Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. Review and First Impression

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride is finally released this January 2016. The first Christmas special episode came on TV screens on January 1, 2016. It was also screened in cinemas with a bonus video which included behind scene story, the making of The Abominable Bride and the making of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride.

The idea of the new episode is more close to the classical canons of Sherlock Holmes originally created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This time Sherlock and John are placed into Victorian time London (of 1958).

Watch Sherlock: The Abominable Bride Trailer online.

Appearance of characters in The Abominable Bride

Sherlock now and then

Sherlock Holmes in previous episodes (left) and Mr. Sherlock Holmes in The Abominable Bride (right)
Sherlock Holmes in previous episodes (left) and Mr. Sherlock Holmes in The Abominable Bride (right)

The Abdominal Bride episode changes the appearance of Sherlock, making him different. His hairstyle is changed. It is more formal. The hair is slicked back. The famous black long overcoat is replaced by an old style mantle. However the button hole is kept decorated with the red thread. And, just a minute, Victorian time Sherlock Holmes wears his famous deerstalker. However, visiting his brother in the Diogenes’ club Holmes puts on a more official tall silk hat.

Dr. John Watson now and then

John Watson in previous episodes (left) and Dr. Watson in The Abominable Bride
John Watson in previous episodes (left) and Dr. Watson in The Abominable Bride (right)

The most distinctive difference of the Victorian time Dr. Watson from modern John Watson is his moustache. In The Abominable Bride Dr. Watson’s daily style is an official three item suit: pants, vest coat and a coat. He also wears a white shirt and a tie of the same colour as his suit.

Unlike in modern times, the great detective and his companion addresses each other using last names: Holmes and Watson.

Mycroft Holmes now and then

Mycroft Holmes in The Abominable Bride (left) and Mycroft Holmes in previous episodes (right)
Mycroft Holmes in The Abominable Bride (left) and Mycroft Holmes in previous episodes (right)

Mycroft Holmes is, probably, the only character that has undergone the most changes in comparison with modern times. In the Abominable Bride the audience meets Mycroft of immense sizes – a terribly fat man who is constantly sitting in his armchair and eating junk food.

The Abominable Bride: Story

The episode opens with the shots reminding of events from the previous events. Then the story stars just as in the classical adventures of the great London based detective – Sherlock Holmes. Those who read Doyle’s stories remember that Watson arrives to London from the war in Afghanistan where he was injured in leg. Suddenly he meets his old friend Stamford. He shares that he needs a room but is not sure whether he can find any companion to pay for rent in share. Stamford takes Watson to the morgue to introduce him to his university friend Sherlock Holmes. Well, the way of Watson meeting Holmes is very similar to that described by the original author – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

To put it briefly, despite Watson considers Sherlock Holmes weird at the first sight, he moves to his flat on Baker Street, 221B. Eventually, Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes become good friends. Watson accompany Holmes almost in every case, writes and publishes stories based on the adventures of the great detective. Mrs. Hudson does not like his stories as her role is limited to a servant housemaid.

The narrations is kept classically from the behalf of Dr. Watson. He presents the case of The Abominable Bride as the most mentally and physically challenging for the great detective – Mr. Sherlock Holmes. The case of The Abominable Bride is brought to Mr. Holmes by inspector Lestrade who is terrified by a mysterious murder and death of some Ms. Emilia Ricoletti. The woman started a street massacre shooting at passersby on the street from her balcony and ended up with shooting herself dead. At night the same Ms. Emilia Ricoletti was noticed alive leaving a cab and shooting at her husband. At the same time her body was spotted in the morgue. How could she be in two places at the same time and how could she live after her public death? Was it her disturbed spirit or her ghost who revenged and murdered her husband at night?

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Only cold mind and strong disbelief in all mysterious and supernatural allow Mr. Sherlock Holmes to put together all the elements of the puzzle. He figures out how the so-called resurrection (or post-mortem life) of Ms. Emilia Ricoletti became possible. When the mystery is solved it seems here the story ends. But… it would be not the famous Sherlock if everything ended just as that.

The most interesting part and probably the most mind blowing feature of The Abominable Bride episode is that events of Victorian era are mingled with the events happening in modern times. All fans of Sherlock remember in the last episode of season 3 that the plane with Sherlock on board returns back to England as the most evil enemy of the country and great detective – Moriarty – was back. In the time warp created by the makers of the Abominable Bride, the audience is made to hop in between the two times – modern and Victorian era.

Ultimately, unless we have seen episode 2 of the new 4th season every viewer will have his or her own answer to the dilemma: “Was the Victorian era case just a dream of a contemporary Sherlock or were the modern time adventures of Sherlock just a vivid imagination of Mr. Sherlock Holmes from London of 1984?”

For a moment the story of The Abominable Bride has no place for Moriarty. But… by the end we are made to think that the case of the mysterious bride is closely connected to the mystery of Moriarty’s return. And this put the audience in suspense. This makes us to keenly wait for the following 2nd episode of season 4.

First impression

The overall impression of the new episode of Sherlock is like “Wow, we’ve finally seen it”. With no doubt it leaves a contradictory feeling. Though the case is solved and as usual Sherlock explains every detail clearly and makes everyone believe that on the Earth there is no place for anything supernatural like ghosts and spirits, the audience is put into confusion with the jump between the times. And from our point of view it is a good play from the behalf of filmmakers. At least the fans have got a topic for discussion.

Another interesting hook of the film are stop scenes when while considering upon the case or describing the events of the case Sherlock Holmes and his interlocutors are transported to the place at particular moment. Sherlock’s observation and logic is kept up to the mark by the creators of The Abominable bride. Not a single detail can skip his eye.

In The Abominable Bride there is also place for comedy. One of the most amusing moments is when Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson visit the Diogenes’ Club and Watson tries to express his thoughts with the receptionist using sign language. However, having not mastered the sign language well enough, Dr. Watson mixes up some signs and that creates rather a funny situation.

Well, summing up, The Abominable Bride episode of Sherlock TV series is worth watching. Its level is kept up to the mark. It puts audience in suspense, makes them think, discuss and search for the answer. The episode is equally interesting for those who like horror, sci-fi and mysteries and for those who like Mr. Sherlock Holmes, possess cold mind and reason.