Even for the BBC, a channel with no shortage of inspired and timeless programming, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s Sherlock has been a unique triumph of mystery-centric television, with a consistently moving and involving undercurrent of witty drama. At the center of it all, as always, is the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson, the greatest detective of all time and his ever-wise, insightful partner, and the chemistry between stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman has been a major drawing point for all three series of the program, which capped off its best series to date last year. So, its understandable that at the Sherlock Comic-Con panel, moderated by Sandra Gonzalez and featuring Moffat, executive producer Sue Vertue, and co-star Rupert Graves, who plays DI Greg Lestrade, the big questions surrounded the impending Victorian Special and Series 4, which all three were quick to say was a long, long way off.
Gonzalez did an admirable job of trying to squeeze details for future incarnations of the series from the famously prickly and tight-lipped Moffatt, who dominated the panel for the most part, but the panel was most memorable for Moffat’s unimpeachable sense of humor, and a fanatical love for the details of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories. Handling questions from Gonzalez and the audience, Moffatt, along with Graves and Vertue, proved largely self-effacing but not without adding some major tidbits about the process of creating the show, the series’ cast, and the production of the Victorian Special, which looks to premiere this winter. Check out the full recap below.
- Moffatt and Vertue started off by revealing that the Victorian Special will be released in select cinemas upon its proper release later this year. Moffatt was quick to point out how great the show looked on the big screen.
- Moffat said he thinks the Victorian Special is “one of the best” they’ve done thus far, going on to call it “terrific.”
- Graves revealed that, though he didn’t appear in the clip, Lestrad will be in the Victorian Special and will be wearing mutton chops, which he referred to as “hedges.”
- Moffatt insisted that the Victorian Special “has to be a standalone” episode of the show, rather than trying to work it into the show’s modern trappings.
- At one point, Graves referred to a part of the production process as the “same shit,” only to then read a warning that there were children under 18 in the audience.
- Speaking about the Victorian Special, Moffatt was quick to point out that it takes place in a “sexist” era and that in Doyle’s story, “women don’t speak.” He then said that these elements will be crucial to the story in the Victorian Special.
- Talking about his writing process, Moffatt was quick to point out that he never has an “oh I’m good” moment, and that most of the time he feels “haunted and miserable.”
- Moffatt opined that being a big fan of the show makes certain people “too obsessed to enjoy” Sherlock in a pure way, and related it to his feelings on the initial runs of Dr. Who.
- When talking about filming the Victorian Special, Vertue was quick to say that it was “harder to shoot” than the more modern episodes. She also said that they had their extras “walk faster” to avoid the episode feeling rote or stagnant.
- When discussing the physical nuances of the show, Moffatt said that they are almost never scripted, and that the comedy of the show always comes from the reactions.
- Vertue admitted that she loves “Rupert’s mugging” when reacting to what Sherlock does and says
- Graves admitted that one of his favorite moments was the “oh, you bastard” hug at the beginning of Series 3, when Lestrad finds out Holmes is still alive.
- When asked about her favorite gut-punch moment, Vertue chose the end of Series 3, specifically the look on Grattis’s Mycroft’s face when his brother has a cadre of guns pointed at him.
- Moffatt didn’t have a favorite gut-punch moment, but said he only really felt clever and thought a line was “not bad” was “I am Sherlocked.”
- Graves said that his favorite gut-punch moment was “Mary with the gun.”
- Talking about how he constructs the drama and mystery of the show, Moffatt emphasized the “backswing” and the “I should have seen it coming!” feeling that the show often gives off. He specifically referenced Sherlock’s relationship with Mary.
- Moffatt admitted that he reads the “stage directions” at the table reads.