Sherlock special draws 8.4 million viewers

The Abominable Bride scores impressive overnight figures

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Sherlock finally returned to our screens last night and with it came 8.4 million viewers.

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The 90-minute special drew the biggest crowd of the night with a 34.7% audience share. In a new twist for the BBC1 series the tale of The Abominable Bride ditched the modern city to take us on a journey through Sherlock’s Victorian London (complete with a new-look Mycroft Holmes which plenty enjoyed). 

It’s been two years since Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss and co have been on our screens, this one-off special acting as an amuse-bouche for the upcoming fourth series, due to start filming in the Spring. 

The overnight ratings are shy of 2014’s New Year return. The then third series opener The Empty Hearse recorded an average of 9.2 million viewers. The episode went on to make an almighty leap up to 12.72 million when consolidated figures were released (including seven days’ worth of catch-up on set-top boxes) and it took the crown for most-requested show on iPlayer in that year with 4.2 million requests, so we’re expecting a similar increase here.

Actress Amanda Abbington, who returned to the role of Mary Morstan, took to Twitter to share her delight at fans’ reaction to the show. 

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Read how fans reacted to the episode. Plus, here’s everything we know so far about the fourth series.