Sherlock heading to Victorian London for Moffat's mysterious new BBC special

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Mar 16, 2015, 7:21 PM EDT (Updated)

The hit BBC series Sherlock has never even tried to keep a regular TV schedule, which has made any new episodes into something akin to a holy grail for fans. It sounds like the next installment might be the most ambitious yet.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the mysterious new Sherlock “special” is set entirely in Victorian London, though it still stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman ... just in the more traditional (for Holmes stories) 19th century, as opposed to modern day. Moffat wouldn’t explain exactly how they’re telling a story for the modern-day series in Victorian England, but we wouldn’t ramp up the Doctor Who crossover theories just yet.

According to Moffat, the special is its own standalone piece, and apparently not associated with a larger run of episodes. It sounds like they just thought it’d be fun to tell a straight-up, period-set Sherlock Holmes story with Cumberbatch in the hat, so that’s what they did. No strings attached to the show’s larger narrative:

“The special is its own thing. We wouldn’t have done the story we’re doing, and the way we’re doing it, if we didn’t have this special. It’s not part of the run of three episodes. So we had this to do it – as we could hardly conceal – it’s Victorian. [Co-creator Mark Gatiss] and me, we wanted to do this, but it had to be a special, it had to be separate entity on its own. It’s kind of in its own little bubble.”

Though shooting is apparently all but wrapped on the special, no air date has been announced at this time by U.S. distributor PBS Masterpiece, or U.K. network BBC. It's suspected the special will air in December, which matches up with previous reports about a holiday special.

What do you think of the new Sherlock special? What the heck is Moffat up to?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)