SDCC 2013: Investigating The 'Sherlock' Press Room


Mark Gatiss, Sue Vertue, Steven Moffat

By Amber Lena

Everyone was jittery inside the "Sherlock" press room at San Diego Comic-Con as we awaited the arrival of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue. However, we can't say the same for the show creators themselves. It was smooth sailing for the trio as they moved from interview to interview, laughing all the while. While they were adamant about not revealing any series three spoilers, we got the insider information regarding what we can expect from Sherlock's return, what it's like on set with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and exactly what Mark Gatiss thinks about Mystrade.

First up was the married couple, Steven and Sue.

MTV Geek: Sherlock obviously has a huge fan following; everyone's waiting for season 3. Season 2 was nothing short of devastating for fans. Can we expect the reunion to be just as gut-wrenching?

Steven Moffat: I think it's quite gut-wrenching in the middle of it this time. [laughs]

Sue Vertue: Oh it's a roller coaster.

Moffat: There's some big old emotions going around this time; there always is on Sherlock. It's the interaction of an extraordinary man and the real world that causes havoc wherever he goes. And the people he walks among are all--you can forget this--they're all quite mad themselves. Even the landlady.

Geek: Fans are just passionate about Sherlock, and I don't know if you've seen the online community; a lot of people actually curse your name for inspiring so many emotions. Have you gotten any crazy fan reactions in person, anyone screaming at you on the street?

Moffat: It hasn't got to that stage, and I hope it doesn't. I'd be quite happy if people didn't scream at me in the street.

Vertue: They say nice things too.

Moffat: Generally speaking in the street, if I go out and someone recognizes me, then it's very nice. They don't usually shake their fist at me. [laughs]

Geek: So, we've seen some of the behind the scenes pictures--what are Benedict and Martin actually like on set? Are they just joking around all the time or do they get down to business?

Vertue: You are talking about about the grapes in the eyes pic?

Geek: Definitely the grape picture!

Vertue: They're getting more and more relaxed, aren't they, and therefore getting funnier and funnier.

Moffat: I think the big difference this year is--when they improv a bit within the scene, it's very funny. They used to be absolutely just, "Oh, no, let's just cut the improv, it's rubbish," but the jokes they're coming up with in 'The Sign of Three' which Benedict, which I think is great, in character, Sherlock Holmes saying something. And I think well "Just keep that, we love that one."

Vertue: But also the read through, actually, the first one they came in, it was Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, and they were quite nervous. I think the second series, it was quite a weight on their shoulders because they suddenly knew that they were Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. And then the third series they kind of rested into it. They're quite happy with [it].

Moffat: It feels like a national institution in such a short time. It feels like… a bit like that.

Geek: Steven, obviously you're sitting on a lot right now. You've got the big reveal of Sherlock's return and the Twelfth Doctor. What's it like for you to have all this information and not be able to tell anyone?

Moffat: I find not telling people a daily pleasure.

Geek: Do you laugh maniacally every time someone asks?

Moffat: No, I smile. No, it's good, it's good to know stuff. I don't find it difficult not to tell people, and that's not because of me, it's just that it would be a very boring way of finding out, wouldn't it? What do you want, do you want to watch Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith and exciting action or do you want some middle-aged man droning away at you? How'd you want to find out?

Geek: Any last words you'd like to give the fans?

Moffat: Oh, please, just keep watching. Please keep theorizing even when we've told you the truth. [laughs]

Next up was writer, producer, and Mycroft himself, Mark Gatiss. We are happy to report that he is, in fact, incredibly tall in person.

MTV Geek: You have the very unique position of being a writer, producer, and actor in Sherlock. What is that like for you?

Mark Gatiss: Exhausting. It's very good because uh I try to be there as much as I possibly can behind the camera. It's really useful to be able to you know actors have a story,  a question, and things come up. it's very useful to be there and be able to give answers. And then obviously if I'm in a scene, I can do the same thing on both sides, and also if it comes to it, rewrite it very quickly and not have to ask anybody. [laughs].

Geek: You've been online and probably seen the tumblr and twitter reactions. What's the craziest fan reaction you've seen?

Gatiss: Well I don''t really look very much. I'm on twitter but I  think it's like listening at a door. If you don't' want to hear anything bad about yourself, don't listen. For everyone who thinks you're the best thing in the world, there'll be someone who hates you. It's not something I go into that way. I've had lots of letters and I've seen some things. People have very elaborate theories about his fate in series 2 and all kinds of things. It's actually very heartening because there's lots of people writing, lots of people creating. Whatever they're writing, it's rather nice. That's how I started. I would write stories about Doctor Who or my other favorite shows because I wanted to contribute so it's a similar sort of thing.

Geek: Mystrade. Are you familiar with Mystrade?

Gatiss: I am aware of the concept. I have to say that I'm very flattered. I think most the world would like to kiss Rupert Graves. But I have nothing more to say on that subject.

Geek: You've recently been cast in Game of Thrones. Can you tell us anything about that.

Gatiss: Can't tell you a thing.

Geek: Can't tell us what character you're playing?

Gatiss: Nope.

Geek: Not even for us?

Gatiss: Nope. Not allowed, not allowed.

Geek: Obviously fans get very into Sherlock. Many have accused you of "destroying their feelings". What would you like to say to those fans?

Gatiss: Well, I haven't. We haven't. Conan Doyle made everyone wait ten years to find out what happened to him. We left it five minutes between saying he was dead and saying he's not dead. I think that's not cruel. I think it's actually quite kind.

Geek: Well any last words you would like to say to--

Gatiss: What, for when I die?

Geek: No, no, to your fans.

Gatiss: Someone said do you have any spare change and I said I dunno, I'm still alive. [laughs]

Geek: Well it's been great talking with you, thank you so much.

Gatiss: Thank you very much.

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