'Sherlock': Will a new episode take place in Victorian times?

The British TV show 'Sherlock' originally updated the action to contemporary times, but it appears a new episode may find Sherlock and Watson going back to Victorian London. Here's what we know.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters
'Sherlock' stars Benedict Cumberbatch.

Sherlock and his sidekick Watson appear to be returning to their normal time period of Victorian London.

According to “Sherlock” co-creator Steven Moffat, a forthcoming special starring the series’ actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will take place in the time period in which Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories were originally set rather than in the contemporary setting of the show. 

“The special is its own thing,” Moffat told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

As Moffat referenced, seasons of “Sherlock” usually consist of three episodes and each episode is usually about an hour and a half.

According to the BBC, an air date (for either Britain or the US) has not been set for the special. 

The “Sherlock” TV series keeps many details of the original series – for example, it still makes sense for John Watson to be a doctor who served in Afghanistan as he was in the original stories – but other plot points are updated for the show, with cell phones and other technology often used by the criminals whom Sherlock and Watson are hunting and by the pair themselves.

The show has so far tackled such famous “Holmes” stories as “A Scandal in Belgravia,” in which Sherlock encounters a woman named Irene Adler; “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” in which a legend of a large dog spooks people; and “The Reichenbach Falls,” in which Sherlock goes up against the person whom many consider to be his greatest nemesis, Professor James Moriarty. 

So will bringing Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and Freeman’s Watson back to Victorian times be a fun experience for the viewer? The series as a whole has contained few missteps – the most recent third season was honored by publications including the Guardian, the staff of which selected it as one of the best shows of 2014, and Entertainment Weekly, which chose one of the third season episodes as one of the best TV installments of the year. In this case, we’ll trust Moffat and his co-creator Mark Gatiss and look forward to seeing a transported Sherlock and Watson.

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