By Amber Lena
“Sherlock” is at San Diego Comic Con for the first time ever, and the fans have turned out en masse. Show creators (and destroyers of your feelings), Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, were joined by producer Sue Vertue in a panel moderated by James Hibberd. As one of the most highly-anticipated panels of Comic-Con, we expected nothing less than sheer madness. We are happy to say that we were not disappointed.
The screams were nothing short of deafening when Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, and Steven Moffat were introduced. The Sherlockians were certainly out in force at SDCC; the room was absolutely packed.
Of course there was some disappointment at the absence of show stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. James Hibberd beings by asking if Benedict and Martin are absent due to their lack of love for everyone at Comic-Con. Moffat easily quips “Well one’s a high-functioning sociopath and the other one is a hobbit.”
Fans were treated to a short video from Martin Freeman in his Bilbo hair and prosthetic ears, encouraging fans to rip the clothes off of Gatiss and Moffat while at Comic-Con. The video both began and ended with tremendous roars from the audience, topped only by the screams when Benedict’s clip was announced.
It was impossible to hear the beginning of Benedict’s video due to the level of the noise created by the fangirls and fanboys. Benedict casually mentions his various other projects, feigning ignorance as to what he’s there to talk about. He’s a comedic delight and the fans react well to his video, which is very light-hearted. He then proceeds to explain how Sherlock survived the fall using stuffed monkeys as props. The signal, of course, is conveniently lost resulting in nothing but static and Benedict making ridiculous faces at the camera. We loved every second of it.
One of the first things mentioned is the infamous Reichenbach fall. Moffat confirms what we’ve known all along: that he finds the fan reactions and all the speculation regarding how Sherlock survived to be amusing. He clearly takes great delight in our confusion and misery.
Gatiss mentions that no black magic saved Sherlock. “There’s only a few ways to fall off a roof and survive,” he points out, a statement which will no doubt add fuel to the fire of fan speculation.
Moffat postulates that out of everything that happens in the first episode of season three, fans will be most excited to see John and Sherlock meet again. He goes on to say that the lengthy reunion sequence is his favorite that they’ve made in the show so far, describing it as a “show stopper”.
When asked if Andrew would be back to shoot any more scenes as Moriarty, Moffat and Gatiss joke that it was cheaper to hire Andrew to play a dead body than it was to get an actual mannequin. They go on to confirm that Moriarty is, in fact, dead, and will not be coming back. “He shot himself in the face, what more do you want? Do you think they were up on that rooftop to fake suicide each other?” Moffat asks the crowd.
Though the fourth season of “Sherlock” had not yet been confirmed, Benedict Cumberbatch announced some time ago that fans could expect a series four. The panel jokes that Benedict is the most difficult to get signed on to a new season, so if he said it’s going to happen then it must be going to happen. Moffat go on to mention that Benedict should announce other things on the red carpet. “Mark and I would quite like knighthoods,” he says.
As fans are all aware, Amanda Abbington has joined the cast of Sherlock as John’s girlfriend and eventual wife, Mary Morstan. The panel confirms that yes, Abbington is playing Mary. “Hot off the presses from 110 years ago, John does get married to Mary Morstan,” Moffat says.
Comic-Con attendees were given a special sneak peak at episode two of season three. While warned not to reveal the details, we can say that may have involved a consulting detective giving a special speech at a very important event. We’ll let your imagination fill in the details!
Then it was time for the fan Q&A. Questions included what story they would most like to adapt in the future. “I’d like to do The Red-headed League!” Gatiss exclaims. Other questions include inquiries about Benedict’s recent physical transformation for Khan (the panel mentions that Benedict is only getting better looking–the audience agrees), whether Sherlock will have any romance in the new season (a decided no; “He’d poison his girlfriend just to see if it worked!” Moffat remarks), and pleads for Benedict as the Master. No comment was made on that last one.
Once the subject of “Doctor Who” is brought up, Hibberd can’t resist asking about the 12th doctor, specifically whether or not this incarnation would be a woman. Mirroring Benedict’s earlier video, Moffat feigns a microphone malfunction. No answers regarding “Doctor Who” yet.
Upon the panel’s conclusion, James Hibbard announces that season three of Sherlock will be premiering sometime in early 2014. The cheers are decidedly unenthusiastic and marked with demands that it air earlier. Nevertheless, the fans still cheered for the three panelists and refrained from cursing Moffat’s name.