Watching the Detectives; Fans of Sherlock Are in for an Extra Treat When the World-Famous Detective and His Sidekick Watson Are Transported to Victorian Britain for a One-Offspecial. British Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Talk Travelling Back in Time and the Show's Timeless Appeal with Gemma Dunn

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 26, 2015 | Go to article overview

Watching the Detectives; Fans of Sherlock Are in for an Extra Treat When the World-Famous Detective and His Sidekick Watson Are Transported to Victorian Britain for a One-Offspecial. British Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Talk Travelling Back in Time and the Show's Timeless Appeal with Gemma Dunn


BENEDICT Cumberbatch admits he "thought it was madness" when Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss revealed they wanted to transport the action from modern day to 19th century London for a stand-alone episode.

"I thought they'd finally lost the plot, jumped the shark, and all the other cliches of television gone mad with itself. Then they expanded the idea and pitched it to me properly and now I think it's fantastic; absolutely brilliant," says the 39-year-old.

But then The Imitation Game actor, who has helmed the role of the world famous detective since the first series in 2010, is aware there's a certain type of anticipation that surrounds Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic tale, not least when it sits within the prestigious BBC festive schedule.

Set in 1895 and boasting steam trains, hansom cabs and frock coats, the new episode will air on New Year's Day and will also be simulcast in over 100 cinemas up and down the country.

"I think that's one of the joys of doing Sherlock like this," he says, considering what the fans will make of the period setting. "We can't disguise the CONTINUES ON PAGE 10 O CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 UED CONTINU fact that we're filming it as we're often in cities or public places where people can take snapshots of us dressed in Victorian kit.

"We haven't disappointed fans in the past it seems, so hopefully this won't."

His co-star Martin Freeman, who plays Dr John Watson, quips: "I hope they like it. That's all I can say. That's all I think about everything I've ever done."

The episode, titled The Abominable Bride, might look impressive but the Fargo star reveals the period switch definitely prolonged duties.

"It changes the dynamic of filming because everything does take longer: it takes longer to get dressed, you're longer in make-up, you're longer in wardrobe and camera resets take longer just because there's more stuffabout," explains the 44-year-old, who sports an impressive moustache in the special.

"The clothes that we're wearing and the stuffwe are dealing with as far as make-up and hair is concerned, are not everyday things that people have to deal with."

While he acknowledges "it's all slightly more formal", Freeman adds the team were conscious "not to completely change the characters people have come to know and love".

"I'm still recognisably John and Ben's still recognisably Sherlock."

The period garb might have meant more time in wardrobe but Cumberbatch says the twosome still had fun travelling back in time: "To muck around with a pipe and a deerstalker for real is wonderful. And then, as far as the background goes, the setting, the mise-en-scene, the scenery, all the rest of it, it's just a delight. …

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Watching the Detectives; Fans of Sherlock Are in for an Extra Treat When the World-Famous Detective and His Sidekick Watson Are Transported to Victorian Britain for a One-Offspecial. British Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Talk Travelling Back in Time and the Show's Timeless Appeal with Gemma Dunn
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