Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat dropped some tiny clues about changes to the Sherlock-verse in the show’s eagerly awaited Victorian-era special. Taking (and dodging) probing questions from reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour event in Beverly Hills on Saturday, the writer-producer gave us these subtle tidbits:
— Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes will be a bit less rude. “Sherlock is a little more polished,” Moffat said. “He operates like a Victorian gentleman instead of a posh, rude man. He’s a lot less brattish.”
— And Martin Freeman’s Dr. Watson? “More uptight,” Moffat said.
— The time traveling won’t be explained in the episode. “We never bothered explaining what they were doing in modern London, so why bother explaining what they’re doing in Victorian London, when that’s where they’re supposed to be?” Moffat reasoned.
— Ghosts may be involved. “Ghost stories work better in a Victorian setting,” Moffat teased. Update: We’re told Moffat meant by this that the story is spooky, but does not involve ghosts per se.
— And when, pray-tell, will we actually see this special? Well, the BBC has first dibs on airing Sherlock, as always. And British television tends to announce premiere dates rather close to a show airing, sometimes only a few weeks in advance (unlike in the U.S., where premiere dates — and accompanying network marketing campaigns — often start months in advance). So PBS Masterpiece is waiting for the BBC to announce. The is assumed to be a Christmas special, but Moffat has also previously said that it’s not really. “Soon-ish,” said Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton.
— Season 4 of Sherlock will go into production next spring—and will also return to modern times. Once again, the season will be three episodes.