Sherlock co-creator promises more episodes 'when our careers have dipped'
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Historians will separate this decade into the long periods of waiting between seasons of Sherlock. And since the fourth series of 90-minute episodes just aired earlier this year, don’t expect more episodes of the Benedict Cumberbatch-headlined phenomenon anytime soon. Speaking at the Titan Comics panel for the Sherlock manga, the show’s co-creator Steven Moffat said he hadn’t even spoken to his fellow co-creator Mark Gatiss about another batch of episodes. “Sherlock and Doctor Who overlapped last year,” said the busy showrunner, referring to his other beloved British series. “Which was hell. So I haven’t had a moment to sit with Mark and talk about it. That’s the truth.”
But Moffat was hopeful that there would be more adventures with Cumberbatch’s Holmes and Martin Freeman’s Watson further down the line. “I’m assuming, probably wrongly, that at some point we’ll all show up somewhere and do it again when our careers have dipped,” he joked. “Benedict will hold the old coat up again, so he can look sexy. And we’ll recreate our glory days, with a desperate air, going back to a time everybody loved us.” The audience laughed, but later in the panel, Moffat more seriously promised, “Everything’s possibly on the table…the best I can tell you is, I kind of assume at some point we’ll reassemble.”
Moffat was onstage with Sue Vertue, a Sherlock executive producer. (The pair also happen to be married.) While recalling the run of their series, the pair mentioned one notable change they would make to an earlier episode of Sherlock. “There’s an element in The Blind Banker which worked brilliantly at the time,” Moffat explained. “Steve Thompson, who wrote that one, came up with the idea of the code — a cipher — was a book that everybody owns, the London A-Z. At that time it was absolutely true that everyone in London owned an A-Z. A very small number of years later, absolutely nobody owns an A-Z. It’s all on their iPhone. So that doesn’t work. That’s our updated version, our updated Sherlock Holmes, becoming a period piece before our eyes.”
Illustrated by manga artist Jay, the comic book adaptation of Sherlock began appearing in 2012 with an adaptation of the first “episode,” A Study in Pink. The Blind Banker and The Great Game followed, and Titan Comics has been releasing English-language editions of the Manga since 2016. (The first issue of The Great Game arrived on Aug. 9.) Vertue admitted that they were initially hesitant about adapting Sherlock into another medium. “We were very cautious about it, really,” said Vertue. “Every page gets approved by me.”
“It’s properly exciting,” Moffat said. “It somehow makes our version more real. Our version of Sherlock Holmes has rippled out into the world.”
What is it that makes the character so universal?
“If you knew somebody like Sherlock Holmes in real life, you’d think he was a d—,” Moffat joked. “But that kind of character can work marvelously as a fantasy. If there was a real James Bond, we’d all hate him. Right, you know, right-wing monster shoots foreigners and women, more or less. That’s not a nice man! But you put him on screen, and you sort of think, ‘I’m allowed to think that’s okay for two hours.'”
“I don’t know if Sherlock Holmes is likable,” Moffat said. “The fantasy you have is: You’d like him to like you.”
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star in the celebrated U.K. series