Really loved it. But I never doubted I would.
The hype was worth it, easily the best Christmas television on this year. And, whats more, they managed to tie it in with the whole series, which was always the great mystery of this Victorian spin-off.
The Victorian society presented in Sherlock is a ‘Sexy’ Victorian society, unlike, for instance, Dickensian, which is truly grim (review to come!). I guess this is part and parcel of the stylistic approach of Sherlock – whilst it is not nearly as ‘Sexy’ as the Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Junior, which in my opinion are farcical, it is typical of a Christmas production, certainly in the UK, to indulge in the kind of romanticised past. Also: it sells. In this sense, it was never going to fail. The fact that it actually tied into the rest of the narrative: bonus!
It was hugely evident that Moffat, Gatiss and co were having so much fun with this episode, as is evident in the self-reflexivity, I loved the references to the fans, the awareness of the ‘bromance’ of Sherlock and Watson, this kinds reference was demonstrated in the Reichenbach Fall with Sherlock and Moriarty of course.
They were also loving their interesting transitions. A really interesting use of film-making, nearly unheard of in current television, I loved that about Sherlock from the start but it was obvious that the makers simply ran with it this time. I had my doubts at first, but I think the addressing of Sherlock’s drug use (finally!) made the transitions work as part of the narrative – which is always important if you are going to use such obvious editing. They, in the end, worked as part of the story, and in hindsight were truly enjoyable.
I liked the way they finally dealt with the drug use in Sherlock in a way they never have. It was also dealt with in a manner that conveyed a postmodern view of drugs, which I found interesting. I confess, I have’t read many of the actual stories, but it would be interesting to know how the books deal with Sherlock’s drug use to see if/what they changed. (note: drugs are bad kids). I like the blurring of the worlds as well, towards the end. The crossing between modern John and Victorian Watson was a clever way to create this as a psychological imagining, though it does continue to allows the makers to taunt tumblr with Johnlock references… a ‘Ship’ that appears to have not left the harbour just yet.
The Suffragettes, however, people seem to be having issues with. I feel some people on twitter are being necessarily nasty about the use of Feminism in the piece – I really don’t think the producers were trying to say that Feminism was the real killer… – but I do concede that some type of moral (often glaringly obvious, and slightly weird) is a cornerstone for Christmas/New Year specials. Dr Who has stock in trade of them. I’m not ure how I feel about the use of it in The Abominable Bride but the overall experience was massively enjoyable, and that it what counts: that’s what gets bums on seats, that’s what gets ratings, and as my lecturers like to tell me, it doesn’t have to have a plot to be good…
Finally, it has been addressed: Moriarty is dead. And I believe them, though we all know by now Moffat will have his will. And the final question is… will there be a season 4…?
What did you think? Did you like it? Is Moriarty dead? When will there be another series?