You know what the problem is with making a television series with seasons that are only three episodes long? (Besides everything.) You’ve no sooner gotten psyched up for the new season when all of a sudden it’s over, without even a whisper of when it will be back.
That’s how I felt aboutÂ SherlockÂ the moment that the final episode of the third season wrapped up this past Sunday. It was great that the show was so short and manageable while I was catching up with it on YouTube, but now that I’ve caught up to real time, I almost wish I hadn’t, because I’m so utterly overwhelmed by how long I might have to wait for season four. After all, wasn’t it like two years in between seasons two and three? I CANNOT DO THAT.
But luckily in addition to there already being talk of season four, there are also a lot of ways to occupy your time untilÂ Benedict CumberbatchÂ andÂ Martin FreemanÂ return to us as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson again. And one of those ways is by keeping up-to-date on what the show’s creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, are saying about itÂ over atÂ Collider.
Oh and before I get too deep into this, just know that if you haven’t finished season three, there are gonna be spoilers about it. So proceed at your own risk.
In regards to the twist involving Mary Morstan, played byÂ Amanda Abbington:
“The Mary thing is interesting.Â The reason you didnât spot it is because you liked her.Â We put the audience in the position of Sherlock Holmes.Â All the evidence is absolutely under your nose.Â Itâs all there.Â Sheâs far too calm under pressure.Â No human being would be like that.Â She immediately likes Sherlock Holmes, which is the sure sign of a maniac.Â But all the audience is thinking is, âWell, thank god, sheâs not a drag.Â Thank god, sheâs fun,â instead of thinking, âWhat sort of person is that?Â Thatâs not a nurse.Â Sheâs something other than a nurse.âÂ So, when she turns around and points a gun at Sherlock, itâs the two things you really want.Â Itâs a surprise, but you also think, âI should have seen that!Â Of course!Â She had to be!”
So interesting to think about. As is their approach to women on the show in general:
“One of the interesting things aboutÂ Sherlock, as a show, is that we want to stick very close to the style and approach of the original stories, but the one big problem is that there are no women, and what women do turn up are not that great. [...]Â I sometimes forget that Mrs. Hudson doesnât really speak in the original, and weâve given her a big part. [...] And Molly wasnât even in the original stories, but she just worked so well that we kept her, and sheâs developed so hugely.Â [...] Mary, in some ways, is the most interesting perspective of all.Â The thing thatâs occurred to me recently is that what is consistently true of all the women who meet Sherlock Holmes is that they see through him much faster.Â John [Watson] is still pretty much enthralled with the act, [but] all the women he meets decode him so fast.Â Mrs. Hudson just thinks heâs a spoiled brat, who she quite likes.Â Irene [Adler] gets it totally.Â She can close him down with a smile, and she gets that.Â Molly, initially, was awestruck, but so quickly got what he is.Â So, bringing the female perspective onto Sherlock is brilliant, I think. It works so well.”
As do the additions of the show’s villains, most recently Charles Augustus Magnussen, plays by Lars Mikkelsen.
“One of the interesting things about Sherlock Holmes is that you donât necessarily need a villain. Moriarty actually only appears in one story, [and] there are a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories without any villains at all. Most of the Sherlock Holmes stories are intriguing little puzzles; sometimes they donât even involve a crime.Â Itâs quite important to remember that Sherlock Holmes must function without a master criminal.Â And indeed, we were quite careful with Magnussen to say that heâs not a master criminal.Â Heâs not very nice.Â Heâs a bad man, but he hasnât got a plan.Â He isnât about to hollow out the core of the planet and pilot it into space, or anything.Â Heâs just getting some money.Â Thatâs the only evil plan that anyoneâs ever had.”
I think that’s such a smart way to approach a show’s antagonist — especially on something as modern and realistic asÂ Sherlock. But why don’t you shut up now and tell us about Jim Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott, who seems to maybe be alive again somehow?
“Well, youâre going to have to wait and see what weâre gonna do.Â This is not a whim.Â This is the longest term plan weâve had.Â There are some things that you change, at the last minute.Â You think, âOh, we could do this instead.âÂ But, the Moriarty plan has been in place since the end of the first [season], let alone the end of the second [season].Â Itâs a good plan.Â It works.Â My son worked it out, so that was quite good.Â No one else has.Â He was getting hassled by someone at school who was saying, âYour dad doesnât let anyone stay dead.âÂ So, he came home and said, âDad, is it this?,â and I said, âYeah, thatâs what it is.âÂ Itâs all perfectly logical, and I think people will like it.”
Oh perfect. Now I’ve been outsmarted by a grade-schooler. That feels great.