This morning at the MCM Comic Con in London, Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss were joined by producer Sue Vertue and actress Amanda Abbington, who played Mary Morstan a.k.a. Mary Watson on the third season of BBC’s Sherlock.
The big news out of the panel is that the upcoming 90-minute Sherlock Christmas special will be called The Abominable Bride. And in a first for U.S. Sherlock fans, PBS will be airing Sherlock: The Abominable Bride on January 1, 2016, the same day as its debut on BBC One!
As previously confirmed, The Abominable Bride is a standalone story that reimagines the modern Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) in the Victorian era of the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. When asked how Cumberbatch’s Sherlock can survive in a world without iPhones, Gatiss replied that “there is some precedent!” Gatiss noted that the Christmas special will retain the style and humor of the Sherlock series, and he also teased that he might appear as Mycroft Holmes in the special.
The moderator attempted to ask Abbington what she can reveal about Mary’s role in the special, to which Moffat replied “Nothing!” For her part, Abbington said that it is difficult keeping secrets, but at least she can talk to her romantic partner, Martin Freeman, about the show.
One of the most exciting moments of the panel came when Moffat and Gatiss confirmed that season four of Sherlock will begin filming in Spring 2016, and they are both busy working on scripts. The format of three 90-minute specials will be retained for the fourth season of Sherlock.
During the fan Q&A, Abbington was asked about Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) and her potential romance with Sherlock. Abbington said that Mary and Molly would have fun together and look after each other while also looking after Sherlock and John.
Moffat was asked about what happened after Sherlock’s final scene with Irene Adler (Lara Pulver). Moffat said that “we don’t know what happened” between the two characters, and added that he enjoys not knowing. When the inevitable question came up about whether the Doctor (from Doctor Who) and Sherlock would be friends, Moffat replied that both Sherlock and the Doctor really like being the cleverest person in the room.
The third season finale of Sherlock teased the return of Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) despite his apparent suicide at the end of the second season. Moffat couldn’t resist teasing the audience when asked about that. He said that Moriarty shot himself in the head in front of the most intelligent person in the world. “He’s dead. He can’t come back. Or can he?”
Abbington noted that she had fun filming Mary’s marriage to John in Sherlock season 3, but she said that she preferred the scene where her character shot Sherlock. Abbington also said that she didn’t know that Mary was an assassin until she read the third script of the season. She added that Mary loves John and she would do anything for him.
Gatiss fielded the question about doing more than three episodes per season. He said that it wouldn’t be possible, because three 90-minute Sherlock specials work well for everyone’s busy schedules. He also teased that the audience could learn more about Mycroft before cautioning that they don’t want to give away too much about him. Gatiss addressed a question about a female Sherlock and replied that it was not impossible and that it could be interesting, but they are not recasting.
To close out the panel, Moffat and Gatiss were asked for their favorite Sherlock moment. Moffat picked the popular “I Am Sherlocked” scene from Scandal in Belgravia, while Gatiss said that for him it was something in the upcoming Christmas special. “You’ll know it when you see it.”
Sherlock fans, are you excited about The Abominable Bride and the upcoming fourth season? Share your deductions in the comment section below!
Image Credit: BBC