Rachel Talalay has experience directing films (1995’s Tank Girl) and TV shows (Doctor Who, The Flash). So, it makes sense she was recruited to oversee the forthcoming season premiere of the Benedict Cumberbatch- and Martin Freeman-starring Sherlock, the PBS Masterpiece show which routinely attempts to match the scope and ambitions of its big screen brethren.
“It’s an interesting balance,” says the Chicago-born Talalay. “You know that your budget is a minuscule fraction [of a big Hollywood movie] but the expectations are that you provide feature-level [quality] on every front. One of the big differences is just the amount of prep time. So, for instance, we had a stunt sequence with a complicated effect within it. You’ve got Benedict, who’s just come off Doctor Strange, and on that it would have been rehearsed for several weeks. Now you’re in that situation where he’s had one day rehearsal and some of the effects are only being rigged as we get there. So, yes, it would be a hell of a lot easier and nicer to have all that prep time. But there’s something amazing, and fresh, and exciting about, ‘Okay, here’s what we have, here’s what we’re gonna do, now let’s challenge it to be that good.’ [But on Doctor Who] I had Cybermen in front of St Paul’s Cathedral in the middle of the summer, so that was massive as well.”
You can see an exclusive photo of Talalay directing Cumberbatch in the Sherlock premiere, above.