Steven Moffat on the Sherlock fall: ‘We got an expert in to help with the solution’

“But we’ve left in the possibility that Sherlock is lying his ass off,” admits co-creator Mark Gatiss


Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have admitted that the long-awaited solution to the detective’s death-defying cliffhanger plunge wasn’t all their own work. But rather than take inspiration from fan solutions, as some commentators have suggested, the writers say they enlisted the help of an expert.


“We realised we would need a very, very good explanation,” said Moffat. “So we got help in – we got an expert in on how you would stage such a thing, how you would pull off such a deception.”

“There are Sherlock suicide experts who are consultable,” added Gatiss – now with tongue firmly in cheek – “he’s a consulting suicide expert. He lives in 2222 Baker Street. It’s right up the top.”

Moffat confirmed that the solution had been in place long before Sherlock fans got a crack at solving it. “If you watch [season two finale] The Reichenbach Fall, there are elements there that point in certain directions, things that Sherlock does.”

But the pair admitted that the solution Sherlock finally gives at the end of series three episode The Empty Hearse remains open to question.

“Just when you think you’re safe you’re then invited to wonder if any of it’s true,” said Moffat. “Because, Sherlock being Sherlock, why would he tell you?”

“We’ve left in the possibility that Sherlock is lying his ass off,” added Gatiss.

Moffat and Gatiss were speaking as part of an interview that forms part of the extra features on the upcoming DVD release of Sherlock series three. It also includes interviews with stars including Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, as well as some of the numerous theories put forward by fans.

Sherlock: Complete Series 3 is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 20 January and is available to pre-order at BBC Shop now