Sherlock Master Class highlights


On the outside chance you missed the three most important words for 2013 from yesterday….

RAT. WEDDING. BOW.

Thanks to stellar reporting from @digitalspy, we bring you highlights from yesterdays Sherlock Master Class in Edinburgh. In attendance were producer, Sue Vertue, co-writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and Andrew Scott (Moriarty) Even though neither Benedict Cumberbatch nor Martin Freeman were in attendance, as originally announced, it was a Sherlock fan’s dream panel with a behind the scenes look at not only the creation of the series, casting and production, but those in the audience were hanging on every word knowing that what they came for, those three words, were mere moments away.

On the creation of Sherlock….

– Right out of the chute, Steven Moffat admits that originally he and Mark were just “gossiping” about the idea of updating Sherlock Holmes – it was his wife and producer Sue Vertue who encouraged them to make it a reality.

– “We thought it was going to be smaller,” Sue says of Sherlock – adding that the series was originally devised for a 60-minute format. Mark Gatiss added that the success of Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh contributed to making the show in 90-minute chunks.

On the casting of Sherlock….

– While Benedict Cumberbatch was the only choice to play Sherlock Holmes after seeing him in Atonement, a few different actors were considered for Watson – including Doctor Who star Matt Smith – but Martin Freeman had the best chemistry with Cumberbatch. “He’s also short enough,” Mark Gatiss quips.

– Andrew Scott (Moriarty) revealed that he was “absolutely terrified” about messing up his part, after noting the early affection for Sherlock from the UK public.

– Mark Gatiss called it “an enormous privilege” to both write and star in the show – he revealed that it was fellow writer Steve Thompson’s idea for him to play Mycroft, whom he compares to Peter Mandelson.

On the production of Sherlock….

– Steven Moffat talked about the show’s unique visual style and admits that he thought the ‘texts on screen’ effect originally sounded like an “awful” idea, but was won over when he saw it on screen.

– Regarding ending on a cliffhanger, Moffat admited that they didn’t know that Sherlock would return when the series one finale was written, adding that it was “cheeky” to end on a cliffhanger. “Had we never come back, they’d still be at that pool.

On the future of Sherlock….

– Moriarty really is dead says Mark Gatiss. “We couldn’t show the back of his head blowing up because it’s 9.30pm on BBC One” (insert sad sigh here)

– Series three will shoot in January – that much we already know – and will probably air in the autumn of 2013 on BBC One, Sue Vertue confirms. (FYI, no word as of yet as to PBS broadcast dates in the States)

– Sue Vertue admits that airing Sherlock in the US five months after UK transmission is a problem – most viewers in America have already seen the show through illicit means by the time it actually airs. She’s determined to close that gap. (The noise you just heard was the applause from American audiences).

In the end, do we need to even ask why Sherlock is the runaway hit it that it is for BBC and PBS? Easy. Producer passion. When Steven Moffat said yesterday, “We love Sherlock Holmes so much – this is fan fiction!. It’s an exercise in love. We wouldn’t have minded if nobody had watched it and we’d have been able to keep making it for each other“, that said it all.