‘Sherlock’ producers have come out fighting, or rather their characters will be, they promise, in our final encounter with the super-sleuth this Sunday.
The first episode of the latest series drew complaints from some fans for the high-octane production, which saw Mr Holmes have a fight in a swimming pool and trade blows with a would-be assassin.
Producer Steven Moffat calls the criticism “utter rot”, while Mark Gatiss promises the final episode this weekend will be like the James Bond film, ’Thunderball’, and will lean heavily on the big screen Holmes productions of the past.
“It’s like a Basil Rathbone,” says Mark. “It’s absolutely crazy.”
Whatever they think of the current series, fans should savour every moment, with both Steven and Mark agreeing that much work will have to be done before another story makes its way to screen.
Steven explains in next week’s Radio Times: “Because we love Sherlock the way we do, we don’t want to keep it going past its natural term. There was a fairly long time we thought series four might not happen. Then Mark and I sat down, got very excited about some ideas, and in time pitched them to Sue [Vertue, the producer], then to Benedict and Martin. Only then, with a clear view, did we all decide to get back to work. The same has to happen again — we have to be excited. We have to think of stories we can’t bear not to make.”
Expect this news to prompt a howl of anguish from fans, still reeling first from Mary’s dramatic death in Episode 1, and then the bizarre twists that caught most of them on the hope in Episode 2.
How DID the producers make sure that no one spotted that Watson’s therapist was also the woman hanging out with Sherlock, AND Watson’s flirtation on the bus? It seems so obvious now, but the producers admit they used every trick in the book to deflect their viewer’s attention from realising actress Sian Brooke was playing three separate characters.
Steven Moffat explained at a recent screening of the episodes:
“In terms of the frame, the shots…it’s your first look at Toby Jones as [villain] Culverton Smith, so your eyes drift to him…it’s your first look at druggy Sherlock Holmes, your eyes drift to him…you’re constantly looking.
“When you go back and look at that – talk about plain sight, right there! That’s two different women, and there’s one woman playing them.”
The director of the episodes where we first encountered Euros Holmes, Nick Hurran, explained his contribution to the mystery:
“Either you shoot from above, or in any of the transitions you delay how quickly you put the two together, apart from when you want to then tell that story.”
For Mark Gatiss, the therapist’s glasses were key to her disappearing into the scene.
“Actually it’s strange, blank glasses help, they sort of wipe out that bit. Quite often you only see sort of white rectangles.”
‘Sherlock’ concludes this Sunday evening at 9pm on BBC One. You can read the full interview with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss in next week’s Radio Times, on sale now.