't help but stand back and admire what I'd seen. Story wise, oh who am I kidding the story doesn't matter, it was only one step removed from being a Blackadder episode.

Fun. It was just so much nonsensical fun...

At least... I'm hoping this is how it was meant, because if they were being serious or clever it was fucking terrible!

Image and synopsis - BBC