The stars of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, were not scheduled to appear for the Sherlock panel at Comic-Con – but they did make an appearance – via pre-recorded videos, while co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and producer Sue Vertue were in person. Freeman appeared in his full Bilbo costume plus sunglasses, asking the audience to scream a lot and ask the panel a lot of “belligerent questions”, while Cumberbatch joked that he was there for a Star Trek: Into Darkness press junket.
The audience enjoyed a scene from the second episode of the upcoming third Sherlock series, where Holmes (Cumberbatch) delivers a Best Man speech to the groom, Watson (Freeman).
As is typical, genre shows were largely ignored unless they have a HUGE following. Game of Thrones netted 11 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (for Peter Dinklage). American Horror Story received a whopping 17 nominations, tying Mad Men for overall noms. Sherlock received 13 for “A Scandal In Belgravia”, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie (Martin Freeman).
But perhaps the most surprising is what wasn’t nominated – The Walking Dead, which received no major nominations, getting just Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special, Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series and Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5 and prolific writer of comic books and movies now, watched the first part of the second series of Steven Moffat’s Sherlock, after which he took to Facebook and Twitter to give praise. On Facebook he said:
After watching tonight’s Sherlock episode the only thing keeping me from getting out of the writing business is knowing it would bring joy to too many people. Goddamn that may be some of the best television I’ve ever seen…I’m doomed.
Then on Twitter, he addressed Steven Moffat directly:
straczynski: @steven_moffat I bow to a superior mind. You do stunning work. If I quit the business for fear of inadequacy it’s entirely your fault.
After which a bit of back-and-forth took place:
stevan_moffat: @straczynski Oh hello! How nice to meet you! Very kind – far TOO kind.
straczynski: @steven_moffat Not at all. Series 1 was amazing but tonight I paused it every half hour to digest just how stunningly great it was bravo.
stevan_moffat: @straczynski No pressure for series 3 then! Cake walk! Hope you keep enjoying.
straczynski: @steven_moffat Honestly one of the best things I’ve seen on TV. I’m in awe. You should be most proud.
This of course ignited a lot of tweets about getting JMS to write an episode of Sherlock, or even Doctor Who. Moffat didn’t respond to any of that, but when asked by another person if he’d write an episode of Who if asked by Moffat, JMS replied, “Totally.”
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who stole the TV screen for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern retelling Sherlock, and will be the voice of the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit and the unconfirmed-but-everyone-is-pretty-certain-who-it-is villain in the sequel to Star Trek, appeared on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz, and discussed a bit about his Sherlock role and how he auditioned for the role on Star Trek via iPhone…check the excerpt below.
The second series of Sherlock will air on local PBS stations this weekend under Masterpiece Mystery!.
Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone) has reportedly been tapped to play Sherlock Holmes in the pilot for CBS’ modern day retelling of Sherlock Holmes, called Elementary. The script for the pilot comes from Robert Doherty (Medium), who will produce along with Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly (Justified), with Michael Cuesta (Homeland) directing.
An interesting bit of trivia about this casting – Miller was recently playing the monster on stage in London for an adaptation of Frankenstein, which was split with another actor – Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern-day version, Sherlock – and the producers of that version are not happy about the CBS version…
Hot on the heels of the earlier announcement, another British actor is scored for Star Trek 2: Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s been pretty hot lately. After starring in the British mini-series Sherlock (with more episodes currently airing in the UK), he scored roles in The War Horse and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and is playing two rules in the upcoming The Hobbit films – the voice of the Necromancer and Smaug the Dragon.
Deadline reports that Cumberbatch will be playing a lead role, but nothing more. Could he be a villain? Khan?
There wasn’t a lot of genre stuff going on at the Emmys last night, but there were a few highlights. Although Game of Thrones was nominated 13 times, it only won one (aside from a Creative Arts award announced last week) – Peter Dinklage won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister. Jim Parsons won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
On other Creative Arts Emmys (where the genre shows tend to do well), Futurama won two, for Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (Maurice LaMarche as Lrrr/Orson Welles). The Walking Dead also won for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup.
Other little tidbits – the pre-filmed open included Leonard Nimoy as “Television Network President” (apparently a late replacement for Alec Baldwin, reportedly upset they cut a joke at NewsCorp’s expense – it was aired on NewsCorp-owned FOX), and Marcel Vigneron was briefly shown during the open wearing his Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen shirt – although he and his show were not nominated or otherwise part of the Emmys (and I still haven’t heard confirmation that it is or is not coming back).
Current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat was in the audience, but for Outstanding Writing for his Sherlock mini-series. Alas he didn’t win (nor did Sherlock pick any of for it’s 3 other nominations), losing to Julian Fellowes and his Downton Abbey (which is an excellent series as well).
Doctor Who isn’t up for a BAFTA award this year, but the Doctor himself is – or rather, Matt Smith – apparently the first time that the actor playing the Doctor has been nominated. The competition is fierce though, and there is a significant SF presence, as the Drama Series category includes Being Human, Misfits, the Who-esque Sherlock, and Downton Abbey.
Smith also faces competition in the Leading Actor from Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Jim Broadbent (Any Human Heart, but no stranger to the Doctor – he played the role very temporarily in a comedy short – or Harry Potter fans), and Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie).
Other related noms were Lauren Socha (Misfits) for Leading Actress and Martin Freeman (Sherlock) for Supporting Actor. Misfits was also nominated for New Media.
The BAFTA awards take place May 22nd.
If you’ve watched both shows, you’ve seen the similarities – not just because of Steven Moffat being in charge of both, but also that you could picture Benedict Cumberbatch as the Doctor playing Sherlock Holmes for fun. So there was the natural question of the possibility of a crossover. But Moffat isn’t amenable to that. In a NY Times interview mostly about the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol”, he answers about being asked about the two characters meeting: “I think everyone who’s passing me in the streets is suggesting that at the moment. I think there are problems of doing that, because then you would say that Sherlock Holmes lives in the same world as the Doctor, and there are Daleks and all sorts of things. If a Sherlock Holmes story depends on time travel being impossible, it’s quite hard if he’s a personal friend of the Doctor’s, isn’t it?” All true, but it could work – if the Doctor puts aside the advanced technology and plays along for the adventure. But then, it would be like identical twin Sherlocks solving a mystery…maybe that’s not so good.
Seems my Bothan-er, Warner Home Video/BBC spies have failed me – not only do I not seem to be getting my customary early X-Mas present of Doctor Who DVDs this year (Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series is out on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday), but I was unaware that Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss and writer/producer Steven Moffat’s critically acclaimed series Sherlock also appears on DVD and Blu-ray the same day. I have heard nothing but good things about this version, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (The Last Enemy, Hawking) as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (soon to be very well known as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit) as Dr. John Watson, and have been waiting for it to come to the U.S. on television. What I didn’t realize is that it was being shown on PBS, and is under the “Masterpiece Mystery!” banner and not under its own name. Check your local PBS listings, but fortunately in Boston they are repeated all three episodes on November 14th…thanks to @dire_rampancy for the tweet about that, and @tnsears for also pointing out that it is available online on the PBS website under Masterpiece Theater.