Benedict Cumberbatch – “A lot of the deductions in Sherlock don’t bear up to much analysis”

It’s less about the whodunit and more about the what-the-hell’s-going-on, says the show’s star


Who knows how Sherlock Holmes devotees will take this – let alone Sherlock co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat – but the show’s star Benedict Cumberbatch thinks his character’s much-vaunted powers of deduction are actually a bit iffy.


The trademark of the great detective is his ability to extrapolate important conclusions from the smallest details, but Cumberbatch is not convinced those chains of reasoning always hang together.

“A lot of the problems, a lot of the deductions – you know, they’re great – but some of them don’t bear up to an awful lot of analysis,” said Cumberbatch.

He was making the point, which far fewer fans would dispute, that it’s the relationship between Sherlock and his friend John that is at the heart of the show’s success.

“You don’t know where [Sherlock’s] extraordinary analysis or temperament are going to take you and you are grabbing hold of Watson, as the audience, and being dragged through Victorian – or in our case 21st century – London helter skelter,” Cumberbatch told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.


“It’s not necessarily the whodunit but the ‘what the hell’s going on?’”