BBC1’s 90-minute Sherlock Christmas special – set in the Victorian period of the original stories – is to be shown not just on the small screen but in cinemas around the world, including China.
The hotly anticipated return of Benedict Cumberbatch’s super-sleuth is to be released in theatres as part of a ‘global cinema event’, according to the Corporation’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide.
While the full roster of countries taking part in the screening have yet to be announced, it has been revealed that China is set to be among them.
Since first airing there in 2010 the series has grown a huge audience in the country, with over 98 million ‘views’ on the online TV platform Youku, which shows it there.
Many more people in China also watch it by bypassing internet restrictions and viewing it on the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service.
The special, which also stars Martin Freeman as Watson, is a one-off episode apparently set in London in 1895.
Co-written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it will also feature series regulars Rupert Graves, Una Stubbs, Louise Brealey and Amanda Abbington.
Douglas Mackinnon, whose previous credits include Doctor Who and Line of Duty, is directing the episode.
The news of the big screen release comes as BBC Worldwide announces plans to co-produce a new documentary feature film with Chinese media company SMG Pictures.
Earth: One Amazing Day is due in cinemas in 2017 and is the first film to be produced under the UK and China film co-production treaty announced in 2014.