Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss reveal their top picks for female Sherlock Holmes

Although deciding on a Watson proved much more difficult...

Michelle Gomez plays Missy in Doctor Who

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have shared their top picks for a female Sherlock Holmes, with a Doctor Who star among the suggested names.


The team behind BBC One’s popular crime drama reunited for a virtual event celebrating 10 years since the show first premiered, answering a number of questions submitted by fans on social media.

Moffat, Gatiss and Sherlock producer Sue Vertue were asked who they think would make a good female version of the iconic detective, his partner Watson and his nemesis Moriarty.

For Moffat, the first name that came to mind was Doctor Who’s Michelle Gomez, who played Missy (AKA The Master) on the long-running sci-fi series, while Gatiss said Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge would be a “rather good” choice.

Moffat went on to suggest Academy Award winner Olivia Colman (The Crown) for Sherlock Holmes, while Vertue opted for Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer.

Moffat said: “I think it’s a really great question. I think we could sit here and generate quite a lot of names of female Sherlock Holmes, I think that part would go female very easily. I don’t think you have to do anything. Change the pronouns, but you don’t even have to change the name.

“Do you know what I get stuck on? Who is John Watson as a woman? I find that slightly harder to think of that kind of performance.”

He added: “Maybe I just find it hard to imagine any woman putting up with Sherlock Holmes. You imagine a man would put up with Sherlock Holmes somehow, but a woman would just say, ‘Oh, f**k off.'”

The team agreed that any good choice for Sherlock could also play Moriarty, with the roles famously portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott in the BBC show.

Fans are still patiently waiting for word on a potential season five, but there is still some hope given the creators still have Sherlock Holmes mysteries they would be keen to adapt.

In addition, Gatiss appeared in an unexpected social media video over the weekend, reprising the role of Mycroft, which he played throughout all four series.


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