Steven Moffat confirms the Sherlock special will be set in Victorian London

The BBC1 drama's co-creator reveals what we've all suspected: that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman's on-screen adventures WILL take place in the 1800s

With filming wrapped on the Sherlock special, any news on the next instalment of the BBC1 drama is hard to come by. So, when co-creator Steven Moffat appeared at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, the opportunity was ripe for some juicy details. 


As usual, the Doctor Who showrunner remained fairly tight-lipped, but he did confirm a crucial detail we’ve all long-suspected: that the special will be set in the Victorian era – not exactly surprising given that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were frequently spotted filming scenes dressed in 19th century garb.

Moffat – who was appearing at a PBS event at the Texan conference – told Entertainment Weekly: “The special is its own thing. We wouldn’t have done the story we’re doing, and the way we’re doing it, if we didn’t have this special. It’s not part of the run of three episodes.

“So we had this to do it – as we could hardly conceal – it’s Victorian. [Co-creator] Mark Gatiss and me, we wanted to do this, but it had to be a special, it had to be a separate entity on its own. It’s kind of in its own little bubble.” 

So, sad news for fans of their rather fetching hat wear – Cumberbatch and Freeman’s escapades in the 1800s are a one-time thing. But Moffat did seem pretty chuffed with the outcome, confirming to EW that the special is pretty much finished and he’s very pleased with the result. 

With the standalone episode’s air date still a mystery, we can’t start our countdown just yet – although rumour has it the special could be hitting our screens sometime this Christmas. 


Read more: the Sherlock special – what does it mean?