A special Victorian episode comes to BBC One for New Year’s Day
As the airdate (1 January 2016) gets ever closer Benedict Cumberbatch talks all things Sherlock – The Abominable Bride.
Interview with Benedict Cumberbatch.
We are used to Sherlock being set in modern times – what did you make of the Victorian setting?
I thought it was madness. I thought they’d finally lost the plot, jumped the shark, all the other clichés of television gone mad with itself. Then they expanded the idea and pitched it to me properly and I think it’s fantastic. Absolutely brilliant.
How will fans react to the Victorian setting?
I don’t really know how the fans are going to react to it. I think that’s one of the joys of doing it like this. You know, we can’t disguise the fact that we’re filming it and often filming it in cities or public places where people are going to take snapshots of us dressed in Victorian kit. We haven’t disappointed fans in the past it seems so hopefully this won’t. I hope they enjoy it.
What was it like being transported back in time?
Great fun to play, and I mean, great, great fun. 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 scène, the scenery, all the rest of it, it’s just a delight. It always is with period drama. You kind of marvel at it.
What do you make of the global success of Sherlock?
I think the enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes has always been global, actually – I don’t think this is a phenomenon tied in with our success. I think it’s to do with Conan Doyle’s extraordinary invention, which has a universal appeal to all nationalities. This is a man who’s an outsider, who’s intelligent, who doesn’t tolerate mediocrity, who is incredibly efficient, but also has his weaknesses and comeuppances. I think the ability to turn the mundane, average and normal into a pop-up world of potential adventure, which is what I’ve always been saying about him both on and off the page in our version and in the original books, is that you never know where it’s going to lead. There’s an endless amount of potential adventure.
What’s the funniest thing that happened on the set of The Abominable Bride?
Martin Freeman is probably the funniest thing that happened on set. He tends to be quite funny in general. So, when he’s on set, he’s funny. It’s a weak answer, but it’s the truth – you don’t have to look far for comedy on set.