5 theories on why the ‘Sherlock’ special is set in 1895

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It’s not long now until the much-anticipated tenth instalment of Sherlock arrives on our screens!

Earlier this year the official promo pic of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Victorian era Holmes and Watson sent the internet into a frenzy, while the first footage from the special itself caused something of a meltdown.

> Buy the complete Season 1-3 boxset on Amazon.

> Pre-order the Sherlock special on DVD on Amazon.

BBC One’s Sherlock revitalised the Great Detective back in 2010; the murky Victorian world of Conan Doyle’s hero somehow gelled so well with the sharp, sleek modernity of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s vision.

5 years after the mere notion seemed utterly absurd, it’s now difficult to picture Sherlock Holmes without his iPhone in his hand. So why exactly is the special set in 1895?

Let’s take a look at some possibilities…


5. Blog tales

Sherlock Watson Martin Freeman

John Watson has taken a lot of stick from Sherlock for his blog. It’s not detailed enough, it doesn’t paint Sherlock in a grand enough light, it doesn’t convey the sheer intelligence of his deductions or the skill with which he catches the criminals, etc.

So maybe John decided to do something about it. Maybe he opted to write up a case in a different style, to show that he is a good writer no matter what Sherlock thinks – or to protect the identities of the clients involved.

Maybe John has shaken things up a bit, changing the setting and the time period. Or maybe the good Doctor just misses his moustache so much that he would write any kind of blog post that gives him an excuse to bring the ‘tache back.

Or perhaps it’s not a tale from John’s blog at all, but rather fan-fic written by the fan club seen in ‘The Empty Hearse’?


4. A family affair

Sherlock special

What are the chances that Sherlock’s great-great-grandfather looked exactly like him?

Perhaps they even had the same name – perhaps Sherlock was named after him. Maybe Sherlock’s great-great-grandfather just so happened to have a best friend with the same name as Sherlock’s own best friend?

Maybe they solved crimes together, possibly lived on Baker Street too, and you never know, they could have had a landlady who was, y’know, a distant relative of Mrs Hudson.

No? Okay, next…


3. Wholock

Doctor Who sherlock TARDIS

The crossover that half the Sherlock and Doctor Who fandoms have longed for – and that the other half have dreaded.

Steven Moffat has admitted that “my instinct is I’m just such a tart – if people want it, we should give it to them” and Mark Gatiss revealed last year that it “may be possible”; could this be the ultimate surprise Christmas present?

The mighty union of BBC One’s juggernaut dramas. Sherlock can deal with the criminal cases, and the Doctor can come up with a wibbly-wobbly explanation for why exactly our beloved detective seems to have been catapulted back in time.

The idea of Sherlock in the world of Doctor Who is vaguely alarming, though – just imagine the bickering between the Doctor and Sherlock; not to mention the headache poor Mycroft would get from having to clean up after Sherlock if he had all of time and space at his fingertips.


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