In what seems like a lifetime ago, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, both of Doctor Who fame, discussed plans for a Sherlock Holmes adaptation during numerous train journeys to Cardiff where Doctor Who production was taking place. Huge Arthur Conan Doyle fanboys, both Moffat and Gatiss were encouraged to develop the idea of introducing a television audience to a 21st century Sherlock Holmes despite the existence of several mediocre efforts attempting to do the same. Along with Steve Thompson, Gatiss and Moffat have created some of the best television that has appeared on television in recent memory.
A little over two years ago, October 2010 to be exact, we had the great good fortune to interview Benedict Cumberbatch while in the UK just prior to the first series of Sherlock airing on PBS as part of the Masterpiece Mystery series. In these never before segments from the interview, Cumberbatch talked, early on, about what immediately attracted him to Sherlock, the BBC/PBS series from Moffat and Gatiss.
Next, in answering Sherlock purists who couldn’t bare to see the world’s most famous consulting detective have a smart phone, he talked about the challenges of incorporating new technology into the 21st century Sherlock while attempting to remain true to the classic nature of the story.
Finally, it was quite evident even in the early days of Sherlock, that he and co-star Martin Freeman had already developed a great friendship and on-screen chemistry that has been clearly apparent since day one.
Bearing out what Cumberbatch alluded to in the 2010 interview, Paul McGuigan, who directed two episodes of Sherlock, continued the defense of the adaptations from Sherlock purists saying that this is in keeping with Conan Doyle’s character, pointing out that “In the books, he would use any device possible and he was always in the lab doing experiments. It’s just a modern-day version of it. He will use the tools that are available to him today in order to find things out.”