Amanda Abbington wants to return to Sherlock: “You never really leave”

The actress doesn't want to say goodbye to Mary Watson

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Warning: this article contains spoilers – although Amanda Abbington reckons it’s time to stop pandering to people who’ve not seen Sherlock series four, saying: “If you haven’t seen it yet then quite frankly you deserve the spoiler, you deserve for it to be ruined.”

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Mary Watson may have undoubtedly, unquestionably died – taking a bullet for Sherlock Holmes in a dramatic New Year’s Day episode – but Amanda Abbington is still hoping it’s not the end of her time on the BBC drama, revealing that she’s had some top advice from Moriarty actor Andrew Scott. 

“He said to me, you never leave,” she told Radio 1 DJ Greg James. “You never really leave Sherlock. And it’s true, because they always do flashbacks and stuff like that. So I’m hoping that at some point Mary will come back and do something else.”

In fact, Abbington has already been resurrected as Mary, appearing in the second instalment of series four as a figment of her husband John’s imagination, and in the season finale on a DVD she had recorded for him prior to her death.

And she said killing off her character had been the right thing to do. “It was a good run, and I love the fact that they killed her off. Because she had to die anyway, because they killed her in the books, and I quite liked the dramatic-ness of it. It was good. It was quite Bond-esque, and it felt quite dark and mysterious, and she takes a bullet, she’s like a hero.”

The original novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle referenced John Watson’s “bereavement” – so that’s where Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat took their cue from, though they did use some dramatic licence in her exit storyline. 

Abbington, who has now separated from co-star Martin Freeman, watched the show with their two children – who were unsurprisingly upset about seeing their mother’s on-screen death. 

“My kids watched it and just wept, they were so devastated,” she told James. “And they couldn’t believe it, and I said, Look I’m here, I’m here, mummy’s acting.’ But they couldn’t – they were like, ‘Mummy’s dead!'”

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Just another reason to bring back Mary Watson in the next series.