[Sherlock IV] Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss PBS Tumblr Q&A

1. What is your favorite quote from Sherlock?
A joke Mark wrote, And cut. I put it in a couple of my episodes, but it got cut again. It’s my favourite, but it doesn’t exist! SM

2. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Write a lot. All the time. Why are you still here, why aren’t you writing??? SM

3. How much does Sally hate Sherlock?

She doesn’t hate him any more. We wrote the scenes, but we couldn’t make the schedule work with Vinette Robinson. We had a rather nice scene actually, so damn! SM

4. If you could travel back in time and meet Arthur Conan Doyle, what would you tell him?


5. What is Sherlock most afraid to lose?

His keys. There’s a reason why that window in the kitchen is broken. -Mark

6. Without any spoiler what can we expect in this new season? I mean what we the fans can expect about Sherlock and he’s relationship with he’s brother? for example.

Spoiler free answer: you can expect three episodes. SM

7. How are Sherlock and John spending christmas this year?

Watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Return Of Doctor Mysterio, on Christmas Day. SM

8. How has your childhood influenced your writing?

My writing IS my childhood. SM

9. It’s been three years what gives!

It hasn’t. It’s been less than a year since the special. Why can’t anyone count anymore? -Mark

10. I’m just curious if you guys realise that you’ve literally created a cult? Like, I love the show, don’t get me wrong because it’s absolutely excellent, but the fandom scares me.

Don’t be scared – fandoms are good. You’ll meet friends you’ll keep, long after the show is over. SM

11. What did you think when you read the first book about Sherlock?

I was instantly hooked. I just loved the combination of adventure, crime, thrills and romance – and I’ve been hooked ever since. -Mark

12. Which scene would You show to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle if You could?

Either the deduction scene about the phone for A Study In Pink, or the client scene from The Hounds Of Baskerville – I think between them they sum up the update. Then I’d expect him to punch us both. Then we’d say “Yeah, but at least we’re not dead, so we’re basically ahead.” SM

13. Are you aware of the Souperwholock? Is that a kind of soup?

I like Heinz tomato since you’re asking. -Mark

14. Favorite quote from the show?

“All lives end, all hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.” -Mark

15. Are you content with the demons you have created?

Largely. I created one in my basement the other night, who has threatened to destroy all humanity unless I feed him human flesh and oreos. -Mark

16. Other than sherlock, what’s your current favorite tv series?

Doctor Who – SM

17. Why are you like this?

When mummy and daddy love each other, they sometimes do a kind of special kissing. 9 months later, presto! -Mark

18. You really like trolling people, don’t you?

I liked it when the 3 billy goats Gruff walked over my house. -Mark


You are wise in your generation. -Mark

20. Did you ever have writer’s block and if so how did you get past it?

Yes, sort of. Writing can be very hard. I usually take a long, hot bath if I get stuck, but often the moment that makes the difference arrives when you’re thinking about something entirely different. -Mark

21. How far in advance do you plan everything? Like did you know exactly what you wanted for series four at the start (I’m not talking about big things, but like smaller details, like Redbeard)

Some things have been planned for a long time, others sort of fell into place as if we’d planned them. SM

22. I want to be among the people who were lucky enough to touch Sherlock’s hair. Is that too much to ask?

Yes. And creepy. -Mark

23. I’m kinda bitter actually. I had almost forgotten that I’m still waiting for season 4 until this showed up on my dash. I don’t even know what to ask, really.

That’s a shame, because you were the one person I was definitely gong to tell the truth to. Missed the window!! SM

24. Is Irene Adler still alive?

Yes. Sherlock rescued her. How can you doubt the man?? SM

25. How does Sherlock feel about John and Mary’s baby?

He’s very pleased for them, or as pleased as someone of his rarified personality can be. A baby to him is like a case to be solved, and babies don’t respond to logic. They throw up their dinner all the time. Alimentary. -Mark

26. What is the Sherlock script of which you are most proud of and why?

Normally I answer A Scandal In Belgravia, which I kind of think is the best thing I’ve ever written. But The Final Problem (co-written with Mark) might be edging ahead. Let’s see what you all think … SM

27. In the teaser, does sherlock say i love you to John?

John is clearly standing behind him in the trailer, so unless he’s talking to a mirror for some very bizarre reason, I should think not. -Mark

28. Is John Watson with Mary because he loves she?

Yes, of course. Dr Watson has been an honourable gentleman for over a hundred years, there could be no other explanation. SM

29. How painful do you rate this new season for us, the fans?

Not painful at all. Well, not before January anyway. SM

30. Do you have a new favourite character in the series?

Toby Jones plays this year’s big baddie. It’s a brilliant performance. Funny and chilling. We can’t wait for everyone to see it. -Mark

31. When are we going to get a new episode??? My friends love your show and they won’t stop pestering me about it. I would watch it but I’m worried about getting hooked on something that won’t come out for a while. Please restart your series!

There are three new ones coming out very soon. You must start watching it immediately. There are hidden warnings about the future of humanity, and if you don’t watch you won’t be safe. Your life is in your hands. -SM

32. “Did you miss me?”

Very much. -Mark

33. Any plans for series five? Can we expect it before 2100? Before 9 o’clock?

I doubt it. -Mark

34. What is your favourite character trait of Sherlock?

He always says the exact words we write down for him, More people should do that. SM

35. Why DO U write it???

It’s the terms of my probation. If I don’t do one series every 2 years, I get sent back to Sing Sing. -Mark

36. How will this season’s villain(s) differ from those in past seasons? Not dead. SM

Is it fun to play Mycroft? Yes very much. It’s a gift of a part, and occasionally a GIF. -Mark

37. Do you prefer tea or coffee?

Coffee. Mark handles the tea. SM

38. Have you seen a lot of the Sherlock parodies? Do you like them?

Yes, and we loved many of them. LOVED the Cardinal Burns one. Hillywood was excellent (except for the fat bloke at the end) and there was a brilliant musical one about Sherlock meeting Matt Smith’s Doctor. It’s an honour to influence such brilliant people. -SM

39. Why are there so many elephants?

Are there a lot of elephants? Do you mean in the world? I think they’re endangered, like giraffes, which have suddenly become endangered. I think perhaps we should have more giraffes in Sherlock. That’ll save them. -Mark

40. Will there be a season 4???

This is season 4. Pay attention. -Mark

41. WTF.

I agree. -Mark

42. Did “Sherlock” change your lives in any way? If so, how?

We all know how special this is. Shows like this hardly ever happen, and you could have a perfectly successful, happy career without anything on this scale. So we are grateful and a bit astonished. Can’t say how it changed my life, except that it definitely made it better – SM

43. Would you consider yourselves nerds?

Yes. Proud nerds, but nerds who have actually made a career of the things they love. We’re all nerds about something. The trick is to embrace that and try to make something for other people to be nerds about. -Mark

44. When are you going to stop killing off characters just to bring them back? It’s so boring do something creative for once.

Who do you mean? Sherlock Holmes was killed and brought back by Arthur Conan Doyle and Moriarty is dead. I don’t know what you’re talking about. -Mark

45. Does the constant speculation that surrounds your program ever bother you? Some viewers can be pretty passionate. Ordinarily, I imagine that’s a good thing, but is it off putting for you and/or those involved with the show?

We have to hide away and make the show we want to make, not the show anyone thinks we ought to. That’s how we made it a hit in the first place – no plans to change a process that has worked so well. SM

46. Am I going to cry a lot?

Throughout your life? Probably. This is a veil of tears. The important thing is to enjoy yourself and do as much as you can in the time you have. Be kind. -Mark

47. When will you stop?

When we die. That goes for all of us. You too. Remember that. -Mark

48. Who is Sherlock saying “I love you” to in the trailer?

His mum, obviously. He doesn’t ring home often enough and usually forgets her birthday. He’s a very naughty boy. -Mark

49. Describe “The Final Problem” in 3 words.

The. Final. Problem. -Mark

50. What’s your favorite original sherlock story by Arthur Conan Doyle?

The Bruce-Partington Plans. It’s got everything. Secret plans, London underground German spies and a submarine. What’s not to love? -Mark

51. Which do you think is the best episode of Sherlock? And which season?

The next one. -Mark

52. I love you.

I love you too, but this isn’t working out. It’s not you, it’s me. -Mark

53. How emotionally prepared should I be for this new episode because it’s been years and I’m still not ready.

It hasn’t been years. The last episode was on January of this year! -Mark

54. I just love how “December 1963” has a line “I didn’t even know her name”…. and next episode John says to Mary he doesn’t need to know her real name… Was that song choice though out? Because I can’t believe this could be a coincidence.

You know what? It’s a coincidence. Your theory is much cleverer than reality. – SM

55. What do you think is the aspect in which TV Show’s Sherlock is more different from book’s Sherlock?

Our version is generally extremely faithful to the stories at least in spirit. The chief heresy is to make it modern day. Although we’ve played fast and loose with many aspects, if you know your Sherlock Holmes, you know that we do too. -Mark

56. Why aren’t people talking about the fact that Mary actually killed Sherlock?? He flatlined? His heart stOPPED!

I think, probably, because he’s not dead. Just a guess. – SM

57. Will you ever give Molly a good love interest?

I’m tired of seeing her bark up the wrong tree. She has had a love interest. She was engaged and it didn’t work out. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of happiness later on, but life is full of surprises. Some good, some bad. -Mark

58. Does Benedict have any strange habits or food preferences that you are willing to share?

Yes. It’s a little known fact that Benedict can only eat ghosts, which he lightly fries between scenes. -Mark

59. Hi! Sherlock says “I love you”. We knew him as a sociopath that feels protected alone. We know that he feels love or a sense of caring, but he has never showed it. What is going to change?

He SAYS he’s a sociopath – he clearly isn’t. He’s formed several powerful attachments in the show already. Never take anyone to be what they say they are, or you’ll never be a good detective – SM

60. Will there be any references to the original Sherlock Holmes stories in the new season?

Yes, as ever. The episodes are either inspired by, based on or adapted from Doyle’s originals, but we pick and choose the elements that we like. Episode 2, for instance, contains the bare bones of the Dying Detective but goes in a totally new direction. -Mark

61. Can you tell us the fourth season with just one word?

On. -Mark

62. Will Sherlock ever mention or address the dangers of climate change?

If we came up with a story that involves the notion of it, then certainly, but Sherlock is an entertainment series that exists in a slightly exaggerated version of our own universe and doesn’t really deal with “issues”. -Mark

63. Why do you guys like to break my heart 😥 You never returned my calls. -Mark

What’s the weirdest thing a fans ever done to you? This. -Mark

64. Are you completely against the idea of Sherlock having a relationship with John? If so, what are your reasons?

Of course we’re not against it. But as we have explained many times, that’s not the story that we want to tell. Obviously as a gay man myself, I have no problem with the notion that a Sherlock Holmes and a Doctor Watson could be in a relationship together, but ours aren’t. It’s as simple as that. Sherlock is clearly capable of feeling emotion and of falling for someone, but that someone is not John Watson, despite his love and great affection for him. -Mark

65. Why did you make Moriarti look like an idiot?

Because I’m so clever. – SM

66. Ever thought about making a moriarty spinoff? I would like to know about his beginnings.

No we haven’t considered one. He’s dead! So we know how the story ends. It’s always boring to do a story when we know how the story ends. SM

67. How do you handle the pressure of having to consistently produce super high quality television?

The real pressure would come from having produced a failure! We just make the show we want to make. And I’m very glad that other people like it. But we don’t allow thoughts of its global success to intrude as I think that would affect how we create it. -Mark

68. What is your favourite villian of the whole series?

Sherlock Holmes. SM

69. If Mary dies like she does in the books, can we expect John to move back into baker street with the baby?

There is no actual evidence that Mary dies in the books. It’s perfectly possible that Doctor Watson went through a messy divorce. -Mark

70. What is it like knowing you have created a wonderful Sherlock universe made in such a way that anyone can enjoy?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes and we are just lucky enough to be holding the keys to Baker Street for a while. The success of our version though is amazing and humbling. It’s wonderful to think it has brought so many people together and given them so many moments of happiness. Long may it continue. -Mark

71. Don’t you think writers are evil?

They are underpaid. That’s evil. -Mark

72. When u gonna make it gay?

When you say it, please specify it. Do you mean Steven King’s it? With Pennywise the clown? Or the it from five children and it by E. Nesbitt? I’m not sure either It needs to be gayer than they already are. -Mark

73. How much do you draft scripts before you get to the final copy?

Anything between about 8 and 10 drafts. Maybe more depending on how nightmarish the writing process has become. -Mark

74. What would Sherlock looks like if he were playing Pokémon knowing that he’s an expert in the field of deduction?

He’d look bored because he would have already deduced where all the pokemon were without leaving the house.



77. Do you think you will make any more special episodes, like you did with the Victorian Christmas special? I would love to see more.

It depends on what we do next. Steven and I joked about doing a black and white episode set in the 40s where they fight the Nazis. It’s unlikely, but you never know. -Mark


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