Sunday 8 February was a gloriously sunny day and I decided to take a stroll through London before hitting the red carpet for the Baftas. My sojourn took me through Piccadilly Circus and down to Waterloo Place. I saw a tiny hum of activity in the distance, nothing major apart from a few vans and some people milling about, but I knew that something interesting was afoot.
As I moved in closer I saw that a portion of the street was made-up to look like Victorian London. A newspaper stand proclaimed that there had been a ‘Brutal West End Murder’. Looking around I saw a prop lamppost labeled ‘Sherlock’ and I realised that I had stumbled onto the set of the Sherlock Christmas Special.
It transpires that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s contemporary take on Holmes and Watson are somehow transported back in time to the original setting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary tales. No one knows how this occurs (this incarnation of the character is proud to be ‘modern’) but it looks like creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have managed to tip their Deerstalker to Holmes’ heritage.
I wasn’t the only one hanging out on the set of Sherlock and then hitting the Baftas in the evening – both Cumberbatch and Freeman were there shooting scenes for the episode. As you can see from the pictures, this wasn’t a huge sequence. It simply featured Holmes and Watson leaving a building and getting into a horse drawn carriage. However, it was quite an intricate crane shot that included two horses, extras, along with snow and smoke machines.
I’m not a huge fan of this interpretation but I do enjoy Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales and the old Jeremy Brett series. However, it was exciting to see this version of Holmes in Victorian garb, paying homage to the character’s iconic style. I’ll be checking out the Sherlock Christmas Special in December.