Sherlock: The Abominable Bride just took the Emmy for Best Television Movie, besting Jay Roach’s LBJ biopic All The Way in one of the night’s big upsets. Memorably, the Masterpiece/PBS series—starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a modern version of the iconic Arthur Conan Doyle character, opposite Fargo star Martin Freeman’s Watson — has regularly defied expectation, taking various awards at the 2014 ceremony, including those for Lead and Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie.
HBO’s critically-lauded All The Way had been the pre-game favorite to win the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie, but certainly did not go “all the way,” as forecasted, succumbing to tough competition in the category. Roach directed that telefilm starring Bryan Cranston as the 36th president, who was sworn in hours after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In the Masterpiece special, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, Holmes and Watson find themselves cracking mysteries in 1890s London, focusing in on the case of the “Abominable Bride” — in contrast to the 21st century London milieu of the contemporary series.
Backstage, Sherlock executive producer Steven Moffat said that to him the most important things about Sherlock Holmes has always been Holmes’ “demonstrated intelligence” as well as the “eternal friendship of absolute opposites” that is Watson and Holmes. It is “sweet friendship and pure reason,” Moffat said. He added that no version of the Holmes story is the correct one: “It’s not about being definitive, it’s about taking your won perception and doing your own thing with it.” The only definitive Sherlock, he added is “definitely the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
The cast of The Abominable Bride also includes Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson; Rupert Graves as DI Lestrad; series writer Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes; and Andrew Scott as Moriarty.
In addition to All The Way, Sherlock beat out HBO’s Confirmation, starring Kerry Washington as Anita Hill and Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas; BBC America’s Luther, starring Idris Elba; and Netflix’s A Very Murray Christmas, starring Bill Murray with help from myriad big names including Miley Cyrus, George Clooney and Chris Rock.
Diane Haithman contributed to this story.