Sherlock – Steven Moffat: We hope we can hang on to Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

The series co-creator discusses the availability of his lead actors as well as anxiety over the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who

Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat has been discussing the availability issues that arise when the stars of your series are Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman: 


“Yes, it’s a problem by accident and design,” Moffat said at this year’s Radio Times covers party. “We do have two of the biggest film stars in the world playing the leads in our show. But they seem to like doing it and we hope we can hang on to them for a bit.” 

The third series of the BBC1 detective drama is due to begin shooting in March, with transmission currently scheduled for autumn 2013. 

But this three-part run isn’t the only project that Moffat is working on – he’s also masterminding Doctor Who’s forthcoming 50th anniversary in November. So what is his working day currently like? 

“Hell,” the writer admits. “But it’s hell in a lovely way because I’m working on my two favourite shows – Doctor Who and Sherlock. Not a completely unbiased choice, but it is very difficult. There’s a lot to do. I’m a bit anxious and scared about getting the Doctor Who 50th wrong, but I think it’s going well.” 

Part of those birthday celebrations will include a dramatised account of the early years of the show entitled An Adventure in Space and Time, which is written by Mark Gatiss and will star David Bradley as William Hartnell: 


“It’s pretty amazing,” commented Moffat. “I went to a read-through today. I think it’s going to be a moving and revealing piece. Particularly if you know nothing about the early days of Doctor Who. I think it will startle you. If you know everything about the early days of Doctor Who, I think it will make you cry.”