BBC One’s acclaimed Sherlock returns for three new 90-minute films in January, starting with A Scandal In Belgravia on New Year’s Day.
Written and created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the present-day retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective stories proved an instant hit when the series debuted last year.
“I was thrilled with how the first series of Sherlock was received,” says star Benedict Cumberbatch, commenting on the response to the first series of his contemporary consulting detective.
“It was such great fun to film, which makes it so rewarding when something you enjoy, is so well received.”
It wasn’t just the viewing audience that took a liking to Benedict’s reimagining of Sherlock, he became something of a style icon:
“The coat was interesting, because there is so much about Sherlock in the original Conan Doyle books, that is modern, so the hardest thing to get right were the clothes and how to dress him for a contemporary audience and what should the silhouette be.
“The coat was Ray Holman’s, the costume designer’s idea. Sherlock’s suits have a clean, linear, perfunctory beauty about them, there’s nothing showy or flamboyant. They’re very well cut, functional but still very stylish and I think that sums up Sherlock perfectly.”
There is plenty of humour in this series, a lot of which stems from Sherlock and John Watson (Martin Freeman) working out each other as friends and how to live with each other’s personalities.
“I think the humour comes out of new situations rather than their relationship. Without giving anything away, there are some very nice moments in the new series and of course there is the comedy of John reprimanding Sherlock.
“John knows now, what he’s dealing with in Sherlock, he’s accepting of his friend, I think in this series, what we see more of is John having to explain it to other people.”
Much has been made of the relationship with Sherlock and John Watson, so to dispel any speculation the writers kick off episode one with a love interest, Irene Adler.
“Yes, the last series played on that quite a few times, with two men living together, and so many people getting it wrong. But episode one presents a very definite female presence in the form of Irene Adler, and she is more than a match for Sherlock. It’s really nice to have a female counterpart.
“Irene Adler is someone who has an incredible amount of power. She’s very beautiful, very smart and intelligent, quick-thinking and resourceful. She’s got a lot of attributes that mirror Sherlock and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, Steven and Mark are very clear though, this is Sherlock ‘and’ Love, not Sherlock ‘in’ Love. But viewers can expect a lot of flirtation!”
Benedict outlines what the audience can expect in the three new titles:
“With series two we wanted to move the characters on, but at the same time you want to tick some of the boxes that made the first series so popular.
Now, John and Sherlock are established as a team, there are still a few ‘I can’t believe he’s doing that’ moments, but on the whole they form a united front. The characters are evolving, and they’re facing some of their biggest challenges yet. I think if anything has changed, he (Sherlock) is gaining humanity.”
And as for what the audience can look forward to watching in series two.
“I think the audience can expect three incredibly different films. The first episode is going to be about the heart, whatever that may be for Sherlock. The second episode is about horror and suspense and the third is going to be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and a thriller, so expect love, horror and thrills!”