Brow Beat

The New Trailer for the Victorian-Era Episode of Sherlock Is Heavy on Mood, Light on Plot

After three successful seasons, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s BBC series Sherlock (which airs on PBS in the States) is taking a different tack for this year’s Christmas special: Instead of being set in the 21st century, like the rest of the series, it will take place in the 19th century. We already got a glimpse of old-timey Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) in a short clip shown at Comic-Con in July, and now the BBC has released a trailer, which shows more familiar characters clad in Victorian garb.

The trailer reveals only hints about the plot of the special: We see a frantic woman berating Holmes, a dead body in a hallway, and several revolvers. More than narrative, this preview emphasizes mood, with the darkness and shadows of industrial-era London prominent in nearly every shot. It also seems that the special will feature plenty of the wit and self-awareness that the series is known for: There’s a gag about Holmes’ famous hat, and Watson at one point strikes a match and says, “Little use us standing here in the dark. After all, this is the 19th century.”