Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves, Mark Gatiss, Louise Brealey, Andrew Scott
Directed by: Douglas Mackinnon
Written by: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Rating: NR Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min
2016 has begun, and I don’t think I could have found a better way to start my blogging year than to watch and process Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. A briskly paced 90-minute ride that further explores Sherlock’s investigative mind, while delivering an effective take on a key social issue pertinent in both 1980, and the 21st century. You’ll know what I mean when you see it.
Once again Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are perfect as the troubled detective, and his ever faithful assistant. Exchanging cleverly written jabs, as they investigate a murder mystery that delivers intrigue, drama and lots of great humor. And while the actual mechanics of the tale are somewhat rushed to a conclusion, this BBC holiday special never sits still for a moment. Faithfully sticking to the series staples, while also finding new fun visual ways to tell its story. Basically taking the modern interpretation of the Holmes TV show, and plugging those story telling sensibilities into a Victorian era Britain. A mix that might at first seem counter intuitive, but guided by the regular creative force behind the series (and Dr. Who), Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, The Abominable Bride successfully delivers a spooky mystery, and expands our understanding of our time displaced super-sleuth.
You’ll get more enjoyment out of this if you’re a fan of the show, as there are constant references to the other episodes in the series.
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride premiered on TV in the UK and US (PBS) on January 1st, and is available on the BBC iPlayer (in the UK) for a limited time. There are also select theaters in the US playing the TV movie on Jan 5th. Check Fandango to see if it’s playing in your area.
Holmes’ recall of newspaper articles as individual clippings floating in front of him was a nice visual touch. I also got a laugh out of Watson’s poorly delivered sign language. As ever in this series, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s script is the highlight. Fast paced, and very sharply written. Bold, clever and very funny!