We’ve already brought you behind-the-scenes photos, videos and discussions from Sherlock‘s most recent episode ‘The Abominable Bride’ but there is still a lot more to know about the making of the Victorian-set special. Here, for your reading pleasure, are ten fascinating facts pertaining to the episode’s production. For starters, let’s see how the episode came about…
10. The Abominable Beginnings
The idea for the special was sparked by Moffat and Gatiss’ desire to see Benedict and Martin in the proper period costume of Holmes and Watson. They initially toyed with putting a scene in Series Three where Sherlock and John visit a fancy dress party in Victorian clothes. When it became clear that Series Four could not be made for a while, they came up with the idea of stretching this scene into a full one-off episode that could plug the gap.
9. Benedict was the special’s biggest fan
Sherlock himself was immediately a massive fan of the move back in time, his first reaction was “at last, I can have a @#*&ing haircut!” He said that acting as a period Holmes felt natural, as he always tried to play the character like a man out of his time and particularly aimed to hold himself like a Victorian man.
8. The set designers had some fun with 221B
For the shift to Victorian times, the set design team put in a lot of references to the more familiar 221B flat. As per the original stories, Sherlock’s smiley face on the wall is now a V.R (Victoria Regina). The painting of a skull is now a rather surreal portrait The fan-favourite bison head with its headphones is a stag’s head with an antique hearing trumpet. And the walls are painted red. Why? Because it’s a study in scarlet. Badoom-tish!
7. The face in the mirror
At one point, the reveal that it was taking place in Sherlock’s head was foreshadowed by Sherlock seeing his modern self in the window at Baker Street and in a mirror in the morgue. These were filmed just in case the crew changed their minds about the twist coming so late in the episode. However, they were not eventually used.
Mark and Steven’s original idea for ‘The Abominable Bride’ was for Moriarty to match the emaciated, greasy grey-haired professor from the original stories. However, no one else liked the idea – preferring the handsome, charismatic Moriarty we’ve got used to. Andrew Scott even did a costume test with a wig and rudimentary make-up before the idea was ditched.