Last week, we had the distinct pleasure of watching the BBC Sherlock holiday special, “The Abominable Bride,” in our local theater. I love the big screen, which is ironic since my high school years were spent sweeping popcorn and wearing hideous, neon-colored suspenders.
With much prodding from Thing 1, we arrived 30 minutes early. When we turned the corner, the seating was already checkered with groups of people. However, we were able to snag a set of four on the back row. We were lamenting the amount of pasta we had consumed when the previews started.
Having never been to a special event at a theater before, we were delighted to have an entire half hour filled with clips from Sherlock and trivia like this:
Still…I wasn’t sold on Sherlock set in the past. I happen to love the current version, even though waiting for the next season sucks my will to live. Moffat!!! But, Moffat and Gatiss have pulled off some royally amazing television, so I was determined to give it a go.
You should stop reading HERE if you do not want to be spoiled. I intentionally did not post this last week, as I knew it still had another run on PBS. If you have already watched it or want to ruin the experience, please read on. (Honestly, you’ll hate yourself if you keep reading and haven’t seen it.)
The film begins in 1890 (thanks IMDB!) with the creeptastic homicidal/suicidal bride of the title. (It is the only part of the entire film that made Thing 2 squirm because the portrayal of Emelia Ricoletti was a frightening combination of Robert Smith from The Cure and the disturbing little bride at the end of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland/World. And I love that ride and group!) Dead Emelia comes back and offs her hubby before disappearing, only to reappear and haunt another man, whose wife employs Sherlock Holmes for the case.
All of the secondary characters from the series are in the special. Lestrade has nasty sideburns, per Thing 1. And Molly? I was a bit ticked at the gender-bending until John nailed it with his comment about making it in “a man’s world.” Mrs. Hudson was perfect, as always, even in a bustle. Mary Watson throws a feminism ratchet into her husband’s way, but doesn’t beat the viewer about the head with the portrayal. Mycroft, while grossly obese, still torments his younger brother—even via plum pudding.
My only sadness? No Laura Irene Adler. Her character (not her profession) fascinates me!
I knew Moriarty would be in the film. True to previous episodes, his demented character claws and pulls Sherlock towards insanity…
Which is where the viewer suddenly gets a glimpse that this story is not really happening in 1890. Sherlock is still on the plane, where we last saw him, Moriarty’s broadcast swamping England’s airwaves. Our favorite highly functioning sociopath has decided a trip down memory lane, via cocaine, would be useful to help him figure out why Moriarty was back.
Seriously, Moffat and Gatiss are brilliant storytellers. The transition between “The Abominable Bride” and “His Last Vow” in 2014 was flawless. They’d already established Sherlock’s history with drugs and the desperate need to solve the problem, no matter the cost, so this story was not a far leap. What surprised me the most? I completely enjoyed being thrown back in time.
In terms of a very, very old-fashioned term: the entire Sherlock fan base was “Dallas’d.” It was all a dream, albeit, drug induced. But guess what?