Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson find themselves in 1890s London in this holiday special.
|Release Date||:||January 1, 2016|
|Genres||:||Crime, Drama, Mystery|
|Production Company||:||British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)|
|Production Countries||:||United Kingdom|
|Writers||:||Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss|
|Casts||:||Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Scott, Louise Brealey, Amanda Abbington, Jonathan Aris, Yasmine Akram, David Nellist, Catherine McCormack, Tim McInnerny, Natasha O'Keeffe, Tim Barlow, Gerald Kyd|
|Plot Keywords||:||bride, sherlock holmes|
What can I say about the "Sherlock" Christmas special, "The Abominable Bride?" Extremely little, for fear of spoilers.
I will say that I loved it I'd rate it a perfect 10, as I would just about any episode of this amazing TV show. Also, as good as the trailer was I can say that it offers much more in its story than you'd expect.
I'd also say that it strongly, strongly parallels a movie that I happen to love right down to its surprise plot device, key character interactions, and a symbolic act by the main protagonist in the climactic scene. The similarities are just too much for this to be a coincidence it's just got to be a well done (and a damn fun) homage. It's unexpected, too, as the film I'm thinking off probably appeals to a different fan base. "The Abominable Bride" also cheerfully skewers another excellent recent film and the twist employed there.
There's some terrific acting, especially between Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and our main villain. And the dialogue is as sly and superbly delivered as always. I don't think I've ever watched a new episode of "Sherlock" and not laughed out loud at least once. The stronger, more assertive John Watson (Martin Freeman) that we see is damn terrific. (There's a compelling and sensible reason why this iteration of Watson seems a little different than our usual mild anti-hero, but I just can't say why.)
My quibbles were wholly forgivable. I thought that the Victorian versions of Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) and Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss) were just so cartoonish that they seemed right out of a "Saturday Night Live" sketch. It "took me out of the movie," and hampered my willing suspension of disbelief. It felt more like farce and silly sight-gags, instead of the dry, dialogue- and character-driven humor that the show is known for.
I also though that the climactic scene occurring among three primary characters, felt a little off. Was it just not staged right? Was the pacing off? Maybe I got the sense that I was looking at a soundstage? I'm not sure.
Finally, I am an inveterate horror movie fan, and I might have liked to have seen the director and screenwriters play up the horror story elements just a little bit more here. The mystery for this episode was a jewel of an opportunity a garish, fearsome "ghost bride" that assassinates men. It could have been just a little scarier, given that story. I know that "Sherlock" is not a horror show, but its creators did just fine in making their adaptation of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" both a bit frightening and a proper mystery.
But, again, those are just forgivable quibbles. This show remains the best thing on television!