SDCC 2013: Sherlock Panel

So, I just went to the Sherlock panel, and you guys? It was fantastic! The bad news is Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman couldn't be there. They both filmed greetings for us, though. I wrote out a long description, and then found out they released the video  online, so I'm including it below. The good news is that since they weren't there, we didn't have to waste too much time waiting for the screams of fangirls to die down. Anyway, Steven Moffatt (co-creator, executive producer), Mark Gatiss (co-creator, executive producer, Mycroft), and Sue Vertue (executive producer) were there, and they are super fun and interesting.

They dove right into last season's cliffhanger: How did he survive? They aren't telling, but they did know how it worked before they filmed it, so they aren't just flying by the seat of their pants. It is a rational answer, not black magic. Depsite reports that Andrew Scott was back on set to film scenes for the third season, they swear Moriarty is actually dead. "What, did they fake suicide at each other? Were you faking? I was faking, too!" That's not going to happen. As for speculation that he can't be dead because they didn't show the back off his head come off--sorry to say they just aren't allowed to show that level of violence on BBC1.

Moffatt knows people are excited to learn how Sherlock managed it, but he doesn't think it's that interesting. That's just an answer. But when John Watson realizes that Sherlock is alive, when they come face to face again? "That moment is electrifying." And it's funny. Moffatt calls it "the showstopper of the season."

Moffatt always gives hints about what Sherlock Holmes stories the next season will hit, and for Season 3, he's said, "Rat, Wedding, and Bow." The first episode is called "The Empty Hearse" and is very slightly based on "The Adventures of the Empty House." It is mostly an exploration of the affect of Sherlock's "death" and reappearance on the people who loved him. The writers realized that there would be a lot of fallout from the events of last season, but they couldn't spend all of this season talking about last season, so it sounds like they're going to deal with it in this episode.

Episode 2 is called "The Sign of Three," and seems to focus on Watson's wedding, and you guys? They showed us a clip, and it was amazing! They asked us not to even tell anyone about it, but eff that noise! We're at Watson's wedding reception, and Sherlock is beginning his toast. Yeah, amazing. He begins awkwardly (of course), "John… John Watson…" and explains that when Watson asked him to be his best man, he was confused. Then it flashes back, to Watson walking in on Sherlock appleying a blowtorch to a disembodied eyeball, which he promptly dips in his cup of tea. Watson says that they need to talk about the best man, and Sherlock starts going on and on about who he thinks the best man is. Watson interrupts and says he means the best man at his wedding. Sherlock starts talking about one of Watson's friends, Watson says not him, then another, Watson says that he isn't his best friend, and says that at his wedding he wants the two people who are closest to him and mean the most to him by his side, and tells Sherlock that it's him. Sherlock's jaw drops. Cut back to the wedding, and Sherlock is explaining his reaction, how he told him how he was touched and honored… cut back to Sherlock still standing there, speechless. He knew it would be an important and difficult task… cut to Sherlock, still standing there, speechless. Sherlock says he then realized he hadn't said anything out loud. Sherlock accepts, and promptly drinks the eyeball tea.

They didn't tell us much about the third episode, although when someone asked if season 3 ends with a cliffhanger, Moffatt said the audience will be thinking, "They wouldn't stop it there? No… they wouldn't stop it there? Oh dear God, they wouldn't stop it there?!" And then that will go on for awhile…

That's most of the important stuff, but here are some odds and ends:

  • The plane full of corpses was filled with real people who were all asleep. In the middle of a good take, one of them started and let out a big snort.
  • If Sherlock, the Doctor, and Batman were all trying to solve a crime, Batman wouldn't have a shot, but the crime would probably go unsolved while Sherlock and the Doctor had a "bitchfight." Then Moffat clarified that he likes Batman, he just doesn't have a job on his show.
  • Sherlock isn't really a sociopath, but he finds it a convenient excuse to do whatever he wants. He may have believed he was, but meeting Moriarty made him realize how different they were. He was also humanized by his friendship with John.
  • The terrible horrible no good very bad long breaks between seasons may actually allow the show to continue for a long time. The actors have plenty of time to pursue other projects and then come back to the show refreshed. So, silver lining-ish?
  • Cumberbatch and Freeman have a natural chemistry, and it was apparent from the first time they read together. Then they all laughed about making the two biggest stars in the UK audition for them.
  • If Mark Gatiss could say anything to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it would be, "Thank you, but Spiritualism isn't true."

Season 3 of Sherlock will be coming to PBS in early 2014.

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