In the Sherlock special episode "The Abominable Bride", there is a scene where Mycroft talks about Moriarty with Sherlock. In the conversation he says something along the lines of "... a grain in the lens. A virus in the data".

This was Victorian London. There were no computers. How is that line appropriate for that era?

  • 11
    ... because it was all in Sherlock's head and it was an early clue to the fact...
    – Catija
    Jan 11, 2016 at 22:22
  • @Catija: That is true but no one else except for Sherlock knows or does anything that doesnt fit into that timeline. Why the exception for Mycroft?
    – bobbyalex
    Jan 12, 2016 at 0:21
  • 4
    ... Because Mycroft is Holmes... every character is saying what Holmes imagines...
    – Catija
    Jan 12, 2016 at 0:44
  • 1
    The word "virus" used to describe an infection has been around since the 1400s
    – user23614
    Jan 12, 2016 at 11:10
  • 1
    @Catija: You should add that as an answer. Feb 11, 2016 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


All that is happening in this episode is nothing more than a whimsical world created by Sherlock to prove that Moriarty is dead.

JOHN: Sherlock, hang on. Explain. Moriarty’s alive, then?

SHERLOCK (stopping near the car and taking his gloves from his pocket): I never said he was alive. I said he was back.

MARY: So he’s dead.

SHERLOCK: Of course he’s dead. He blew his own brains out. No-one survives that. I just went to the trouble of an overdose to prove it. (He throws a quick guilty look at John before looking down.)

In the entire episode we can see him hallucinating between the fantasy and the real world. This statement is just a reference to the fact that it's all in Sherlock's Mind Palace.

MYCROFT HOLMES: Yes. He’s the crack in the lens, the fly in the ointment ... the virus in the data. (Lowering his hands, Holmes turns round and looks sharply at him.)

The sharp look that Sherlock gives is also suggestive of the fact that he himself is baffled by this statement in that time period.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .