Benedict Cumberbatch goes Full Victorian in the ‘Sherlock’ special trailer: OMG?


Some men can do the Victorian clothing style really, really well. Benedict Cumberbatch is one of them. Have you ever thought of it in those terms though? Like, Harrison Ford’s limit is 1930s-style clothes. Anything before that, no one is buying it. Benedict’s “look” would be comfortable anywhere from 1750 to 2015. That’s what I was thinking about as I watched the first real trailer for the Sherlock Christmas special, where Holmes and Watson somehow manage to find themselves back in Victorian England, just as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle intended. To say that Benedict is comfortable in that particular style is a major understatement.

I come out of it sort of missing the old Sherlock music. It’s too BAUMMMMM BAUMMM, like we get it, this is just a one-time thing, it’s Victorian England, we can’t have the light-touch music like before. Anyway, this looks really good. It looks like a stand-alone Sherlock film, quite honestly. Like something Guy Ritchie would do if he had a smaller budget. That’s one thing that I’ve always appreciated about Moffat & Gatiss: they make the show seem like stand-alone films. That was especially true in Season 2.

It’s been so long since I’ve written about Sherlock, I’m honestly out of practice. Should I make a joke about how Bendy looks even more ottery with that hairstyle? It’s true. He looks like he has a damp, oily otter pelt. And poor Martin Freeman and that unconvincing mustache.



Photos courtesy of WENN, BBC.

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81 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch goes Full Victorian in the ‘Sherlock’ special trailer: OMG?”

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  1. Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

    Honestly, it sucks… First seasons: Sherlock lives in nowadays, with all nowadays technology and way of thinking. Now, Victorian Age clothes? Unless he’s solving a crime during Carnival, Gatiss and Moffet are ruining SH for me..

    • Sixer says:

      Sixlet Major is convinced there’s a big, secret Doctor Who tie-in and the TARDIS will turn up. And that’s also why the Doctor Who credits have gone all steam punk on us.

      Or something. Haggard old boot that I am, I sometimes struggle to follow the tween fandom storyline as explained to me in haughty terms by the Sixlets.

      • grabbyhands says:

        I think it is a very sound opinion. And if that happens, SH and I will be done professionally because that will Moffat’s final act of f**kery for me.

      • Sixer says:

        I shall pass on your validation – even if it does mean the Sixlets will pass remarks something like, “See? Told you that you were too old to even UNDERSTAND!”

      • vauvert says:

        Oh that would be something!!! Although, if Moffat wanted a crossover, I wish he’d done it with 11. Crotchety Capaldi and snivelling Clara annoy me. I wish the Paternoster gang would come back. And I miss 10 and 11, both. (Nothing against Capaldi – I like him in general but the stories they give him – meh and they ruined a perfectly good companion last season with the idiotic love story and subsequent death).

      • Sixer says:

        I like Capaldi but I am another one who can’t stand Clara. Neither can Sixlet Major but we both suspect Sixlet Minor of having a crush on her. Ssshh. I’m not allowed to spread crush rumours about them. They sulk!

      • BunnyBear says:

        May I ask what sixlets are?

      • Sixer says:

        My children, BunnyBear.

      • BunnyBear says:

        Oh that’s really cute

      • SusanneToo says:

        Rory was my fave companion. Next to Donna, of course.

      • antipodean says:

        The boy who waited. Made me cry.

      • raincoaster says:

        Interesting. If there’s one thing I fault Sherlock with, it’s pandering to the fans in the last season. This would be the ultimate fan pandery, and I wouldn’t put it past them.

  2. Here or there says:

    Eh, he’s better in clothes now. I still remember him in ‘The Other Boleyn Girl.’

  3. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I stopped watching Sherlock but that looks intriguing. It made me miss the show, or miss liking the show. I’m not sure what happened, it just lost me at some point.

    Unconvincing mustache is right. I hate, hate, hate it. He’s not a terribly handsome man anyway, and he looks ridiculous with that dead mouse over his top lip. Ugh.

    • antipodean says:

      I must object to your summation of Martin Freeman as not a handsome man. He has such appealing limpet pool eyes, and a je ne sais quoi that I find very attractive. More the whole than the sum of the parts, don’t ya know.

  4. Lindy79 says:

    I’m sure I’ll watch this but…I don’t get it?

    What’s the reasoning behind the shift to Victorian times for a once off when they haven’t even written the next series they’re claiming is still on the cards?

    • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

      That’s my problem too… This changing of era is just stupid and illogical and I’m guessing next episode will be in the future. I think Gatiss and Moffet are confusing SH with Dr Who…

      • Lindy79 says:

        I wouldn’t be shocked if this was the last we see of this Sherlock in all honesty.
        None of them are contractually obliged to stick with it.

      • Hodgkiss says:

        @Lindy79 I read something on Tumblr from a ‘friend of a friend’ of Martin Freeman, who claimed that when Benedict got Doctor Strange, he sat down with Gatiss and Moffat to discuss a potential end to Sherlock. According to this, he told them that he couldn’t see himself doing it anymore if his film career really took off.

        Obviously it’s a story on Tumblr and probably shouldn’t be taken completely seriously, but I can easily believe he’s had that chat with them already. There’s been an increased delay between each series – 18 months between 1 and 2, two years between 2 and 3, and I think it’ll be three years between 3 and 4 (they start filming 4 in the spring, probably for broadcast on New Year’s Day 2017) – largely due to his schedule. I remember last year the BBC announced series 4 would start filming in autumn 2015, but then he got Doctor Strange and that was quietly forgotten about. Yeah, basically they keep saying they’d love to do it for years, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they ended it earlier.

        That being said: I don’t think Benedict’s film career is really going to get any bigger than it already is. Leaving Sherlock for a succession of increasingly boring and worthy biopics would be daft.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Hodgkiss, Cumberbatch isn’t the only one who has an active career and tight scheduling demands. Martin has been very busy both in film and US television and Gatiss is just about everywhere, including Game of Thrones and several stage productions.

      • J says:

        they are signed for series 4, Lindy79

        Solanacaea, i actually thought it was a clever way to deal with the bbc’s curveball

        just in case you ladies don’t know what i am talking about, the bbc “asked” (it sounded more like demanded) a x-mas special after gatiss/moffat had all the series 4 framework and outlines done.

        their options were then to try redo the whole thing or cleave off part of the main story for s4 and try to make an extra full episode out of it, but they were kinda concerned it would leave s4 with too much filler.

        so they decided to take 1 or 2 (can’t recall) of the original canon stories they loved that had elements you’d lose in modern day instead, ones that could never be done the way they wanted to in the current series. i do believe the special still does have part of the series 4 arc in it, what they could spare basically

    • whatsup says:

      I believe it’s a story Watson wrote that he’s reading to Sherlock so it’s in a sense a dream sequence tha tisn’t.

    • hermia says:

      I think they should call it a day. It’s becoming ludicrous now.

  5. lurker says:

    Unfortunately, I feel like I’m too aware of Cumbersnatch The Famous Person now to be able to appreciate Cumbersnatch The Actor.

    • Betti says:

      Me too – I’m finding that when i watch him in anything i’m seeing Benedict Cumberbatch instead of the character. He’s becoming Tom Cruise in that respect. Shame really – he’s a talented actor.

      • Suze says:

        Exactly. And it’s a pity. But I have Batch fatigue and am not sure I can work up enough energy to see my former favorite Sherlock.

    • FingerBinger says:

      You should see the imitation game? He’s brilliant. That won’t be a factor when you see it.

  6. InvaderTak says:

    I’ll give it a go. Maybe. Eventually.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      After season three I am in no rush either to be honest, it will be one of those shows I will get around to eventually when nothing else is on.

      Kinda off topic but has anyone here watched the SH version with Rupert Everett and Michael Fassbender? I think it is called The case of the silk stocking, it was quite good.

      • EscapedConvent says:

        I saw that! I think it’s on YouTube. Yes, that’s the title. I thought Rupert Everett was a good Holmes, being tall, elegant and haughty. And Fassy was so…..invisible. Not the usual Fassy. I thought it was good too.

  7. Benn says:

    So how’s the fake baby coming along these days? Skeptics still frothing at the mouth?

  8. Mia4s says:

    Looks fun! A flashback to the glory days of Jeremy Brett.

    My guess is one more “season” of Sherlock to wrap it up. Then in 10-20 years when careers slow down they can do a reunion. Not bad job security!

  9. grabbyhands says:

    This actually made me excited for this special, which was a surprise because I was edging towards dropping he show altogether after the travesty of the third season. I feel like moving it back to Victorian times for an episode takes away some of the poorly written distractions they shoved into the last few episodes. Fingers crossed anyway. I do miss that first season before it became such a phenomenon and Moffat actually had to produce instead of coasting on fan wank.

    I do hope they manage to put Loo Brealey in there somewhere even though Molly Hooper doesn’t exist in canon.

    • j says:

      yep i think this is going to be good

      kasier, that music probably isn’t in the actual show. the bbc who is cuts and scores the trailer

    • Lindy79 says:

      I believe Louise Brealey was there when they were filming, although might have been just on set as a visit. I thought i remembered her being spotted a couple of days but I could be wrong.

    • Leigh_S says:

      I actually loved the last season.
      I ADORE Mary Watson, just adore her. I’ve been waiting to see how she works in with them for season 4.

      And the wedding reception end always makes me cry. My husband has Aspergers and the lost alone expression at the end makes me think of my husband if he hadn’t found me.

  10. Insomniac says:

    This is the last “Sherlock” we are ever going to see, isn’t it? I’m going to miss it.

    • EN says:

      I am pretty sure I heard there is a contract for another season to be filmed in 2016 after Dr. Strange. I think that one will be the last.

    • hermia says:

      I heard they signed up for season 4, but I bet you anything BC and MF will be too busy and it will be postponed indefinitely.

    • Linz says:

      They start filming/shooting Season 4 in April (2016)

  11. Cora says:

    I really loved the first two seasons of this show. I had no idea who the two lead actors were so I was just able to immerse myself in their characters and enjoy the story. It had a great dark edge to it. Then, in the third season, the show turned into a hapless romantic comedy with a kinder, gentler Sherlock. It was awful! I’m hoping this Victorian era episode might be a nice palette cleanser to help me forget about last season.

  12. Vesta says:

    But why does Victorian Sherlock have John Travolta’s black helmet thetan hair…..??

  13. EN says:

    It looks very nice.
    BC’s voice is what gets me every time, I tend to forget and then I watch something with him and I go – wow, that voice is gorgeous.

  14. Anare says:

    BC and his wife look like siblings! Lol.

    • EN says:

      Really? In conventional terms his wife is far more beautiful than he is.
      So, how can they look like siblings? Unless you are thinking along the lines of Maggie and Jake G. , who don’t look alike.

  15. bread says:

    Is Moriarty back? Is Mary evil? Has John really forgiven her? What about their unborn baby? What was it that Sherlock wanted to say to John on the tarmac but never did? How can Sherlock just return to Britain from his exile after cold-bloodedly killing a man in front of 50 witnesses?

    Who cares about all of that? Let’s just do a one-off special where everyone’s wearing funny hats and moustaches! And let’s make Cumberbatch do a Jeremy Brett impression and we’ll do a lot of knowing nods to the cultural persona of Sherlock Holmes through the ages. It’ll be hilarious!

    • j.eyre says:

      “Is Moriarty back?”
      I love Cumberbatch, I love Sherlock, I love this Sherlock series and I think the trailer looks good but one of the greatest loves of my life is Moriarty and Andrew Scott is so marvelous in the role. If there really is a Santa Claus like The New York Sun said, then Moriarty will be back.

      • Kalypso says:

        I feel you! I will be so happy if we get to see Andrew Scott and his amazing Moriarty in the special. Honestly, where is the drama if they don’t bring back Sherlock’s arch nemesis?

        Also; totally agree with the commenter further up thread who noted BC’s voice. I mean, it is like velvet, wrapping around you. Gives me chills every time.

    • Vesta says:

      @bread, couldn’t have said it better. It really feels like Moffat & Gatiss wiped their butts with the story arc. And I’m no puritan fan, but… this just seems so uninspiring.

      @j.eyre, but will Moriarty REALLY be back or just Christmas special-back? (I too want him back.)

    • Hodgkiss says:

      @bread This is EXACTLY how I feel about this special. Why did they make a one-off, non-canonical gimmick when they could’ve progressed with the story? I’m finding it hard to care about this because, eh, there are a billion Victorian Sherlock Holmes adaptations and Sherlock’s USP is its modern-day setting.

  16. kri says:

    for me it is perfection. I’m so in I would have an easier time getting out of that maze than not watching this. Hell yeah.

  17. Hodgkiss says:

    I feel like this show’s increasing smugness is going to be its downfall. Series 1 was so subtle compared with now. Series 2 still kept it mostly reigned in, though it started to do daft, self-referential things – like the deerstalker – and I can’t watch series 3 without cringing. It’s so knowing and pleased with itself. The clip of the special they released a few months ago was like a Comic Relief spoof of Sherlock.

  18. Eveil says:

    Speak for yourselves but as a fan of both Sherlock and the books, I’m excited for this and can’t wait to see it!

    • Tippet says:

      Hear, hear. Love Sherlock Holmes, love the show, loved all 3 seasons, can’t wait for this. Wooooo!

  19. antipodean says:

    Silk, season 3. CAN’T WAIT. Tingles.

  20. Sarah01 says:

    I love Sherlock I love the Victorian era, I’m ecstatic with Sherlock in the Victorian era!!! If they do Jack the Ripper story I’d love to see their take on it. Can’t wait!!!

    • Kalypso says:

      Can you imagine Jim Moriary in a Victorian era outfit? Oh my, if that happened I could die a happy woman!

      I’m so looking forward to the special (love that is seems kind of dark??) and s4 – no one dare say it won’t happen!

  21. Sarah01 says:

    I’m with you Moriarty in Victorian garb YES please!!

  22. anon121 says:

    I have read in a few places that Benedict really doesn’t like the modern day Sherlock persona and preferred to do a Victorian version. Part of me wonders if he really pushed for this and Moffat felt obliged to humor him. I think Sherlock is coming to a close, which is too bad. Whether he likes it or not, Benedict owes his career to this character, and I don’t see his career taking off like Martin Freeman’s. Rather, he seems to be getting pigeon holed in biopic land. Pity.

    • hermia says:

      I agree with you regarding his and MF’s career. As for BC not liking modern day Sherlock, I really hope it’ s not true as that’d be really dumb. Before it started playing up to the fandom, Sherlock was simply a genius show.

      • j says:

        no i just said above, moffat/gatiss themselves decided to go victorian so they could use some of their fav stories that won’t update well and not have to dilute the s4 story line

    • anon121 says:

      @jsays-I just re-read your comment about the BBC “curveball”. Where was that from? I never saw that anywhere.

      • j says:

        Moffat and gatiss themselves. they were talking about not too soon after it was announced. dont get me wrong, they weren’t complaining per se, just said the bbc asked for a special (also reported in a uk paper at the time I think). but s4 was already plotted out before the end of 2013, and they were doing individual storylines by feb 2014 per the both of them.

  23. Silantro says:

    Cumberbatch has repeatedly said he is happy to keep playing Sherlock as long as he can, and Gatiss said right out that it is harder getting the actors back each season. They don’t need the money or work. He says they make effort to have good material. I honestly don’t see the problem with Season 3. It had at and it shows Sherlock slowly growing up and discovering his human side. The locked room mystery in TSoT operated on many levels, was filled with awesome clues and subtexts. I just became a fan this year, and absolutely adore Benevolent Cumbershire! Slowly working thru his work history. Put off as long ad possible watching 3rd Star, just cause I knew how it ended and it still left me shaking. He is capable of better work, and I hope he finally gets steered in the right direction.