Everything we know as fact will be presented in regular type, anything that's rumoured but looking likely will be written in italics. You'll find links throughout to original news stories and articles containing further information.
Be warned that there are potential SPOILERS throughout!
So without further ado, let's get on with it.
In August 2014, after Sherlock's success at the 2014 Emmy Awards, Steven Moffat spoke about what was to come:
"We have a plan to top [season 3] — and actually I do think our plan is devastating. We practically reduced our cast to tears by telling them the plan. Honestly, Mark [Gatiss] and myself are so excited with what we've got coming up, probably more excited than we've ever been about Sherlock."
This year we have a single 90 minute Sherlock episode to look forward to.
The episode is co-written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, and directed by Douglas Mackinnon.
It's often referred to as a Christmas Special, but no broadcast date has been confirmed as yet, with Mark Gatiss telling the Radio Times:
"It will be finished, of course, by the end of spring, [but] when they show it is entirely down to the schedulers. It would fit as a Christmas special but there’s no guarantee of that."Filming for the 2015 Special began on January 5th.
The image above was tweeted by Mark Gatiss on January 6th, complete with the phrase "Element-hairy, my dear Watson!"
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson
Amanda Abbington as Mary Watson/Morstan
Rupert Graves as DI Lestrade
Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper
Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes
Jonathan Aris as Anderson
All the above actors have either been confirmed to be in the episode or have been spotted filming, also likely to return are
Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson
Andrew Scott as Moriarty
Although Andrew Scott's commitments to SPECTRE could mean that if he does feature in this special it would likely be a limited role.
#setlock #Sherlock pic.twitter.com/61owIo5F9T
— The Sociopath (@BenedictOwnsMe) January 6, 2015
Natasha O'Keeffe (from Peaky Blinders and Misfits) has been spotted on set filming. You can see her in the top right hand image above. No character name is known as yet.
UPDATE Jan 24th:
Blackadder's Tim McInnery is playing a character called Sir Edwin.
Stephanie Hyam will play a character named Jane.
I actually really like Martin's victorian suit #setlock pic.twitter.com/OmZfkEtlOZ
— Punklock (@Red_Deerstalker) January 8, 2015
UPDATE - January 16th: Although its not official confirmation of the Arthur Conan Doyle source material, director Douglas Mackinnon tweeted this...
"The stars were shining coldly in a cloudless sky." @arwelwjones @Markgatiss pic.twitter.com/ETnpqykg10
— Douglas Mackinnon (@drmuig) January 15, 2015
"The stars were shining coldly in a cloudless sky" is a quote from The Adventures Of The Blue Carbuncle, a Sherlock Holmes story set at Christmas time, which would certainly fit in with the suspected broadcast date.
Curiously, as depicted in the promo shot at the top of the page and seen on set, both Cumberbatch and Freeman appear to be in Victorian dress, and when he isn't sporting a top hat Cumberbatch's hair is slicked back very much in the style of Jeremy Brett's Sherlock.
When the special was announced in July 2014 Steven Moffat said:
"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..."UPDATE: March 17th
We've all been speculating about the Victorian attire in the publicity still at the top of the page, and today Steven Moffat has shed some light on the reason why Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are dressed that way. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly he said:
“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 separate entity on its own. It’s kind of in its own little bubble.”So possibly the whole episode, or at least part, will take place out of the show's regular continuity.
From Tuesday January 6th external filming began in Bristol, with the Colston Hall used as a location.
On January 7th Mark Gatiss tweeted...
Today's mood. pic.twitter.com/g6lNrSkNX9
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) January 7, 2015
On January 8th a variety of set pictures featuring antiquated medical equipment and corpses appeared on Twitter...
IYMI #setlock #day3 spoilers film set pics #sherlock
— AnythingCumberbatch (@Anythingbatch) January 8, 2015
On January 8th filming appears to have moved onto Cardiff.
January 12th - Some interesting casting calls have been unearthed, all of which would seem likely to relate to the Sherlock 2015 Special, being that they come from the an agency which has previously provided actors for Sherlock and they fit the time and location of the filming schedule.
First up is is the call for:
"male mime artists or men with physical theatre experience to be part of an incredibly popular returning BBC drama that will be filming in Bristol in the first weeks of January".This is followed by:
"people that have physical theatre, mime or similar experience for a BBC detective series filming in Bristol the first week of February".Finally, if you are in Bristol and happen to be the same build as Benedict Cumberbatch and can play the violin then you could be in for some work on Monday the 19th of January.
Make of all that what you will, but maybe they give us some clues towards what will be happening in the Sherlock 2015 Special. At the very least we can assume Sherlock will be playing the violin at some time.
January 14th - Adding to the Victorian themed mystery surrounding this episode, The Bath Chronicle revealed that filming for Sherlock will be taking place in Queen Street on Monday February 2nd, and that the:
"Production crew intend to decorate the street in a Victorian theme."
January 22nd - Entertainment Weekly have a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch from the filming at Gloucester Cathedral. He's looking more like the Basil Rathbone Sherlock here, as opposed to the Jeremy Brett one in the image at the top of the page. Will multiple-Sherlock's-through-the-ages be involved somehow?
That's everything for now, but we will keep updating this page with all the new Sherlock 2015 Special news as and when we get it, so check back often.
And if you know something we don't then either comment below or e-mail us and we'll post an update.
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