Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat has expressed frustration at criticism of female characters in the BBC drama, after some viewers complained about the death of Amanda Abbington’s Mary Watson in the most recent series. 

“I massively expanded the role of Mrs Hudson in Sherlock,” the screenwriter told the i. “Mary Watson dies in the end because she always did. With Molly Hooper we gave Sherlock more of a female voice than ever.”

Moffat, who is soon to discuss Sherlock and Doctor Who at the BFI & Radio Times Festival next weekend (where he’ll also be inducted into the Radio Times Hall of Fame), also described Sherlock’s production company Hartswood Films as a “feminist studio run by women,” most notably his own wife Sue Vertue. 

And ultimately, he explained, Sherlock is “the story of two blokes,” a fact he couldn’t change.

“What am I supposed to do with that?” he asked. “Make one of them a woman? We chose not to do that.”

He added: “The last Sherlock episode was a massive hit on any viewing metric scale. You can’t take a few commentators to be the voice of the audience.”

Steven Moffat will be in conversation with Frank Skinner at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival at BFI Southbank, London on 9th April; Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss will be in conversation with Radio Times TV Editor Alison Graham, also on the 9th April; and Sherlock’s composers will join with Gatiss and executive producer Sue Vertue for a discussion of the series’ music, also on the 9th April.

Visit the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival website for details