The Special: the Adventure of Ricoletti of the Club Foot and His Abominable Wife?


I’ll admit the title may be a bit of a mouthful, but what it means could be very interesting…
So, now we know the title of the Special and the air-date, but we know little else so far. What we can glean from the trailer is that the special promises all of the humour, drama and excitement of the series, and that this seems to be the first meeting of this pocket-universe version of John and Sherlock (or Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes, if you prefer). 

It also seems to be wholly original and not based on a pre-existing tale from Doyle’s original stories. Or is it? Close inspection of the short story “The Adventure of the Musgrave ritual” offers this little nugget:

“Here’s the record of the Tarleton murders, and the case of Vamberry, the wine merchant, and the adventure of the old Russian woman, and the singular affair of the aluminium crutch, as well as a full account of Ricoletti of the club foot and his abominable wife.” 

It is quite a sparse description, but definitely an intriguing premise and I  cannot wait to see what Moffat and Gatiss will weave with it.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a throwaway reference from one of the original stories influenced the modern incarnation, the “giant rat of Sumatra”, mentioned in Sir Athur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire” showed up as a sly reference in the series 3 opener “The Empty Hearse” (about which I’ll go into greater detail in a later post).

Whilst this knowledge still reveals little about the forthcoming special, it does tease it wonderfully and I, for one, cannot wait to see it. Roll on New Years Day.
“the Musgrave Ritual” appears in the short story collection “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” and is a great story, well worth checking out.


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