Sherlock: The Abominable Bride – Review

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride – Review

15th January 2016 Off By Andrew McAnaney

As a fan of Sherlock, I was excited for the New Year special so much, but as it was set in Victorian England, did it disappoint? Here are my thoughts.

The special opens in a similar way as the main series does, with Dr Watson (Martin Freeman) returning from war. This time Watson is returning from the second Afghan war rather than the war in Iraq.

He is first introduced to the 1880’s version of Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) at the beginning of the episode. In my opinion, he is a slightly more welcoming person than his 21st century counterpart.

We then jump ahead a few years, as Watson is now writing his famous Holmes novels and Sherlock has returned from a case.

Lestrade (Rupert Graves) turns up at Baker Street, sporting a new look and a case that involves Emelia Ricoletti (Natasha O’Keeffe).

The synopsis of the case is a bride who began firing at people in the street before killing herself. Bodies begin mounting as the apparent ghost of Ms Ricoletti begins a killing spree. The case itself is a decent one, while it is not as creepy as trailers would have me believe.

It is, and can sometimes feel, that it’s just an afterthought of the writers and is not given enough attention. The special also has a surprising twist. The pace quickened up towards the end of the special, revealing something I did not expect.

When it first happened I was a fan. 

The cast as always were great, with each doing a decent job, adding slight spins to their characters that make them some fresh and different from their modern day counterparts, with Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) and Mycroft’s (Mark Gatiss) Victorian counterparts being stand out characters.

A big standout, that often is in Sherlock, are the visuals which for this special are no exception. Some of the transitions during scenes are good with the transition between a rather creepy maze to Sherlock’s hands stuck out to me.

The freeze framing as Lestrade details the story of Ms Ricoletti was also an incredible visual.

The special had a few more humourous moments as well, with Sherlock and Mycroft interactions being some of my favourites.

Overall the special is good, although it doesn’t reach the same heights that some episodes in the series have.

People who have never seen the series could get confused by some parts.

However, the special is a fun New Year’s treat that hopefully leads to more specials or future series episodes set in the Victorian era.


Writer: Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat.

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, Louise Brealey, Mark Gatiss, and Amanda Abbington.

Running Time: 89 Minutes.

Available on: BBC iPlayer and DVD.