Culture

Nice 'stache Watson: First look at 'Sherlock' special goes Victorian

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman don vintage clothes and hairstyles for a sneak peek at the upcoming "Sherlock" special. Will the lads be time-traveling or attending a costume party?

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Sherlock and Watson are back! But will they be time-traveling or just paying homage to Conan Doyle's original stories? BBC One

Dynamic detective duo Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson return. The BBC released the first image from its upcoming "Sherlock" special, and the lads look downright Victorian.

The image, tweeted with the hashtags #221back #Sherlock #notkidding, treats fans to an unusual reveal of the detectives that makes us wonder if a time warp will be in effect when filming for season 4 starts in January.

Wearing vintage clothing including a top hat for Sherlock and a bowler for Watson, the pair's look harkens back to the earlier "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" TV adaptation made by Granada Television from 1984 to 1994, starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, and David Burke and later Edward Hardwicke as Watson. Coincidentally, Brett was a family friend of Cumberbatch's parents.

"Sherlock" producer Sue Vertue also tweeted a photo of the cover page for the read-through draft of the script entitled "Sherlock Special" written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

"This is what we've been doing today! Later on a pic of Sherlock and John as they'll appear in the Special #221back," Vertue tweeted.

Fans have been anxiously awaiting any news of the upcoming special since it was first announced in July. The popular series will return with a special and three new episodes for season 4. Shooting is set to begin in January.

"Of course, it's far too early to say what's coming, but we're reasonably confident that the very next thing to happen to Sherlock and John is the very last thing you'd expect," co-creator, writer, and executive producer Moffat said in a press release.

Season 4 will take Sherlock and Watson into "deeper and darker water than ever before... The Game is on -- again!" co-creator, writer and executive producer Mark Gatiss said in the release.

Last week, Gatiss hinted that fans can expect quite a few tears in the upcoming season.

"You can always expect tragedy as well as adventure, that's just how it goes," Gatiss told RadioTimes.com. If Gatiss and Moffat plan on following "Sherlock Holmes" author Conan Doyle's stories faithfully, then at some point Dr. Watson's wife Mary (played by Freeman's real-life partner Amanda Abbington) will have to die.

However, Gatiss and Moffat have taken a number of liberties with the original Sherlock Holmes stories, including introducing fans to Sherlock's parents (played by Cumberbatch's real mother and father) that did not happen in the canon of stories written by Doyle.

"Sherlock" airs on PBS in the US and on BBC One in the UK.

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For now, fans will have to guess what's inside this mysterious "Sherlock" script. BBC One