After Sherlock’s series four head-smashing, fist-pumping and bloodhound-chasing opening episode, some thought the famous Baker Street detective had gone a bit, well, Bond.
Yup, despite Holmes being described in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original source material as “undoubtedly one of the finest boxers of his weight", writer Ralph Jones for The Guardian said Benedict Cumberbatch was "perversely morphing" into 007.
Well, Sherlock co-creator and Mycroft actor Mark Gatiss has hit back Holmes-style with a five-verse poem. With rhymes and everything.
Addressing his critic in a letter sent to The Guardian, Gatiss wrote: "Here is a critic who says with low blow, Sherlock's no brain-box but become double-O.
"Says the Baker St boy is no man of action – whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction."
Here’s the (downright brilliant) poem in full…
Here is a critic who says with low blow
Sherlock’s no brain-box but become double-O.
Says the Baker St boy is no man of action –
whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction.
The Solitary Cyclist sees boxing on show,
The Gloria Scott and The Sign of the Fo’
The Empty House too sees a mention, in time, of Mathews,
who knocked out poor Sherlock’s canine.
As for arts martial, there’s surely a clue
in the misspelled wrestle Doyle called baritsu.
In hurling Moriarty over the torrent
did Sherlock find violence strange and abhorrent?
In shooting down pygmies and Hounds from hell
Did Sherlock on Victorian niceties dwell?
When Gruner’s men got him was Holmes quite compliant
Or did he give good account for The Illustrious Client?
There’s no need to invoke in yarns that still thrill,
Her Majesty’s Secret Servant with licence to kill
From Rathbone through Brett to Cumberbatch dandy
With his fists Mr Holmes has always been handy.
But that might not have finished their war of words, according to Jones.
This can only end badly. And probably with an overload of rhyming couplets.
Sherlock continues on BBC1 this Sunday 8th January at 9pm