Comic-Con 2013: The Sherlock Series 3 Panel

Mark Gatiss and The Moff bring new footage...

Team Sherlock came to Comic-Con for the show’s first trip to San Diego. Sadly for the many Cumberfans, neither he nor Martin Freeman were available for an appearance (watch their special video message below), but co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss plus producer/Moffat better half Sue Vertue did have the time to talk about the show in general and series three in particular. Oh, and to show a clip from one of the new episodes, which we can safely say... nothing about, because of spoilers.

In typical Moff style, Steven was loth to let anything slip, particularly on how the big cliffhanger from The Reichenbach Fall will be resolved. That theme was continued by Benedict Cumberbatch, who despite not being there in person, sent a recorded message (which you can see here) initially riffing on his work on Star Trek and The Hobbit before getting to Sherlock and “revealing” the solution with cuddly monkeys... though the signal was mysteriously lost before he got to anything juicy. Freeman also sent a quick vid, clad in Hobbit ears and encouraging the audience to tear the clothes from Moffat and co.

Though no secrets were spilled about exactly how Sherlock survives his clash with Moriarty (who, by the way, is definitely dead – Moffat joked that having actor Andrew Scott show up to play the villain’s corpse was “cheaper than a mannequin”), the trio did say that the reunion between John Watson and Holmes will be well worth waiting for. It’s an emotional moment that “goes on and on,” according to Gatiss.

As promised, the panel unveiled a clip from an upcoming episode, though we are going to honour Vertue’s request not to say anything about it, other than that, in true Sherlock style, it’s funny, charming and sweet.

So now that they’re big shot movie stars, have the two leads changed? “They have bigger trailers now,” said Vertue, before going on to explain about them being “in a three-way to begin with”, which sparked cheers, whoops and wolf whistles aplenty from the audience and had Moffat giggling like a naughty school boy. “Trailers,” stressed Vertue. “Then a two-way, and now they’ve split up.” Everybody, however, is happy to keep working on the show; it’s just a question of scheduling. Molly fans will be happy to hear that Louise Brealey's popular character will get a little more screentime, especially since she's one of the few people Sherlock truly trusts.

Among the other topics covered? Producing original material not based on Conan Doyle’s stories (“We sort of pick things like magpies and write our own stories,” explained Moffat) and the idea that the show could conceivably run for 20-30 years and beyond. “We love the idea of the audience growing up with the show and the characters growing too,” said Gatiss. Their plan is to have the characters mature and, potentially end up near the ages we’re used to seeing them in other adaptations. As for when we can see more episodes? “Benedict managed to commission Series Four on a red carpet, so we’re just going to have him announce everything else from now on,” joked Moffat. “First up – Mark and I are getting knighthoods. It’s worth a try.” In actual fact, both leading men are optioned for the fourth go-around.

Finally, to what do the producers credit the Cumberbatch appeal? Moffat has a theory: “Apparently, the more famous you get, the better looking you get, too...”.