When ’Sherlock’ Series 4 debuted this weekend, tucked in between all the hype and the hurrahs, there were some lone but loud voices in the wilderness, complaining about the focus of fisticuffs over fine thinking.
One critic in the Guardian summed up the fears of many that, particularly with Benedict Cumberbatch’s blossoming superhero big screen status and the show’s success being rewarded with ever bigger budgets, ‘Sherlock’ may be at risk of moving away from the cerebral hero of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, and being transformed by writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss into a small-screen James Bond.
Some viewers of ‘The Six Thatchers’ were dismayed by Sherlock’s fight in a swimming pool with his would-be assailant, quickly followed by a flashback scene of special ops in Georgia, led by John Watson’s wife Mary in her previous life as a gun-for-hire.
However, Mark Gatiss - who you might think would be too busy and successful to worry about such criticisms - has felt fit to defend the script he co-pens with Steven Moffat.
Not only does he point out, thoroughly, that Sherlock’s physicality is there for all to read in the original books by Conan Doyle, he also gives plenty of examples… oh, and does it in verse.
Dedicated to “an undiscerning critic”, Mark’s poem accuses him of “ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction”.
Here is a critic who says with low blow
Sherlock’s no brain-box but become double-O.
Says the Baker St boy is no man of action –
whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction.
The Solitary Cyclist sees boxing on show,
The Gloria Scott and The Sign of the Fo’
The Empty House too sees a mention, in time, of Mathews,
who knocked out poor Sherlock’s canine.
There’s plenty more - you can read the full poem here.
Who knew Mark Gatiss was a poet to add to his many other skills between acting, writing, producing? He obviously had a quiet ten minutes to spare.
‘Sherlock’ fans were equally shocked by the shock murder of one of the show’s most beloved characters in the first of the new series.
Steven Moffat explained this decision at a recent screening, saying:
“Mary’s been dead for 100 years so it’s hard to surprise people in those circumstances. So the only thing we could do was do it earlier than people thought. So that it would happen as wrenchingly and as horrifically as such things happen in real life, so that’s what we went for.”
‘Sherlock’ continues on Sunday evening, in what is still feared by some to be the last series in the phenomenon.