Sherlock: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss open up about "human" series three

The co-creators tell San Diego Comic Con that Sherlock and Watson's reunion is a "show-stopper"

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Sherlock: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss open up about "human" series three
Written By
Stephen Kelly

At yesterday’s San Diego Comic Con Q&A, Steven Moffat opened up about Sherlock’s upcoming third series, citing things would be “Slightly more human, and slightly more real.”

Still reeling from series two’s quite literally groundbreaking cliffhanger, the audience plied the panel with questions in regards to where series three would pick up. As ever, Moffat was characteristically tight-lipped, but did say the mystery of Sherlock’s death pales in comparison to the impact of his confidant Watson’s reaction in episode one The Empty Hearse. Co-writer Mark Gatiss backed up the admission, citing that in the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, John forgives Sherlock very quickly. That's not going to happen in the show, apparently.

"We wanted to explore how it really affected all of his friends and family,” he said, before confirming that the mystery of Sherlock's death is easily solvable from clues provided so far. “There’s only so many ways you can fall off a roof and survive. It’s not black magic.”

“It's a rational explanation, we knew how it was going happen,” Moffat added. “When you see the answer you'll see yes, we knew in advance and it had to be plotted out. Sherlock and John reuniting is the show-stopper of the episode.” Moffat then went on to call their reunion an "electrifying" and "lengthy sequence" that might be his favourite ever Sherlock moment.

In reference to the Rat, Wedding, Bow episodes themselves, Mark Gatiss revealed that The Empty Hearse is only partly based on Conan Doyle's The Empty House, while the 'wedding' episode The Sign Of Three is based on...[potential spoiler follows for those now aware of the source material] the wedding of Watson. In an exclusive scene from the episode, Watson is shown asking Sherlock to be his best man. The as of yet untitled third episode is set to begin filming in September.

The news was also confirmed that Andrew Scott would be returning, but that Moriarity, whom he played, was definitely dead. Mofatt further explained the complexities behind the character’s demise.

“He shoots himself in the brains. You don’t come back from that.”

As suggested by Martin Freeman in his introductory video-message, the fans were belligerent in finding out from Moffat and co. as many Sherlock details as possible from the San Diego Comic Con Q&A. So after revelations on new commissions and the series two ending were teased out, talk turned to romance, as co-creators Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and producer Sue Vertue discussed Sherlock’s much speculated love life. 

“A girlfriend?” Moffat laughed, upon questioning. “He’d poison a girlfriend just to see if it worked.” However, all may not be hopeless for the lone-detective as the panel were asked about his assistant Molly’s role in series 3. 

“Molly was not meant to be a big part, initially,” they admitted, before Gatiss went on to elaborate that the pair's relationship had become “touching” and Molly was one of the only people Sherlock trusted.

Vertue was more upfront about the pair's future. “Molly and Sherlock are not going to happen the way Tumblr thinks it will happen,” she announced, bluntly, in reference to the site's penchant for unique fan fiction and art. 

“Wait ‘til you see what she does this season,” Moffat added cryptically. 

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