Posted January 2, 2016 by Luigi Cabrera in Movies/TV

TV REVIEW: Sherlock Holiday Special “The Abominable Bride”

Exactly two years from the release of the first episode of season 3, a new special of Sherlock has arrived. It might be a long wait for others but fans of the series are no longer strangers to the long hiatus. For months, fans has been teased that the special episode is going to be set in Victorian London. Put on your deerstalkers because the game is on.

London 1889

For this special, they mainly showed Sherlock in the 19th century which where the original novels took place. The opening scene paid a homage to how Sherlock and Watson met in season 1 but this time it was made to fit the Victorian theme. As you can imagine, it’s now more faithful to the book. A special opening montage was also made to go with the current setting of the show. Since it was set in the past, we get to see our characters in different ways. For example, John Watson has his trademark mustache just like in the book. Sherlock also has his trademark deerstalker hat. Officer Lestrade now sports sideburns but the biggest (pun intended) change in appearance was seen with Mycroft. Played by Mark Gatiss, co-creator and writer of Sherlock, Mycroft’s appearance in this special is closer to his description in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book where he is heavily built and massive. Molly Hooper also appears but let’s talk more about her appearance later. It was good to see (or get a glimpse) how the show would look like if it followed the books’ era.


Voting For Women

When we first see Mary Watson, we are informed that she is in a campaign that pushes for the women’s right to vote. The episode quickly reminded us that during this time women were not regarded as equal to men and their rights were limited. It was quite unsettling to see Watson treat her wife in that way as it was out of character. The episode brings up another example of sexism in the form of Molly Hooper. Some of us might not have been able to quickly recognize her as she was disguised as a man who was in charge of the morgue. The reason behind it was that she can “get ahead in a man’s world”. Talk about going the extra mile to get that promotion. As the story progresses, other things would point out that the lack of equality plays a big role in this episode’s case. The big reveal that it was a group of women who was behind the elaborate plan was quickly overshadowed by the real reason behind the whole episode, Moriarty.


Miss Me?

It was a great surprise when we saw Andrew Scott reprising his role as Moriarty, Sherlock’s nemesis. Teased that he was alive by the end of season 3, Sherlock goes to his mind palace to figure out how that could be possible.  As it turns out the whole Victorian special was happening inside Sherlock’s mind. Once again, Andrew’s performance as Moriarty was on point. It was years when he last played the part but he made it seem that it was just like yesterday when he faced Sherlock. By the end of the episode, Sherlock was sure that Moriarty was dead and claims that he knows his next move. It could be possible that he’s right but even Sherlock gets it wrong every now and then.

When the whole thing was revealed as a drug induced dream on a jet, I can’t help but be reminded of the movie Inception. Nevertheless, it was a good if not great episode. The settings looked authentic and the costumes were well made. Everyone really looked their part. It was like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books were brought to life. The transition between reality and the mind palace was also a nice touch and it does tie up the special episode with the current events of the series. Now the only thing to do is be patient as season 4 would just be starting production this year, just in time for 2017.

RATING: 9/10

Luigi Cabrera

Enthusiast of things geeky, weird, and random. He finds peace in writing.