Time-traveling Sherlock Drops in on New Year’s Day

Sherlock specialSteven Moffat and Mark Gattis (aka Mycroft Holmes), the showrunners for and geniuses behind Sherlock and Dr. Who are giving the US a fabulous, slightly belated Christmas present – a very special and long-awaited spanking new episode. Will it star Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson? Of course it will! But that’s not what makes it special. What does? TIME TRAVEL!

As far as we know, Sherlock will not be entering the Tardis – though anything is possible, and we’re betting they’ll be a police box somewhere in the background. The story will be set in turn of the 20th century London – just like Arthur Conan Doyle’s originals, as though the characters have always been there – except for all the references to the time period and other Easter eggs thrown in for us.

We're betting on a cameo.

We’re betting on a cameo.

The time-period is not the only thing that makes this a VSE.  For the first time ever in the universe, we  will be able to watch Sherlock, at the same time as viewers in the UK — without committing a federal offense. That time will be TOMORROW, Friday at 9 PM on your local PBS station — the one that comes with your very basic cable. But that’s not all!  Even those of us who cut the cord (not to be ahead of the curve, but because the cable bill was too damn high)  will be able to watch at the same time as the swells what still got cable.  Yup, in another “first” PBS will be live streaming the episode, LEGALLY.  So no worries about Russian gangsters stealing your identity, or kidnapping your hard drive, or going to jail for a hundred years because of the kiddie porn commercials on the pirate sites.

And there’s more! They’ll be podcasts and interviews, and a live twitter event!  If this all sounds too complicated and/or too good to be true, you can hear Mark Gattis explain it all in his plummy accent.  Is this designed to make us dig into our pockets and donate to our local PBS station? Probably, because we should totally be doing that anyway, but maybe they should have aired it before New Year’s Eve, for those of who do all our charitable giving before the tax-deduction deadline.

If you have some kind of so-called life outside of television and the internet, and you will not be able to watch Friday, night, there will be an encore performance (streaming and on television) on January 10th, and limited time streaming after that.

For those raging fanatics that feel a need to see the episode on a really big screen with a bunch of strangers, and sticky stuff on the floor, and bedbugs probably, then there is one more option. You can watch it at the movies. There will be special screenings in theaters across our great nation on January 5th and January 6th. You read that right. You can watch at home or any where else on January 1st or you can pay $18 per person or whatever they charge in your town and see it later.

But here’s a better idea: Instead of spending $36 bucks for you and your better-half and/or companion animal to go to the movies: Why not take the money you are going to save by watching from home on Friday – including the cab fare and the $19.00 supersized popcorn they are going to up-sell you – and donate it to your local PBS station in advance, like before midnight tonight, for the tax deduction? Still on the fence? Ask yourself this: What would John Watson do?

He would totally support public television if he lived here.

He would totally support public television if he lived here.

Enjoy the official BBC promo:

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

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