“Sherlock” Season 3, Episode 1 – ‘The Empty Hearse’ DVD commentary, part 1
This is not a word-for-word transcript (though lord knows I’ve transcribed much more than from previous commentaries), nor have I written up every single comment made (just most of them!). There are a few bits I’ve left out, mostly because I couldn’t hear what people were saying as they spoke over each other.
Further extracts may be added in due course.
Please remember that some of the comments made by people may look serious in plain print but were frequently meant sarcastically or humorously.
I have an inexplicable inability to distinguish between the voices of Mark and Steven, so forgive me if I get them the wrong way round on occasions!
If you quote extracts from this, especially if it includes bits which I wrote myself rather than transcribed, a link back to this page would be appreciated.
STEVEN: Hello, I’m Steven Moffat, the Executive Producer and co-creator of Sherlock.
MARK: Hello, I’m Mark Gatiss, the same, and also writer of this episode.
UNA: Hello, I’m Una Stubbs and I play Mrs Hudson.
SUE: Hi, I’m Sue Vertue and I’m the Producer.
STEVEN: Also my wife.
MARK: And also mine ... no, that’s not right. Una’s my wife.
UNA: Ooh, how lovely!
STEVEN: This [flashback] was made ages ago. This is a flashback to The Reichenbach Fall.
MARK: This was made in the late thirties, as I recall. Now, we do have a tendency, which we’re always shooting ourselves in the foot, about having to go back and recreate the end of the previous episode at least two years later. This one was a particular challenge.
UNA: And apparently, there’s a telephone booth near here, and everybody has stuck little messages.
MARK: Yes, we had to take them down, didn’t we? It had become a Sherlock shrine in the meantime.
SUE: We went there for a recce with Jeremy Lovering, the Director, and it was the first time he’d been on that recce and I said, ‘Oh, you know, you get quite a few fans around. That group over there ...’ and he said, ‘Oh, it’s probably some nurses or doctors or something,’ at which point we just saw a man go, ‘And this is where he fell.’
MARK: It’s worth pointing out that when we did The Reichenbach Fall we obviously anticipated there would be some interest in how Sherlock had not died, but in the intervening two years it became so vast as an international talking point that we realised, when we came to actually explain it, the last thing we could do was just explain it. And hence this.
STEVEN (as Sherlock kisses Molly): This must be the point at which surely people start to suspect we’re not telling the truth!
MARK: Some people were very keen for it to be the truth!
STEVEN: I kind of wanted it to be true! I think they should get together. They won’t, by the way.
MARK: You mean Sherlock and Derren Brown?
SUE: We had to get all the same supporting artists back in, two years later.
MARK: When we screened this at the BFI, it had exactly the desired reaction. You could hear people’s intake of appalled breath: ‘Are you kidding?!’
STEVEN: ‘Really?’ ‘No!’
UNA (on first sight of Lestrade): There he is – Mr Gorgeous.
STEVEN: The rest of us go silent at that, in faint resentment. We’re expecting something big for Mark’s first scene, though.
MARK: Yeah. It’d better be there.
STEVEN: ‘Mr Sex,’ maybe.
MARK: This came out of the idea that Anderson and Donovan had been the chief – not conspirators – but the people who had really thought that Sherlock was a fake and actually, two years on, that Anderson might have sort of gone off the rails, survivor guilt really. And Jonny Aris plays it so brilliantly. [Anderson] was always so cool and collected and resentful and now he’s become this kind of freak who just hangs around!
STEVEN: I feel as though we did this fundamentally so Jonathan wouldn’t have to shave his beard off. ’Cause he’s always had to shave his beard off to do Sherlock and now he can keep it, because he’s meant to be a mad man. Sorry, Jonathan – I’ve just realised how that sounds!
SUE: Location-wise, we obviously leapt to Cardiff for this [scene between Lestrade and Anderson].
(Flashback clip of Donovan and Anderson when he was still with the police.)
STEVEN: There he is – beardless, you see. More suspicious like that, I think.
(The moment that your transcriber understands a lot of fans disliked – the transition between Lestrade and Anderson drinking from their coffee cups, into John’s eyes at Sherlock’s graveside.)
MARK: It’s a very nice shot, there.
STEVEN: I agree.
UNA: Ooh, clever.
MARK: And now onto the vexed question of John’s moustache.
STEVEN: Yes. That’s completely real, that is!
MARK: Martin would – as he always does – very forensically said, ‘Yeah, but why would I have a moustache?’
STEVEN: D’you remember we were having the post-read-through meeting about The Empty Hearse, having sensible conversations about things we wanted to change, and every so often Martin Freeman would come marching over wearing a different moustache and say slightly bad-temperedly, ‘What about this one?’ and we’d say, ‘Yeah, that’s lovely.’ [As Martin] ‘I don’t like it,’ and he’d go storming off again.
MARK: A very serious conversation punctuated by silly moustaches.
UNA: And he’d say, ‘But I’m a sex symbol’!
(As the chase through the forest in Serbia starts)
MARK: And then, of course, there’s Benedict’s funny wig. It’s really just revenge, isn’t it, Steven?
STEVEN: It’s what we do. I think they should wear giant shoes. That’d be good, wouldn’t it – giant clown shoes.
MARK: This was a very tough bit. There was a proper helicopter and everything.
SUE: Yeah. It was supposed to be heat[-seeking] and they couldn’t find him.
MARK: As a real fugitive, he was brilliant!
SUE (as Sherlock is finally caught): I think that’s every inch of footage that was shot [with the heat-seeking camera].
STEVEN: Well, the idiots. He’s right there! Look, I can see him!
(In the place where Sherlock is tortured)
MARK: This is actually in the basement of The Diogenes Club – same location. It’s not meant to be!
STEVEN: Which is strangely believable, plot-wise! He just kept him down there ...
MARK: ... like in The Ipcress File.
STEVEN: Mycroft’s personal torture chamber. He locked up his brother for two years for fun, and burnt him with cigarettes!
(As the torturer strikes Sherlock)
MARK: You don’t like this bit.
UNA: No. It’s so realistic.
Steven asks Mark if he can still say any of the Serbian dialogue. Mark recites the line, “So, my friend. Now it’s just you and me,” but can’t remember any of the rest of it.
Mark talks about how they found Jeremy Lovering, the Director, partly because of the film he made called In Fear.
(As Mycroft whispers in Sherlock’s ear)
STEVEN: It’s Mr Sex. I’ll get it in.
UNA: There he is.
STEVEN: Look at that sex hat. ‘S-hat’!
MARK: All those things that went in the online prequel [Many Happy Returns] were sort of where Sherlock might have been in the intervening two years, but none of it’s absolutely accurate. It’s still from Anderson’s point of view, so who knows?
STEVEN: But that was originally part of the episode, wasn’t it, and then we got rid of that.
MARK: Essentially, it was taking too long to see him again. In the original story, The Empty House, Conan Doyle sort of had the same problem, which is that you just want them to be back together again, and in the end the explanation is nowhere near as important as the fact that they’re back together again ... Your Honour!
(As the car pulls up outside The Diogenes Club)
STEVEN: He’s being driven round the front of the place where he’s been imprisoned!
MARK: Mustn’t start that – people’ll start to believe it!
STEVEN: I believe it now – it’s part of my head canon, as they say. He was just in Mycroft’s basement, and [Mycroft] was saying, ‘Try waterboarding, and give me the video.’
(As John approaches Baker Street)
MARK: D’you know, it was only when we saw the preview screening, I suddenly realised we’d missed a big trick with this. Nobody’s wearing a poppy.
SUE and UNA: Oh!
MARK: And it’s one of the most instantly Novemberish thing. Isn’t that funny?
[See here for more information about Remembrance poppies which are worn, mostly in the UK and Canada, in November. (Scroll down to the ‘United Kingdom’ section to see what the poppies look like.)]
(Just before Mrs Hudson opens the door to 221A)
STEVEN: Here comes the star of the show.
MARK: No, the moustache has already been in frame. ... What do you think Mrs Hudson has been up to in the interim?
UNA: Well, Mrs Hudson’s been given all sorts of things she’s been up to that I didn’t know about. Drugs ...
MARK: Oh, that’s all in the past!
SUE: Mr Chatterjee.
STEVEN: She’s just been standing slightly out of sight at the end of that corridor, ’cause as you know, there is no room back there! She just stands there waiting for them to come through the front door!
MARK: There’s a wonderful kitchen.
UNA: Yeah, I love my kitchen. All neat.
(In Mycroft’s basement office in The Diogenes Club)
STEVEN: Now, this was an added scene, wasn’t it, Mark, because the episodes this year were too short.
MARK: The whole thing was, we were going to see Sherlock for the very first time either on the roof, as he is very briefly, and then entering the restaurant – that was definitely it. And then it just became clear that ...
STEVEN: ... again we weren’t seeing him.
MARK: And then Arwel [Wyn Jones, the Production Designer] created this fantastic set, deliberately sort of Bond-like. This [location] is also under The Diogenes Club.
SUE: Yes, ’cause your offices change quite a lot.
STEVEN: Well, he’s got several offices, Mycroft.
MARK: The first one we see [in The Great Game], I think is my, you know, my legitimate ...
SUE: ... sort of day to day office.
STEVEN: This is where he orders executions down here.
MARK: You can tell that because there’s a globe of the world on the table. Gives off electric shocks. And that particular painting of the Queen, which is a deliberate Bond echo.
SUE: We thought it best to get a real wet shave barber, didn’t we, rather than somebody pretending to do it?
MARK: I was going to do it!
STEVEN: We just thought you’d succumb to temptation!
(In Mrs Hudson’s kitchen)
UNA: I loved doing this scene.
MARK: This was the first scene we shot, wasn’t it, for this episode?
STEVEN: I love how Martin does the refusal to apologise for ages.
MARK: He is genuinely guilty but he still can’t bring himself to say sorry. I was very keen to stress that thing about, not just grief, but the way that people can drift like that – that the longer you leave it, the harder it is, and that he is genuinely ... even though they’ve been through all that, once Sherlock’s gone, the sort of framework falls apart, and that he knows he should have popped round and suddenly two years have gone by.
UNA: I’ve done it, with my own parents.
MARK: I’ve tried it with Martin, but he just won’t leave me alone!
STEVEN: It’s great that they’ll never listen to this. We can really let rip! ... I’m going to see him in the theatre tonight.
MARK: Are you?
STEVEN: Yeah. He’s got a full beard, not just a moustache.
SUE: He looks good in that beard, doesn’t he?
UNA: Yes, and his hair pushed back as well.
MARK: And his hump.
MARK: There’s young Anthea, not seen since the very first episode.
STEVEN: Or not-Anthea. That’s not actually her real name.
MARK: She’s actually changed it by deed poll to Anthea.
STEVEN: Her secret: she really fancied John Watson. She was just concealing the fact. Again, this [scene] is added later, isn’t it?
MARK: Yeah. This whole sequence was.
STEVEN: It’d be really great at this point if I could remember why we added it later.
MARK: Well, firstly it was under-running. We had this whole thing with Series 3 that all the scripts were long and then they came in short.
SUE: In fact, the only one that didn’t have time problems was Vow, because Lars is much slower.
STEVEN: Yeah, but His Last Vow was a very long script, and I remember it was about 140 pages at one point and you said, Mark, you said, ‘Ah, so it’ll be ten minutes long, then, going by our current record,’ and it was dead easy to get to time. We hardly lost anything.
(John and Mrs H in 221B’s living room)
STEVEN: Oh, this is very fun. I like this bit. I shouldn’t watch it, though, we’re supposed to be commentating.
MARK: That’s the problem.
STEVEN: We just like our show too much.
(Mark and Steven laugh when Mrs Hudson does her high-pitched “Ohh!” at John saying that he’s met someone.)
MARK: There’s a logic problem here, that Mrs Hudson does have plenty of evidence now that John isn’t gay and yet always comes back to the idea. She just wills it to happen.
STEVEN: I think she spends too much time on the internet.
MARK: This is more or less the last hurrah for this joke, isn’t it? ’Cause it’s getting very boring!
UNA: I think she thinks if they’re gay, she’ll see more of them.
(Back at The Diogenes)
MARK: So, in true Sherlock style, despite putting his best friend through the worst possible grind and being away, apparently dead, for two years, he just expects that he’ll ...
SUE: ... bound ...
MARK: ... He sort of thinks that everybody else has just stayed in aspic, waiting for him to come back.
STEVEN: Just sat in their houses waiting for him to re-activate them when he turns up.
MARK: And Sherlock thinks that too! ... The interesting thing about the point where we rejoin it is that John has really been through it but is actually about to turn the corner, and at the worst possible time ...
STEVEN: ... back [Sherlock] comes. This was something we were quite keen on because we sort of felt that Sherlock Holmes in the original story gets away with it to an extraordinary degree, when he’s really asking for a punch in the face – which, after a century – he finally gets.
SUE: You know how they walk into the Landmark Hotel thinking they’re gonna walk into that restaurant ...
MARK: ... they’ve gotta walk all the way to Cheltenham!
STEVEN: Now probably these next few minutes – next quite a lot of minutes – is my favourite bit of the third series – the reunion. It’s so ... it’s so long.
MARK: But remember originally it was all here, and then splitting it into increasingly depressing restaurants – it’s a way of dividing it up although it is still the same scene. But in the original story he really ... Doctor Watson is a bit aggrieved and then [Holmes] says, ‘Well, I couldn’t have told you, Watson, because you’d have probably blabbed about it,’ and even that he doesn’t object to! And then he’s going, ‘It’s good to see you,’ and then they’re off. And we always said that maybe Doctor Watson wasn’t quite telling the exact truth. He faints in the original story.
STEVEN: I think he beats Sherlock up, and about a month later they resume the conversation.
STEVEN: I wonder how many offers of French parts Benedict has had.
MARK: He’s doing the ’Allo, ’Allo movie.
STEVEN: He’s been asked to tone it down a bit!
MARK: This is funny, though, isn’t it, because one of the things we were absolutely hot on from the beginning was, in the twenty-first century Sherlock he wouldn’t get in disguise; that ‘disguise was hiding in plain sight.’ But actually in this, because he’s made it up on the spot – and also because it’s time to let them have a bit of fun – it makes perfect sense.
STEVEN: And he proves his theory correct: no-one looks at the waiter.
STEVEN: And here she comes – our new lead, Amanda.
MARK: Now, it was a very rigorous audition process to find Mrs Watson!
STEVEN: Well, they’ve got two children. I’d call that rigorous!
SUE: We loved the chemistry.
MARK: D’you remember, it was after watching Baskerville that we first asked Amanda.
STEVEN: She was very excited.
SUE: Before then, we’d done tentative little questions, and with Martin: ‘You two worked together before?’ and ‘How did it go?’!
STEVEN: ‘Are you getting on?’
UNA: And great that the fans did take to her.
STEVEN: There was some resistance in the beginning, actually, but I think it’s reasonable. You don’t want the girlfriend to come in and spoil the action.
UNA: But it says a lot for Amanda that she did work them round.
MARK: Absolutely, yes.
STEVEN: Well, she’s fantastic, a fantastic actress.
MARK: We talked a lot, didn’t we, about having that problem of suddenly someone spoiling the fun – it’s the worst thing you can do, so the important thing was to regard the third series as a new team in a way, and actually that fundamentally she and Sherlock would immediately get on. And that sort of changes everything.
STEVEN: Which resulted in us writing a scene between Sherlock and Mary that we couldn’t make work. We both took passes at it and couldn’t make it work and it’s all replaced by one line.
MARK: ‘I like him.’
UNA: I loved that line.
STEVEN: It carries a lot of import, and [the original scene] was about three pages, endlessly rewritten.
MARK: That’s why the scripts are too short!
(As John stands up from the table to face Sherlock)
STEVEN: We’re missing the big bit, the big moment. A wonderful performance from Martin here.
MARK: It’s so ... well, he does it all in a few looks; and it shades from rage to despair and back again.
SUE: Disbelief and everything else.
STEVEN: Probably not the best time [for Sherlock] to have a comedy moustache.
(As the camera focusses on John while Sherlock wipes off his moustache)
MARK: That look is just terrifying. It’s a car crash, isn’t it, just watching Sherlock digging and digging and assuming that his native charm will win over everybody in a few seconds’ time.
MARK: We had trouble finding a large enough place to shoot, didn’t we? Certainly in Cardiff.
SUE: We did, especially one that we could close – that was the problem. In fact, that was also one of the reasons why we split the restaurants up, wasn’t it?
STEVEN: And now [Sherlock] does it again. The final misjudgement – ‘I’ll jolly him on with this little remark, ha ha ha!’
MARK: And finally, a century and a half later ...
STEVEN: ... finally the back-swing is finished!
STEVEN: I love the music.
MARK: That was Jeremy’s idea.
(In the café)
STEVEN: And slightly shabbier.
SUE: From Cheltenham to Newport.
STEVEN: We did think of this relatively early, the endless tease [of how Sherlock survived the fall]. I remember you saying, ‘Of course, actually in real life you wouldn’t be asking “How?”; you’d be saying “Why? Why would you do that?”
MARK: Actually, I just popped that [line] in in the ADR. I said to Benedict, ‘Will you just say that also a system of Japanese wrestling,’ which is the way that Doyle actually explained it, outrageously!
STEVEN: The Doyle explanation doesn’t work at all. His whole reason in the original story for concealing the fact he’s alive is so that Moriarty’s gang don’t find out – but Moran has just seen him, number two in Moriarty’s gang, so it’s all complete nonsense!
SUE: That bit from Amanda just then, when she said, ‘Well, he’d have needed a confidant,’ that’s the first little slip-in that she wasn’t exactly what she seemed.
STEVEN: The idea was that you would like Mary because she was getting into the swing of the action so quickly and therefore [you] never questioned the fact that nobody really would – unless, of course, they weren’t what they really seemed to be; and she’s far too at ease with Sherlock Holmes and the way he behaves for a normal person.
MARK: And when we get to the deductions on screen we slipped in ‘Liar’ and of course people picked up on it but it was great because they were just going, ‘What does this mean?’
SUE: Also, when we were putting it in there, d’you remember, however much you tried to hide ‘Liar,’ it just stares you in the face!
MARK: Amongst the other [deductions] it once said, ‘Unresolved Jason Orange crush,’ which was an attempt to hide ‘Liar’!
(As John yells, “Over-reacting!”)
MARK: Martin’s fury!
UNA: It just gets higher and higher!
STEVEN: He gets positively Oliver Hardy in a moment!
UNA: Or Norman Wisdom.
(Everyone laughs when John yells, “Swear to God!”)
STEVEN: Ah, they’re funny men, aren’t they?
UNA: They’re brilliant. Clever choices.
(As Sherlock says, “I need your help,” and John looks quirkily round at Mary)
STEVEN: Here we are – doing silent screen comedy now!
(Mark and Stephen cheer when John headbutts Sherlock.)
(Outside the kebab shop)
STEVEN: Cardiff. Not far from our Cardiff house, darling. ... I mean, London – it’s obviously really London!
MARK: It’s interesting, isn’t it – in the original stories, Sherlock comes back; of course, Mrs Watson has died in the interim, but there’s an interesting thing right back at the beginning. Doctor Watson gets married at the end of the second story and then all the short stories either take place in a strange middle bit before the marriage, or when she allows him out. And we thought, you can almost sense Conan Doyle thinking, ‘Oh, I’ve got that wrong,’ so we thought, well, the ideal thing is to bring her in now. Mrs Watson becomes a new factor, and when you’re looking to do a big thing for a season, it’s like, ‘Well, this is as big as it gets.’
STEVEN: But here’s a thing, Mark: did you know that it’s never actually specified in the stories that Mary dies?
MARK: Well, he says ...
STEVEN and MARK (almost simultaneously): ... ‘his sad loss.’
STEVEN: It could be a divorce; could she have just buggered off?
MARK: It’s possible!
STEVEN: His sad loss is all the sadder because it’s not referred to. You just want specifics, don’t you?! I don’t think we’d get away with that now. Start of the next series: [As Sherlock] ‘I heard about your sad loss.’ [As John] ‘Yeah, well.’ ‘But what was it?’ ‘Well, it was a loss.’
(In the car park)
MARK: The fact [that] Lestrade goes, ‘You bastard,’ I think means that deep down he knew he was faking.
STEVEN: I think he does this rather well, sort of thinking it through: ‘Of course. Of course you bloody did. Of course you did.’ ’Cause he is smart, and he’s just this, ‘Oh, I’ve been saying you were dead for ages!’ I love the hug. I think it’s really sweet.
(As Mrs H washes up in the kitchen)
MARK: And now the money shot. This is sort of a quote from the original story where he says he went back to Baker Street in his own person and ‘threw Mrs Hudson into violent hysterics.’ This was quite an intimate shot here, wasn’t it?!
STEVEN: If this happens to be your fetish, you are really in luck in a moment!
(As Sherlock’s shadow appears on the front door)
MARK: Count Dracula.
(Mrs Hudson screams and the camera zooms down her throat.)
STEVEN: Here we go.
(He and Mark cheer.)
MARK: I remember Jeremy and Steve Lawes, the DoP, working in steps. It was like, ‘What lens now? There aren’t any left!’
UNA: You’ve never seen anyone clean their teeth so much!
(As the Sheriarty near-kiss scene starts)
MARK: This is the real solution, isn’t it?
STEVEN: People occasionally ask Mark and myself, [in a dopey voice] ‘Which of the three explanations was it?’ I always say this one, the middle one.
SUE: Not even occasionally – they’re always asking!
STEVEN: I mean, for heavens’ sake! It’s a dummy with a cut out picture of Benedict on it! I mean, plainly that’s not it!
MARK: I think it might be the second part of it that they want [to be real]. I remember when we were filming the stuff with the rubber mask at the beginning and Andrew was going, ‘I think this is it now, isn’t it? This is my last ... This is it,’ and I thought, ‘No, not really!’
(In Anderson’s house with ‘The Empty Hearse’)
SUE: I love Sharon. [Sharon Rooney as Laura]
STEVEN: Somehow it’s made a huge impact on that episode and it’s a tiny part.
UNA: No such thing as.
MARK: Again, Sherlock is a celebrity in his own world in the original stories; also we’re having fun with the fact that it’s become a global phenomenon and everything, but actually that, even within the original stories there are people going, ‘I’ve heard of you, Mr Holmes,’ and becoming slightly obsessed with him.
STEVEN: Yeah, it’s part of the stories – it’s not something we’ve invented.
(In John and Mary’s bedroom where John is about to shave)
STEVEN: I love this little scene. I think it gives us the entire relationship between these two, and yet it’s another added scene you ran off and wrote because there was a set, and some time. ‘We’ve got Martin and Amanda and a set. Quickly, write something!’
MARK: D’you sometimes find – with the best will in the world – that you’ve thought everything was there and then you suddenly think, ‘D’you know, this just needs a little link or a couple of lines that just say the whole thing’?
STEVEN: Well, d’you know, a whole lot of major movies do what mostly we can’t afford to do in television, which is always have a two-week re-shoot planned from the very beginning to add stuff or to change stuff. And when you see the edit – ’cause that moment was missing, it wasn’t there, and it’s actually one of my favourite scenes in this. It gives such reality to that relationship, and it also accounts for the disappearance of the moustache. [Speaking quietly] Actually, he pulled one end of it and it tore away!
MARK: What are you talking about?!
(While Sherlock puts up photos and maps on the wall behind the sofa in 221B)
STEVEN: As quite often happens in Sherlock – it certainly happens in Scandal in Belgravia – ‘Hang on, the plot’s not done anything for a long while. Should we revisit it? Shall we go back? Yes!’
MARK: We had revealed the three key words the previous summer – Rat, Wedding, Bow ...
STEVEN: ... without having written a word of the show!
MARK: I wanted to do ‘the giant rat of Sumatra’ which is the most famous of the unrecorded adventures. What it was eventually gonna be was a great point of issue. All I really knew I wanted to do was something on the Tube, ’cause I’ve always loved it, but it went through an awful lot of permutations, didn’t it?
STEVEN: And constant ways of ‘How do we make it a rat?’
MARK: ‘We promised. We promised a rat.’
(The SherlOperation game)
SUE: I loved seeing you and Benedict discussing who’s cleverest of the brothers.
STEVEN: Very short discussion, ’cause Mycroft is cleverer! Sorry, Benedict, but Mycroft is always cleverer.
MARK: I love [that] it’s just they’re being children. In retrospect – things that we’re very glad about – we had a bit in The Great Game where Mycroft refers to something that Sherlock did as a child which disintegrated their happy home, revealed that their father was having an affair; and we took it out in order to retain mystery. Obviously now, thank God we did because we’ve gone so much further with the family explanation, but also it’s just so nice to tease things rather than just laying them out like that. People just speculate wildly about their childhood – as well they might.
STEVEN: I like the way we’ve gone, that their childhood is quite ordinary, [with] rather sweet parents.
MARK: We talked from the very beginning that odd hothouse flowers like Mycroft and Sherlock would not be the product of a broken home. They’re actually the product of an indulgent home.
STEVEN: Exactly. Exactly. Sherlock Holmes has been horribly indulged. Clearly the favourite son. ... Una gets to do a line from The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes: ‘I’m sure there’s a crying need for that.’
UNA: I bet they were horrendous siblings.
SUE: You wouldn’t want to come to their birthday party, would you?
STEVEN: Well, actually, that’s where the Christmas scene’s come from in His Last Vow. We just can’t imagine – what is Christmas dinner like, ’cause we had the line in Study in Pink – ‘You can imagine the Christmas dinners.’ We talked about the idea of it as a sort of comic relief sketch.
MARK: Essentially this is like them having a sword fight, but they did it with deductions, which they obviously used to play as children, thinking they were cool!
SUE: Were they home-taught, do you think?
MARK: Oh, definitely!
STEVEN: I think both behaviour patterns speak to no contact!
MARK: Home-taught, and I bet there was a lot of [home tutors] who resigned in disgust; and then they taught themselves, of course!
STEVEN: Imagine being their baby sitter!
MARK: I remember as soon as Benedict put this hat on, I thought, ‘That picture’s gonna go global!’
(As Sherlock perches the woollen hat on his head)
MARK: That’s actually the size of his brain.
(As Mycroft says, ‘I’m not lonely, Sherlock’)
STEVEN: Oh, you are. You’re a sad old Mycroft.
MARK: You don’t know about my giant goldfish.
STEVEN: It’s a koi carp! Shall we just have, next time, Mycroft having lots of goldfish there, as he’s started to experiment with friendship?!
MARK: Don’t spoil it! [As Mycroft] ‘I’ve tried cuddling them, but they just die’!
STEVEN: We are never afraid of low comedy, let it be said!
MARK: The idea was to show Sherlock having a really exciting time, and John having an increasingly mundane life. And also I’ve just discovered recently that doctors don’t do that [feeling a man’s testicles] any more. They can do it all with blood tests.
STEVEN: I had that done to me not that long ago. He said he was a doctor ...
MARK: It’s brewing! There’s a scandal brewing!
On to part 2