Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)

The Christmas special of BBC drama Sherlock. Sent back to the Victorian era, the detective strives to solve the case of ‘The Abominable Bride’


TV Episode Review

Set in the rightful home period of the 19th century, 221B Baker Street lays residence to one of the most ingenious detectives ever to be established. Sherlock Holmes, a well spoken, resolute gentleman of great intellect is presented with a new case concerning a suicidal bride and the apparent ghostly murders that ensue. Accompanied by his ever-faithful war doctor comrade, John Watson, together they undertake the venture to expose the truth behind the mysterious, violent apparition.

1895 Victorian London appears in a convincing and beautifully constructed way on screen. The scenery is vivid and striking, a picturesque representation of history. The familiar characters are situated in the rightful environment Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had intended them to reside. Holmes and Watson are comfortably suited in the attire of the times,  which is fluidly consistent through the entire cast. Visuals were fittingly composed, such as overlaying notes and messages to communicate details to the viewer. The overall aesthetics are gorgeous, with consistent sullen tones to mirror the narratives and themes.

With more depth than is first deduced, the story is more than just a simple ghost tale. Late 19th century was a prominent era for woman across Britain. Shown subtly at first, the suffragette movement is threaded throughout the feature length episode.  The mystery is revealed in a satisfying and wonderfully enthralling disclosure to these themes.

source: BBC

A collection of rich, striking characters grace the screen, each with levels of wit and distinction. Sherlock is infallibly stubborn, sharp-witted and undeniably a man of admirable dexterity. Benedict Cumberbatch provides another compelling performance of the well-oven fictional detective, able to exhibit the unbalanced genius of his persona exceedingly well. His quirky and erratic expression allows audiences to connect to his character in admiration as well as whimsical concern to his balance of mind. Watson is Sherlock’s contradicting other half, wanting to get through to his stubborn comrade. They display a perfect partnership that allows them to battle hardships regarding character development along with the primary mystery plot.

Primarily set in a different period to the regular manifestation of the adapted characters, this one off episode flourished as it still indicates parallel similarities. The characters are reproduced, creating a satisfying familiarity to those who have been following the series beforehand. Seeing transitions between these two time periods was an captivating twist, although I do feel like it shifted sometimes too often, almost making the this concept of the narrative too complex to follow.

I may not be familiar with writing about and reviewing TV, but this hour and a half long epic is my first exception. Worthy of appearing across cinema screens for an exclusive one night showing, it’s a notable and thoroughly enjoyable special episode. A brilliant addition to the thrilling and comical world of Cumberbatch‘s Sherlock


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.