Sherlock season finale chat with co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss
Monday May 21, 2012
Mark Gatiss: 'Evening all.
Ruth Spencer: Hi Everyone!
Ruth Spencer: Just waiting on Steven Moffat to join our Sherlock live chat and loads of questions are piling in already!
Steven Moffat: Hello
Mark Gatiss: You! The second most dangerous man in London!
Ruth Spencer: Great! Hi Steven and Mark -- we have loads of questions here for you. Are you ready to get started?
Mark Gatiss: Yes.
Give me data.
Steven Moffat: You! Previously unknown to science!!
Steven Moffat: Yep, fire awayl No difficult sums
Comment From Hanna
Is there any part of the last two season that you feel extremely satisfied with. Where you thought: yes we nailed it perfectly?
Comment From Caitlyn Roper
Hi! I really want to say how brilliant you both are. I love the writing on the show, but I don't think I could pick just one thing that keeps me coming back to it all. If you could pick one thing that is your favorite about writing an episode, what would it be?
Steven Moffat: Probably the pool scene at the end of The Great Game. And the way it resolved.
Mark Gatiss: All of it! Haha. That's not for us to say, is it? I know how thrilled we were with the end of both series.
Ruth Spencer: I'll keep feeding you questions (a few more general ones before we get to the specifics of last night's finale!)
Steven Moffat: My fave thing about writing is FINISHING. That's really nice. I LOVE that.
Mark Gatiss: There's nothing nice about writing.
Comment From thediscolabirinto
What's your favourite Sherlock Holmes story ?
Comment From Amy
What's your favorite nod to original/previous canon that you've been able to include in an episode of Sherlock?
Comment From Lee
Spectacular version of this delightfully complex character. For the first time ever, I feel emotion when watching a Holmes program. I loved the stories to death as well as Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett but this is the first time I feel something when watching. Thanks to great writing and indescribably sublime acting. Thank you
Comment From Mary
Hi Mark and Steven! Will you consider making a Sherlock convention, if it's possible?
Steven Moffat: Favourite nod: the dogging scene in Baskerville.
Mark Gatiss: I've always loved 'The Red Headed League' and 'The Bruce-Partington Plans' the most. I think. Today.
Steven Moffat: Favourite story: The Speckled Band.
Comment From Lucy
Which one of you would be Sherlock and who would be John?
Steven Moffat: A convention? The screenings have FELT like conventions.
Mark Gatiss: Favourite nod? Too many to count. I'm very proud of 'I'm lost without my blogger'!
Steven Moffat: We're both Watson. Nothing happens very fast .....
Comment From Emily
I just want to thank you guys for Molly Hooper. I really believe she's one of the most inspirational and marvelous female characters, hell, characters in general, on television today. Where did you get the inspiration for her?
Mark Gatiss: Although I'm the only one who grows a moustache.
Comment From Guest
Just to say that I love your female characters (loved how you developed Molly and Mrs H this series) and would like to see more of them. Has Sarah been permanently written out (I miss her)? And will we be seeing more of Sally in Series 3?
Steven Moffat: Emotion: thankyou. I think it's bringing the character into the modern day. Victorians cried when Holmes died, because he was close to them. We've moved him closer to the audience again.
Steven Moffat: Molly: she was a one-off idea, to help introduce Sherlock. But Loo was so good - so clear and individual - that we couldn't resist bringing her back.
Mark Gatiss: John Watson is something of a ladies' man so we do see him having lots of girlfriends! Molly is a fantastic character (I can say that as she's Steven's creation) and it's great to see Sherlock through her eyes.
Comment From Megan
Does it surprise you with how popular Mycroft is by some of the fans? I think I have more theories about his involvement in the Fall than I do about Sherlock!
Comment From Deanna
Thank you so much for your glorious episodes, Steven and Mark! My question is: Which antagonist in the SH canon is your favourite?
Mark Gatiss: Mycroft's popularity doesn't surprise me at all. He is, after all, incredibly beautiful, clever and well-dressed. And beautiful. Did I mention that?
Steven Moffat: Well, I'm delighted - and it's a lot down to my genius collaborator who plays him. I LOVED writing Mycroft in Scandal, he became my key to getting Sherlock. Imagining that past, those children.
Steven Moffat: It's just a shame Mark is ugly and badly dressed.
Comment From Andy
I've heard a theory on how Sherlock faked his death involving anti-gravity, a cat, and buttered toast. Shall we expect the solution to be any more plausible?
Steven Moffat: No.
Mark Gatiss: Which antagonist? Dr Roylott is a good 'un. So many! Time for a Spider Woman, I think!
Comment From Emmy
I have a theory on how Sherlock faked his death regarding the packets of crisps still in his pockets. Plausible?
Steven Moffat: Yes, that's it, you've got it.
Mark Gatiss: Entirely plausible. Were they 'Wotsits'?
Mark Gatiss: Could crisps cushion his fall?
Comment From ruxi
it must have something to do with the tardis. it's the only explanation on how sherlock survived, isn't it?
Mark Gatiss: Maybe the little blue salt bags. Remember them?
Steven Moffat: Oh,no more questions about the fall. We're not tellng - the answer WILL come.
Ruth Spencer: Mark and Steven - we've got loads of possible theories piling in from readers... What can you tell us about how Sherlock faked his death.... anything?
Steven Moffat: He did it cleverly. Very cleverly. And we know, we're not telling - next!!
Comment From Pamela
Will John ever get married? Or is he married to his work/Sherlock now?
Mark Gatiss: Obviously we can tell you nothing! As Wilkie Collins said "Make them cry, make them laugh, make them WAIT".
Comment From Stephanie Verzelen
PLEASE WE'RE DYING HERE GIVE US SOMETHING.
Comment From Melanie
Have you guys ever thought about having John and Molly date?
Steven Moffat: Sherlock is married to his work. I'm not sure John is. But as to what happens, we really aren't going to tell you. Surprises don't work if you know about them in advance, and good stories have surprises.
Comment From K
When will Season 3 likely be shown in the U.S.? Late 2013? Early 2014?
Mark Gatiss: John is married to his wok. he's a big fan of Chinese food.
Steven Moffat: I'm not sure Molly is able to retain John in her memory any time she breaks eye contact with him. Like the Silence in Doctor Who
Mark Gatiss: I don't think John's Molly's type.She tends to go for the unattainable.
Comment From Laura
The comedy moments in Sherlock are fantastic... what's your favourite quip or moment so far?
Steven Moffat: Power complex from Scandal. But actually, that was Mark's idea.
Comment From Jieun Lee
Other than your own fabulous rendition, what was your favorite adaptation of Sherlock Holmes?
Mark Gatiss: I really love the bit in 'Reichenbach' when the judge warns Sherlock to keep his mouth shut and Benedict just takes a deep breath and there's a hard cut to him going to the cells!
Mark Gatiss: The Rathbone/Bruce films are our favourites. Plus the Billy Wilder film.
Steven Moffat: I like the updated Rathbones very much, but the best is The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes, which is genius. The only genius Sherlock Holmes film.
Comment From Cecalie
Any hints on what canon stories will be used as inspiration for season 3? (Other than The Empty House)
Steven Moffat: No.
Mark Gatiss: But there's so much to love in so many versions. The earlier Brett ones (particularly) are gorgeous. And I've a very soft spot for Douglas Wilmer.
Mark Gatiss: Nope.
Comment From Aimee
What is the funniest thing that has gone wrong on set?
Steven Moffat: Yep, love the early Brett.
Mark Gatiss: Funniest thing on set? probably the monkey in the Baskerville lab erm...pleasuring himself!
Steven Moffat: Benedict fell over in that sheet. What was funny is that he went down, trapped arms, flat on his face. And everybody just laughed!
Ruth Spencer: Steven and Mark --- To return briefly to an earlier question: do either of you know when will Season 3 likely be shown in the U.S.? Late 2013? Early 2014?
Steven Moffat: It will be next year, I think, but when, we don't know.
Mark Gatiss: Not a clue! Depends when it's shown in the UK, I suppose. And that'll be up to the BBC schedulers.
Ruth Spencer: Thx! Onwards....
Comment From Charlotte
Which actor/actress would you most like to guest star in Sherlock and why?
Steven Moffat: Comes down to casting the right people. Character first!
Mark Gatiss: We're really only interested in getting whoever is right for the part. Obviously, it's thrilling that so many people love the show and want to be in it!
Comment From Monika
both of you: Does Sherlock realize how much he's hurting Molly or is it just a game for him to get what he wants?
Steven Moffat: He realises, for the first real time, in Scandal and is instantly gentle. He's not particularly cruel, he just doesn't have the right radar to stop it happening. But he's getting better, and she is one of the few people in the world he rates.
Mark Gatiss: He's gradually learning to behave better around people but he generally doesn't get how much he can hurt others. Sometimes he really does just do it to get what he wants. Like that nice scene in the Bart's canteen when he flirts with Molly...and then his face just...drops. Chilling!
Ruth Spencer: We've got some questions from our readers in the comment section. Here are a couple:
To both, what are your favourite TV shows of the last 10 years?
Did either of you watch The Wire and if so, what did you think of it?
Mark Gatiss: Doctor Who!
I'm afraid I've never seen 'The Wire'. I'm always ten boxsets behind everyone. On a positive note, I'm loving 'Leave it to Beaver'.
Steven Moffat: The West Wing is my favourite show. Loving Breaking Bad right now. There are a ton of BRILLIANT brit comedies at the moment, which are keeping me very happy.
Never watched The Wire, sorry.
Mark Gatiss: Oh and '30 Rock' is GENIUS!!
Steven Moffat: And Doctor Who. Sorry, but, you know, it just IS...
Comment From Lauren
I'm a little confused about the timeline of series 2. Does Hound take place during Scandal? They both seem to be set around christmas time.
Comment From Claire A
Something I've been dying to know, what was in the present (in Scandal), that Molly bought Sherlock for Christmas? I bet he'd be difficult to buy for!
Mark Gatiss: 'Hound' at Christmas? What makes you say that? It's possible it takes place within the time frame of 'Scandal' as that lasts a year but...
Steven Moffat: Well I'd be interested in the time line theories, that's an old standby of Sherlock Holmes fans. We assumed they happened sequentially, but what do we know?
Comment From Julia
Who wrote up John's blog? It's brilliant, especially the comments.
Steven Moffat: No idea what Molly bought. Did Sherlock ever open it, that's the question.... Ohhh!!!
Mark Gatiss: Molly's present? A tantalus, perhaps?
Steven Moffat: Cocaine!!
Mark Gatiss: Joe Lidster writes John's brilliant blog. It's great to parallel the progress of the series in such a funny and interesting way.
Comment From A. Polasek
Have you both seen the recent trailer for CBS's "Elementary" and if so, thoughts?
Steven Moffat: Hard to tell much from a trailer. Rather not comment, cos anything we DO say gets thrown around everywhere.
Mark Gatiss: Yes, we've seen it. Anything we say is bound to be taken out of context, though.
Comment From Jessica C
To both of you. Will we be seeing any other Holmes relatives. Mummy Holmes perhaps?
Steven Moffat: Wait and see. That would be branching out, there's no one else you meet in the stories. But who knows?
Mark Gatiss: Who knows? it's lovely to keep the back story shadowy. Then just leak out little bits here and there.
Ruth Spencer: Here's another couple of questions from the comments section:
Mark, how much does your writing for Sherlock owe to your early days with The League of Gentlemen? Are there any lessons you learned back then that you try to remember when writing Sherlock?
Secondly, how do you go about working on such complex and intertwined plots? Do you have a meticulous, quasi-scientific way of keeping track of everything or is the writing process more organic than that?
Mark Gatiss: RE: League. Well, it's a very different discipline but all experience is valuable. I think it's interesting that both of us have a background in comedy. I think it helped us to love Sherlock Holmes without overly worshipping his legend!
Mark Gatiss: The plots are obviously quite tricky over 90 minutes and are worked out in great detail. But then the writing of it always takes over and some things do become much more organic. That's the fun part.
Mark Gatiss: Starving. Has everyone had their tea?
Comment From Jo
London looks so fantastic in Sherlock, like another character. How do you find it filming in the city, especially during the riots last year?
Steven Moffat: It's mostly filmed in Cardiff! But as for the riots - I'll let Mark do that one ....
Comment From Libby Liston
Do you ever have writers block, if so what do you do to overcome it?
Mark Gatiss: It's a delight to showcase London. It's one of the greatest cities in the world and is on fine form. We tend to shoot here for about a week per episode. But it's mostly in Cardiff! The riots were genuinely frightening. You can feel a bit silly doing 'showbiz' when stuff like that is going on.
Steven Moffat: I never have anything else. It's an exotic expression for just being stuck. For just not knowing what to do next, or how to make sense of it. It's not a mystical thing, it's just the difficulty of doing the job. Killing myself on Christmas Who RIGHT NOW!!
Comment From Barbara
If you could ask sir Arthur Conan Doyle one question, what would it be?
Mark Gatiss: It's nice if you have another project you can try to write so it feels like a bit of a break. But in the end you just have to slog your way through it!
Steven Moffat: Sir Arthur: you killed Sherlock, but there was no body. You're a detective writer, you knew perfectly well what you were doing, didn't you? Even though you've never admitted it!
Mark Gatiss: How come you're so bloody brilliant? I asked him one last night through a medium, actually. His answer was "Six and three eighths".
Comment From Kristina
What do you think of the Believe In Sherlock campaign the fans started back in January?
Steven Moffat: Best viral marketing campaign ever. And beyond thrilling for us.
Mark Gatiss: Astonishing! We've been overwhelmed by the huge love for the show all across the world.
Comment From Stacy
How long does it typically take you guys to write and film an episode?
Mark Gatiss: A hundred years.
Steven Moffat: On a good day.
Comment From Emilia
How do you decide who writes each episode?
Mark Gatiss: We have roughly a month to film each episode. That's a film in a month!
Mark Gatiss: We fall into a brown study, consume ten ounces of ship's tobacco and, when the fug clears, we know who's doing what.
Mark Gatiss: Oh and there's wine.
Steven Moffat: I'm still worrying about the "how long to write" question. I don't want to think about it.
Comment From Elaine
Do you have anything you'd like to say to your fans in the United States?
Steven Moffat: Do you have wine there? I don't have any wine.
Mark Gatiss: No wine. no. I'm having bacon and eggs in a minute, though.
Steven Moffat: Please watch our shows. And buy the DVDs.
Steven Moffat: I've been trying to make toast. Crumbs all over the computer.
Comment From BabsNL
Do you have another theme in mind like this season: Love, Fear & Death?
Mark Gatiss: A big, lovely hello to all our US fans! Thanks for your loyal support and the amazing response to the show on PBS. Keep watching and spread the word!
Mark Gatiss: Yes. Tea, Milk and Sugar.
Steven Moffat: Well, yes, we have our idea, and our structure, and some of our surprises. But hush now, that's for later. Very excited though.
Comment From Emilie
How many trench coats are used in the average Sherlock episode?
Steven Moffat: There is no average Sherlock episode. The very idea!
Mark Gatiss: Love, Fear & Death are very big. We have to top that. Sloth, Pain & Eczema?
Mark Gatiss: Trench coats? None. Benedict's coat is a Belstaff original and we only have two!
Comment From John Smith
If you could make your own "Sherlock Holmes" story to be published, would you?
Steven Moffat: What, you mean a novelisation of our show? We don't really want that - or spinoff books. The written experience of Sherlock should be Doyle.
Mark Gatiss: Well, we're very much doing our own thing, although inspired by Doyle's amazing originals. I'm a big fan of pastiche Sherlock Holmes stories, though. I'd love to have a go at one some day. There are some by a man called Dennis Smith that are simply amazing. As close to Doyle as you can imagine.
Comment From MJ Lira
The blood in the show is so realistic! Mind sharing the recipe?
Steven Moffat: HIt people.
Comment From Casey
The soundtrack for Sherlock is brilliant, do you have a favourite track? Maybe the slow "One more Miracle", or the fast-paced "Pursuit"?
Mark Gatiss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhuR1VMkpXM
Mark Gatiss: I think 'Irene's theme' is simply stunning. It breaks my heart every time I hear it.
Steven Moffat: I think I like Sherlocked best - the music when Sherlock cracks Irene's code. And when it comes again when Sherlock arrives to save her. Welling up, me.
Comment From Claire
Your tumblr fans want to know if we'll get to meet Sebastian Moran next season?
Steven Moffat: Well they'll have to WATCH won't they?
Mark Gatiss: We'll see. Obviously. 'The Empty House' is a good starting point...
Comment From Melina
Mark what is the best bit about the relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft? Btw thank you sooo much to you and steven for giving us Sherlock.
Mark Gatiss: Delighted you like it, Melina! What I like best about S & M's relationship )and it's all inspired by 'The Private Lie of Sherlock Holmes') is the antagonism mixed up with genuine care. It feels like a very real family relationship!
Steven Moffat: Hello? Are we still going?
Mark Gatiss: It's all gone very quiet.
Ruth Spencer: We're nearly out of time! Before we go, a question about the fandom abroad --- you were recently in NYC for a screening and thousands of screaming fans greeted you. Were you surprised by the US' reaction to the show? What's it been like to be surrounded by such intense fandom?
Ruth Spencer: We're still here but wrapping up shortly!
Mark Gatiss: I was away filming so I missed the adulation in NYC! I'd like some. Seriously, though, the attention and love for 'Sherlock' abroad is something none of us quite expected or can quite believe. Most of the mail I get these days is from China! It's astonishing. And very gratifying.
Steven Moffat: Well it was very surprising and very exciting - poor Mark missed it all. And truthfully I missed it all too, because it's all - quite rightly - about Benedict, and I'm just sort of standing in the general area. Often in the way. And being asked to step out of photographs. Sometimes actually pushed.
Ruth Spencer: We've had thousands of readers and comments today - thank you so much for joining us! Any final thoughts before we go?
Ruth Spencer: And readers, don't forget that Sherlock is up for the BAFTA YouTube Audience Award this year!
Ruth Spencer: Vote here: http://www.bafta.org/television/awards/youtube-audience-award-2012,3235,BA.html
Mark Gatiss: Yes. As a nice surprise for our US fans, I can exclusively reveal that Sherlock faked his death by
Mark Gatiss: Oh God! We're out of time!
Steven Moffat: Very exciting to hear from Sherlock fans. I suppose we now have to buckle down and make some more. Or just make some toast. I'd really like some toast.
Ruth Spencer: Hahahahaha!
Steven Moffat: And yes, please vote for us in the YouTube thing. Cos if we lose we'll be too upset to make any more. And I'll axe Doctor Who as well. And shoot Santa Claus and some puppies.
Ruth Spencer: Thanks both! And to all of our readers for joining - I'm sorry we couldn't get to all of your brilliant questions. I'm opening up the comments on this page (see below) so please continue your discussion here!
Mark Gatiss: Bye bye. x
Comment From Guest
Love Sherlock, best show ever!
Steven Moffat: Bye.
Comment From Becky
Comment From Emma Charles
Comment From Debbie
Comment From Samantha
Comment From Brittany S.
Thank you for chatting with us!
Comment From Marie
Bye and thank you for your amazing work and your passion and your dedication. THANK YOU.