Sherlock rocketed itself to success by taking Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic characters and conundrums and updating them for the modern era, with a sneering, frog-faced detective mocking the cops on social media and spending vast swathes of time cracking the passwords on people’s phones. Now, showrunner Steven Moffat is ready to see whether his and Benedict Cumberbatch’s take on the master detective can stand without the modern affectations, with a new trailer for the upcoming Victorian Sherlock special testing the waters today.
If nothing else, the show is still recognizably Sherlock. Cumberbatch broods, Martin Freeman quips from underneath high-budget Dr. Watson cosplay, and striking images—like a brazier-lit room full of either people in red KKK outfits or dangerously pointy statues—abound. Neither the BBC nor PBS (which airs the show in the U.S. as part of Masterpiece) have announced an air date for the special, although certain clues—like the fact that it was originally billed as a Christmas special, in the British, non-holiday-related, sense—would suggest a December release. Moffat has said that the Victorian special will be a standalone program, unconnected from the continuity of the main series, which is expected to begin filming again next year.