Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return in new 'Sherlock' scene
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Sherlock super-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman may not have been able to attend Comic-Con in person this year (again), but fans got the next-best thing: a scene from the show’s highly anticipated upcoming “Christmas special” episode that puts Holmes and Watson into the Victorian era. Check out the video below shorty, which just played in the San Diego convention center.

The cult-favorite comedy is expected to return for the 1800s one-off special later this year, and there’s a fourth season planned for a later date. The special will also play in theaters.

“We discovered there was some precedent for doing Sherlock in the Victorian era,” executive producer Steven Moffat said. “When we first did Sherlock, press asked how can Sherlock possibly survive in world with an iPhone? and when doing the Victorian, the press came in and said how can he do this without his iPhone? […]It’s very much the show you know. It’s the Sherlock as you know it, but in the correct era. It’s one of the best ones we’ve made. I think it’s really terrific.”

Moffat noted that in the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, the female characters barely spoke, but that will change for their version. One challenge was “how to we bring our female characters into that era in a way that makes sense.”

The producer also teased the fourth season, which is still being written, as having “shattering emotionally draining you’ll-never-be-the-same-again cliffhangers” that will “sucker punch you into emotional devastation.”

Asked by a fan if Holmes will ever see his semi-romantic interest, Irene Adler, again, Moffat said he genuinely doesn’t know (which means “no” for season 4). Moffat said he might never bring her back because he likes the mystery of how their relationship concluded. “We actually don’t know how that night worked out,” Moffat said. “I did write a version of it … To be honest, I think they never saw each other again, is the truth—but they both smile once a day when they think of each other.”

Yet Moffat entirely clammed up when a fan asked if we’ll ever meet the third Holmes brother, who’s been just briefly alluded to in the show. “You already know how much of an answer you’re going to get,” Moffat said.

More to come from the show’s Comic-Con panel…

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Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star in the celebrated U.K. series

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