“Sherlock” Season 2, Episode 1 – ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ DVD commentary, part 2
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STEVEN: Sue, what was the recipe for Benedict’s hair eventually?
BENEDICT: Little bit of oatmeal; some milk; a tiny bit of ...
STEVEN: Wasn’t it something to do with tomato sauce?
SUE: Ah, it was tomato sauce. [We’re] talking about if your hair goes green.
BENEDICT: I quite like swimming and there was a danger that the chlorine might turn [the hair dye], so I was advised to put ketchup on it so it didn’t go green.
SUE: And then wrap it up in clingfilm and sleep in it overnight.
MARK: That’s why we’re standing so far away from him.
(As Sherlock starts playing God Save The Queen on the violin)
BENEDICT: Oh God. I can see every bow that’s wrong!
MARK: You mean it’s not you?!
BENEDICT: We had a specially muted violin; every now and again you could hear that I was actually playing the right notes to ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ or ‘God Save The Queen.’ I can play about three or four pieces. If I do anything between now and next year – other than the usual necessary things, which is to improve my memory – I will definitely be playing more violin more frequently.
MARK: But honestly, in the time that you had, when you scraped away, it was definitely ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ or ‘God Save The Queen.’ Everyone was properly impressed, ’cause it was quite a feat.
SUE: I don’t think ‘scraped away’ ...
BENEDICT: Oh, I do.
(As Molly arrives for the Christmas ‘do’ at 221B)
SUE: Can we, in this scene, look at Rupert ...
BENEDICT: ... looking at her!
SUE: Also, after Sherlock says about his wife having an affair – the looks from Rupert.
STEVEN: A little comedy masterpiece from Rupert.
MARK: He’s so dishy.
LARA: He is, isn’t he?
BENEDICT: Yeah, he is.
STEVEN: Yeaaah. We all fancy you, Rupert.
They all pause to watch Lestrade’s reaction as what Sherlock just said about the PE teacher sinks in, and laugh delightedly at his expression.
LARA: You have rather a harsh tongue in this scene.
BENEDICT: It’s one of those moments which I love because he’s trying to do the right thing in a way, but also he’s just flaring up because he can’t stand the usual niceties of Christmas; and it’s a part of the episode where all empathy for him goes out of the window. He really is on full throttle, so he’s outplayed through his cruelty.
MARK: I love that: John actually says, ‘Take a day off.’
BENEDICT: Being in the company of somebody who sees every detail [and exposes] people’s secrets or thoughts is ... it must be exhausting to live with.
STEVEN: It’s an odd second act, isn’t it, ’cause [Sherlock and Irene] don’t actually meet, and I got to this part of the plot without a clear idea of what exactly I was going to do. She has to send him a message and it’s gotta be the phone. What the hell do I do now?
MARK: Kill her.
MARK: I was really struck last night by Loo Brealey as Molly. The audience, they absolutely adore her.
LARA: Oh, they empathise so much.
SUE: They want them together, don’t they?
MARK: It was very touching in the fact that she suffers so much. She’s a sort of identifier.
STEVEN: And she’s the only of our regular characters who doesn’t have any equivalent in the original stories at all. It was just because we cast Loo in this tiny little part in the pilot and she was so good that I immediately came up with another idea.
MARK: And our favourite place – Merthyr Tydfil morgue!
LARA: I’ll never forget this young girl came up to me and went, ‘I was your body double yesterday!’ and I was like, ‘... Great! Thank you!’
STEVEN (as Lara): ‘Where were you for the nude scene?’!
(During the scene in the corridor outside the morgue)
SUE: It’s beautifully shot, I think – well, it’s beautifully acted as well.
MARK: Thank you. It’s a lovely scene, this one.
LARA: Yeah. The whole profile shot of the two of you ...
MARK: It’s on all the stamps.
SUE: Shot in Bristol ’cause you still can’t smoke inside in Wales.
MARK: We had to go back to England to have a cigarette.
BENEDICT (as Sherlock exhales his first lungful of smoke): Oh, look at the enjoyment. That was enjoyable for the first take.
SUE: Yeah, and by take twenty ...
BENEDICT: I had nicotine poisoning and I didn’t sleep properly that night and I had a huge scene to do the next morning. Kids, don’t do it. It screws you up, smoking – it’s not fun.
Ben frets about the emphasis he gave on the line, ‘This is low tar.’
MARK: We’ll fix it.
STEVEN: Fix it live on the commentary!
BENEDICT: Let’s talk over it!
Steven remembers watching the rushes for Scandal and thinking, ‘This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.’ Paul is very good at ensuring that the most important person in the scene is the most prominent. Steven remembers the first deduction scene in A Study in Pink when Sherlock is defining himself: the camera moves in on him while the equivalent shot of John is pulling out and he’s getting smaller. He says that it’s excellent storytelling.
(As Sherlock types the stuck blog counter number into Irene’s phone)
MARK: 1895 – that got a good laugh! Some of them got that.
STEVEN: Does everyone get that? 1895 – for those of you that don’t know – is supposedly the year when Sherlock Holmes was at the peak of his game in the original stories, and there’s a wee poem about it always being 1895 – so now he’s got a blog that is always 1895!
MARK: It was my favourite year.
STEVEN: Did you like it? Did you solve lots of crimes that year?
BENEDICT: Terrible winter.
SUE: There’s the problem of trying to shoot winter in the middle of summer at night in London!
BENEDICT: Yeah, that rather fetching Christmas jumper that Martin’s in was a bit of a ... it was a thing to bear in June.
SUE: But also you have about two hours of night time in London before you have to leave the streets because it’s residential.
MARK: And a lot of greenery.
STEVEN: Greenery! Don’t talk to me about greenery!
LARA: And we had the gift of riots!
(As John, having just ranted about Mycroft having a power complex, is driven to Battersea Power Station)
MARK: Power complex! Hard cut always works!
BENEDICT (as we see the beautiful shot of the car pulling up inside the power station): If Paul McGuigan doesn’t get an advertising campaign for Jaguar, I’ll stop doing the voiceovers for them.
SUE: A great location.
MARK: It’s a great scene, this [i.e. the conversation between John and Irene]. Got a round of applause yesterday.
BENEDICT: Rightly so. It’s an extraordinarily beautifully played and stunningly written scene. You get everything of John’s love – man love, not any other kind of love ...
MARK: ‘Muv.’ Let’s call it ‘muv’!
BENEDICT: It says everything about their relationship. It says what the bond is and the care is, and it’s everything that they don’t say to each other but he’s allowed to say, thinking that he’s not there. That’s where – as a romance – it’s an incredibly British affair. There’s an awful lot of beautifully understated subtlety and nuance to it.
LARA: It was wonderful as well ’cause it was also the moment where I think we [Irene and John] bond as two characters.
BENEDICT: It’s stunningly shot. Look at the way it’s lit. It’s just beautiful.
MARK: Also a real privilege to film in Battersea Power Station. This room is in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
SUE: And The King’s Speech.
BENEDICT: Was it in Brazil as well?
MARK: I think it might be, yeah.
It’s a protected building and they had to take up the boards covering the parquet floor and put them back afterwards. They also had to wear hard hats in certain areas.
STEVEN: I’m cherishing a picture of you in that hat!
BENEDICT: It was my screensaver for a while. I loved it.
Lara remembers her hair designer’s face when they were trying to put a hard hat over her creation!
LARA: [Martin] played this scene with every colour and every emotion. He was just wonderful. He’s a genius as an actor, the way he just flips things around...
MARK: He’s a gactor! [he pronounces it as ‘jaktor’] I’m gonna keep playing this game! ‘Gactor’ and ‘muv’!
LARA: There’s gonna be a Book of Gatiss, isn’t there?!
STEVEN: Fairly easy day for you, there, Benedict, I have to say. You get the punchline.
LARA: I think that’s the day where you started showing me a text of an orang-utan somewhere in the news in The Independent or The Guardian and thought it looked like Martin Freeman! No – it wasn’t an animal at all – it was a tribe ...
STEVEN: Where’s this going?!
LARA: Do you not remember?
BENEDICT: I can’t remember!
LARA: You said it looked like Martin in his Hobbit outfit! I’m sure it was a picture of a dancing tribe.
(As Sherlock returns to 221B)
MARK: This is one of my favourite bits.
SUE: Oh yes, the look on [Sherlock’s] face.
STEVEN: It’s the big shot at the end, isn’t it, when he steps out of frame to bring hell on someone.
MARK: You absolutely believe he’s almost capable of anything, that’s what’s brilliant about it.
STEVEN: What’s useful within the story is that you’ve just seen him really be vulnerable for a couple of scenes; you’re really slightly worried he’s not on form, that he might not be the great Sherlock Holmes – but at this bit you think, ‘Oh dear God.’
BENEDICT: When we were filming the bit before I detect that someone’s messed with my Mrs Hudson, when I’m on the [film] dolly [outside 221B] I was being driven around on Upper Gower Street and it was very funny because, now we’re so popular and we’ve got a following, there was a huge street theatre crowd of about a hundred people watching, going, ‘What the hell is going on?! What is that?!’ It was quite nice doing it, them not knowing what the hell was going on!
SUE: I think there was also a lot of crew in the background as well, ’cause none of us believed the shot was gonna work!
LARA: D’you know how many emails I’ve had about [Sherlock’s] Coat? ‘Where can we get the Coat?’!
SUE: I don’t know why they don’t make more Coats.
(As Sherlock twiddles the can after spraying Neilson in the face)
BENEDICT: Another twiddle. I’ve got to stop twiddling.
As Sherlock kneels in front of Mrs Hudson and then turns to fix a really menacing stare on Neilson, Benedict comments, ‘Not finished with him yet!’
(Seeing the handwritten note attached to the door of 221B as John comes home)
MARK: Interestingly, Sherlock’s handwriting – ’cause he’s in a hurry – has deteriorated into ...
STEVEN: ... into somebody else’s!
MARK: ... a three year old child!
BENEDICT: Thank you very much. That is my handwriting.
STEVEN: [Sherlock] deleted it from his brain, good handwriting, to make space for something else.
MARK: Todd Boyce [Neilson] has been playing Americans in Britain forever and he wears extremely well, I must say. I saw him in Miss Marple recently and thought, ‘You must have something in the attic.’
BENEDICT: I did one of my first ever jobs with him – a version of Hills Like White Elephants and we haven’t seen each other since.
LARA (at the sight of Sherlock and Lestrade outside Speedy’s): Look at those two handsome men!
MARK: These are the kind of shows we want to watch, aren’t they?!
BENEDICT: Wiping my feet and then going into the fridge is something I do at home; it’s something Una’s son does at home.
STEVEN: That’s my favourite piece of business in this, is you going into the fridge. Was that your idea?
STEVEN: I think that’s beautiful. It absolutely explains who they are to each other, the fact that he just goes and raids her fridge. He doesn’t even think about it: ‘What’s in here? There we go.’
MARK: It is a bit like coming home as a student, dropping a bag of washing and going, ‘What’s in the fridge, Mum?’
BENEDICT: It’s an abusive but very loving relationship.
LARA and BENEDICT (simultaneously quoting Sherlock): England would fall.
STEVEN: That got a little round [of applause] last night, didn’t it?
BENEDICT: It’s not just us that love Una.
(As the boys go back upstairs)
SUE: That’s a huge glass of wine [John’s] having there, isn’t it?
BENEDICT: I think that’s a whisky, isn’t it? You wouldn’t put wine in a glass like that.
STEVEN: If you watch this show carefully, there is a subtext about John drinking. John’s just hammered by every midnight!
BENEDICT: Come on – it’s New Year’s Eve!
MARK: Even he forgets the names of his girlfriends, and that’s why!
BENEDICT: Has that glass changed shape, or is that just me?
STEVEN: I think it’s just you. I don’t think he’s capable of doing that. Many and great are his powers; however ...
BENEDICT (as Sherlock twiddles his bow before playing the violin): Another twiddle. I’ve got to stop twiddling!
MARK: We had a big discussion about Christmas cards and, of course, Sherlock Holmes in the original stories would never have had any time for Christmas at all, so obviously they all come from Doctor Watson’s side; and we couldn’t work out a way of showing that essentially there might be one card for Sherlock from his mum.
(As we see Irene getting Sherlock’s text message)
BENEDICT: That’s a wonderful wipe. But it’s a beautiful coat.
LARA: I remember shooting that just outside St Paul’s, waiting for a bus so we could get the reflection in the glass. The entire shot was about the bus, so I would stand at the end of the road and scream, ‘Bus!’ at the top of my lungs to our First AD so that we could then roll.
(In the lab at Bart’s)
BENEDICT: Look how pretty Loo looks. She’s so sparkly and looking so pretty and he’s being such an arse. But it’s one of my favourite lines: ‘What, you think because she’s my girlfriend I’m X-raying her phone?’!
MARK: It’s also a very revealing line when she says, ‘We all do silly things,’ and he says, ‘Yes, they do, don’t they?’ like an alien.
(As Sherlock gets home and starts sniffing on the landing)
STEVEN: And here’s his woman-sensing nose!
SUE: This was the funniest thing in an edit, d’you remember – at one point there wasn’t a picture of [Irene] in the bed and Steven said to Paul, ‘There has to be a picture of her in the bed, otherwise it could be anything – it could be a shaved ape.’
STEVEN: And they kept arguing all day and I said, ‘No, we have to actually see what they see. It could be anything – a shaved chimp,’ so I got a slightly sulky email, I thought, from Paul McGuigan saying, ‘Well, look, this is what you asked for; I’m giving it to you,’ and it was a shaved ape! They must have spent about three hours doing this – it was beautifully edited in!
SUE: And I couldn’t open it, and then you replied to Paul going, ‘Well, I think it’s fine, but Sue, d’you think Lara’ll be okay with that pose?’ And to this day, every time we get to that, I just have this fear that it’ll turn up!
BENEDICT: There’s gonna be a lot of slash fiction now!
(During the scene in the sitting room)
STEVEN: I love all this competing bit. This is where we really see them flirt, I suppose.
LARA: Their idea of flirting.
MARK: It’s intellectual flirting, ’cause he thinks he’s just trumped her there and she’s trumped him.
STEVEN: That would be sex for them.
LARA: That’s orgasmic!
MARK: ‘Hamish’ is from the Rathbone films, isn’t it?
STEVEN: No. Doyle when he wrote these stories was appalling on continuity. Continuity was so bad, he once forgot Doctor Watson’s name and had his wife call him James. He’s called James for a whole story!
BENEDICT: Maybe she just forgot the name!
STEVEN: Someone came up with this brilliant theory that the middle name was Hamish – ’cause it’s John H. Watson in the stories – and Hamish is the Scottish version of James, so she called him by his middle name.
BENEDICT: I like to think of that rather than him being crap with continuity.
SUE: But didn’t he also call Mrs Hudson ‘Mrs Turner’ once?
BENEDICT: That’s slightly harder to Scottish-ify, isn’t it?
STEVEN: In one story she turns into Mrs Turner. We’ve referred to it as Mrs Turner next door in A Study in Pink.
MARK: The one thing we haven’t addressed is that Professor Moriarty and his brother have the same Christian name!
STEVEN: But we are thinking of it ... maybe! We are on the case! We sorted out the wound in the first story – Watson’s war wound’s in his shoulder, then it migrates to his leg mysteriously, so we sorted that out.
MARK: What’s great is, the lack of Doyle’s continuity is a great field for in-jokes.
(As Sherlock goes into his deductions after seeing the email on Irene’s phone)
LARA: I have to praise you non-stop for this scene, Benedict, ’cause – gosh – that dialogue.
BENEDICT: This was the one that was the night after the nicotine poisoning. The first time we did this, it was incredibly hard. I was very hot as well and I found it so hard and it was a bit of a disaster. We came back to it the next morning and I nailed it the first time. It’s a beautiful thing but it took an awful lot of work.
(As Irene does her ‘I would have you right here on this desk’ line)
BENEDICT: I love that moment but I should have spoken the minute I opened my mouth, ’cause – if the audience reaction last night is anything to go by – they laughed the minute I ... ’cause I think they expected me to have a sort of goldfish moment. I should have just spoken, but that is him being tongue-tied.
STEVEN: I think he just shuts down for a moment. ‘I’m trying to process this; I have no response; oh my God. Where’s all the blood gone from my brain?’
STEVEN: I want to talk about Mycroft’s extraordinary house with its life-size chess pieces! Oh dear God what does he do all alone of an evening?!
MARK: I think perhaps that’s the Holmes ancestral home. Maybe that’s where we were brought up.
SUE: Does he live on his own?
STEVEN: Ah, well, these things have all got to be thought about.
MARK: I think certainly that Christmas night Mycroft was alone.
SUE: Probably has a housekeeper.
MARK: He has Mrs Turner!
(When Sherlock and Irene are alone at 221B)
STEVEN: You could hear, last night, I thought, the beating hearts of all the fans saying, ‘Oh my God, they’re not actually going to?! ’Cause it looks like it’s going to happen.’
LARA: This was our first scene we shot together, wasn’t it? This was our first day together.
STEVEN: And I draw your attention to Irene’s evil hair. She’s currently got her nice hair, ’cause she’s being nice but when she goes – after this scene – to see them on the plane, she’s reached for that concealed switch on the nape of her neck that just turns her hair evil again!
LARA: I remember Paul noting that every male crew member all of a sudden was in the room to see what you and I were going to be up to!
LARA: This was the first time I was exposed to your fans.
STEVEN: And the very last shot you did.
SUE: There was quite a lot of Twitter activity about this.
STEVEN: That you were wearing the dressing gown.
MARK: I always think it’s very interesting when people see just fragments and they’re actually trying to work out an entire story from one shot at a window.
SUE: And which dressing gown it was ...
SUE: We were at some point thinking of shooting this [scene on the plane] during the day and tenting the Jumbo jet, and then somebody mentioned what if it was windy.
STEVEN: Then someone said, ‘What about night?’!
BENEDICT: [Sherlock arriving at the plane] was the last shot of the whole night shoot.
MARK: Ah, yes, it was the other way around, wasn’t it, as dawn came up as opposed to dusk.
STEVEN: I remember the shooting of the interior. I had just finished the script for the Doctor Who Christmas special and I was so tired, I just came along and sat in a chair [on the plane] and slept.
LARA: In Business Class!
MARK: The whole shoot – I never really encountered anything like it, because we were in Business Class and obviously one side entirely full of extras who then proceeded to go to sleep. Some of them just snored ...
BENEDICT: But the worst was when they moved in the middle of their sleep and suddenly the dead were coming alive.
STEVEN: One guy – in the middle of what I thought was a particularly good take – just went ... [he does a snorting snore while everybody else yawns noisily]!
MARK: But on the other side of the curtain, the rest of the crew were all in Business Class curled up fast asleep.
BENEDICT: Dai – the very very butch huge rugby-playing Grip – was fast asleep and, according to everyone else who was there, was heard to say, ‘No, Jamie, Jamie, no, no!’ Jamie’s our Focus Puller ... and, God, does he deserve a mention. What a difficult job to do ...
SUE: ... at four o’clock in the morning!
BENEDICT: Any any clock o’morning.
SUE: But, Steven, I hadn’t seen you for a few days; you’d been away. They made us a nice little twosome seat, didn’t they, in there?
SUE: Apart from the fact that you were asleep ...
MARK: ... within seconds!
STEVEN: I was very tired!
MARK: I thought, on first reading this, the elaborate lengths that Mycroft goes to make a point.
STEVEN: Originally I suggested the idea of putting the lights on to reveal them. Originally Mycroft was going to be sitting there and he puts his light on.
MARK: And I said, ‘That actually means he’s been sitting there for hours with their stinking bodies’!
STEVEN (as Mycroft): ‘Is he here yet? I might go out and come back in again’!
SUE: We were trying to work out how to feed them all and I just couldn’t see what was wrong with actually just giving everybody plane food and keeping them in their seats, but that didn’t go down well.
MARK: They all woke up and thought they were in Marbella.
SUE: I remember Cesco [Francesco Reidy, the First Assistant Director] saying, ‘Okay, everybody: make sure the person next to you is awake at the beginning of the take. It’s an eight minute long take. Make sure they’re not snoring before we start’!
(As Irene arrives on the plane)
STEVEN: And here she is. She’s operated the concealed switch and her hair has shot back to evil mode.
LARA: Look at that outfit. It looks kind of leather on camera.
SUE: Who’s that made by?
LARA: She’s a designer in Knightsbridge. I can’t even remember the name. The fabric was kind of starchy but it wasn’t leather. It was really interesting.
(At Mycroft’s house)
MARK: Now we find Sherlock absolutely at the bottom, I think. He’s totally outplayed. I wonder at what point the penny drops? I’m interested in this part, because he’s obviously already taken her pulse and he’s done these things...
LARA: It’s during the Moriarty section, isn’t it?
MARK: That, I think, gives him extra incentive, that he’s not going to be beaten.
STEVEN: As she’s explaining how impenetrable her phone is, he is thinking, ‘Is it? Come on ... I can get that, I can do that ...’
LARA: Is that really what you were thinking, Benedict?
BENEDICT: Mmm. And I’m wondering if I can stay awake for another two minutes ...
They discuss the fact that they reblocked the scene three times, trying it out with the actors in different locations, at one point with Mycroft in front of the fireplace, before they were happy with it.
BENEDICT: The most important thing was the idea that [Sherlock] is separate because of what he has to go through. He’s the disgraced younger brother. He’s the beaten player in the game.
LARA: And victory is so nearly mine!
STEVEN: It’s a horrible thing he does to you, though. Because he wins by demonstrating that she’s in love with him. Having said that, she was perfectly prepared to humiliate him, take the money, and presumably pick him up in her yacht later.
MARK: There’s a little thing there, sadly not captured, when I make the note about James Moriarty: I wrote it on my cuff, which is something Sherlock does in the original stories and I thought, ‘Maybe that’s a family thing.’ I brought my own propelling pencil!
STEVEN: Wasn’t it because cuffs used to be detachable? Mycroft is so rich, he just disposes of the cuffs!
MARK: I never wear the same shirts twice. I give them to my chess pieces ... or maybe some of the dead people I’ve got in my freezer!
(As Sherlock takes hold of Irene’s wrist)
STEVEN: That’s not in the script. Was that you, Benedict?
BENEDICT: It was my idea, as was the lean-in, because I like the idea of him being in shadow because it’s such a dark thing he’s playing with, deconstructing love into pure chemistry.
STEVEN: Hopefully the idea is you should start this scene hating her and end hating him.
STEVEN: We toyed for a long while with whether the letters should come up as he [types them into Irene’s phone]. I’m glad we didn’t.
MARK: A man in front of me last night just went [softly], ‘Ohhh,’ at that part.
Sue says that the close-up of the phone was the last shot of the entire shoot.
MARK: And that was done elsewhere.
(As Sherlock stands near the door)
STEVEN: Every time we cut back to Irene, Sherlock swaps what hand’s in what pocket.
BENEDICT: Actually, not at all. My left hand’s out of the pocket; the right hand goes in the pocket, I think you’ll find.
(Outside Speedy’s in the pouring rain)
MARK: Now this was ...
SUE and MARK (simultaneously): ... riot day!
MARK: This bit was all right, and then I think we’d done one take of the scene inside. It was the summer riots and the police had already said we’d have to stop before it got dark. We were all prepared for that and there’d been some incident the night before where some scaffolding had been stolen; and then we were doing this and suddenly the rain machine stopped and I think the First [AD] came in and just said, ‘Go,’ and the police just said, ‘Go,’ and we fled; we absolutely fled. It was the weirdest atmosphere.
MARK: We talked about this a lot in the early stages, that of course John isn’t present for the whole of the [previous] act, but it’s no kind of problem – not just because it’s so much about Sherlock and Irene – but actually because of this [scene], I think; that in the end he’s the one who’s going to come and have to do it. I think it’s a measure of confidence that you’re not thinking, ‘Oh God, why isn’t this major character in it?’ It’s actually because the story is doing exactly what it needs to do.
STEVEN: Also – and I’m just nicking this from Billy Wilder[’s film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes] – but you take John out of the equation and Sherlock is instantly more vulnerable. You’re more fearful for him when he hasn’t got his wing man.
LARA: I feel like I’m in a room full of story-telling geniuses, listening to you two talk.
MARK: I want to see the flashback to Sherlock as a pirate!
STEVEN: There’s a little bit from Mark there where [Mycroft] says, ‘He used to be a pirate,’ and suddenly he goes into a little fugue state for a moment, which I think is lovely.
MARK: Ah, there’s a lot of history there which we can never explore. We’ll open little windows onto it.
STEVEN: And [Martin’s] so clever [in] each stage of that indecision – when’s he gonna do it?
LARA: He layers it beautifully.
SUE: I can see why [Sherlock] wants the phone, though – it’s an expensive phone!
MARK: It was gonna be leopard-skin or something, wasn’t it, just to make it very identifiable. It’s actually got lovely sort of diamonds studded into it; but because of the pink phone last year we didn’t want it to be seen as similar to that.
MARK: Now here’s a question: we refer to it constantly as a ‘camera phone.’ Did we do that just so people knew that’s what it was? You would actually say, ‘Oh, my phone.’
STEVEN: And I also wanted a keyboard that would have letters and numbers on it, though in actual fact the expression ‘camera phone’ is a bit out of date, isn’t it; people don’t really say ‘camera phone’ any more. But what can you do?! We’ve screwed up history enough as it is, I think!
MARK: I just love this. Every time I’ve watched this – several hundred times – it always makes me weep. You’re so convinced that was the last text she sent – the day she died, she thought of him. And I remember reading ... ’cause we’d of course talked about it a lot, but I thought, ‘Oh, she’s dead; he’s killed her,’ and then the surprise ...
SUE (to Steven): Yeah, ’cause you didn’t tell us when you wrote it, did you?
STEVEN: I kept that secret. I knew I was gonna save her [but] I told Mark and Sue that I was probably gonna kill her off and the big dilemma [would be] does John tell him or not? So I wanted to see how they reacted when I said at the last minute, ‘No, he doesn’t. Of course he saves her!’
SUE: I think you do sell the dummy that this is the end of the show when it goes to black.
MARK: I had a panic yesterday that people were gonna start applauding in the black-out.
STEVEN: And there he is. Lawrence.
MARK: Lawrence of Cumberbatch.
LARA: Oh – and another twiddle.
BENEDICT: That’s the last one.
MARK: And people always wonder, ‘Is it The Woman, or The Woman?’ It’s both!
STEVEN: It’s lovely when the music comes in and you hear one last bit of Lara’s Theme and finally it resolves. You never hear it end before.
MARK: But also, rather beautifully, he closes the drawer ...
BENEDICT: ... and he closes the episode.
STEVEN: But that’s it over. He doesn’t think about it again – oh, he does think about it sometimes – but, you know, back to work, back to being Sherlock Holmes.
MARK: Back to the adventures.
MARK: Well, thank you very much for listening. Well done for your patience. I imagine you’ve listened to this in several chunks.
LARA: We’ll reward anyone who got the whole way through in one take!
STEVEN: And we will see you for The Hounds of Baskerville.
SUE: That’s an attractive end card, isn’t it?!
STEVEN: I think we should get some more names on that!
Transcriber’s note: Thanks to verityburns, whose check-through and additions have made this even more accurate.
A full list of episode transcripts, DVD commentary summaries/transcripts, and transcripts of the DVD special features can be found here.