Five lessons learned at the Women of Sherlock panel at RadioTimes Fest

Behind every powerful man, there is an even more powerful woman

Those were the words that kick-started the “Women of Sherlock” panel at the inaugural Radio Times Festival. Fan favourites: Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson), Louise Brealey (Molly) and Amanda Abbington (Mary) were in attendance alongside executive producers/writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

And here are a few things I learned:

Mrs. Hudson is a sweetie and I want her to be my land-lady

Una Stubbs, who plays Sherlock’s colourful land-lady, is just as adorable as her character. More than once, she mentioned how she loves Benedict and Martin and often thinks of them as her sons. She even makes small suggestions about scenes based on how her own children would behave. For instance, she suggested that upon entering her apartment Sherlock should go straight to the fridge and help himself to some food before even saying hello. Haven’t we all seen guys do that?

She also confessed that she is always afraid of ruining a scene because that would mean that Benedict would have to start over with his tremendously long speech. Aw. I wouldn’t mind living with this lady, I bet she would offer me cookies.

The writers try to stay close to the books but had to take some liberties with the supporting characters

Steven Moffat thinks that Sherlock and Watson are incredibly vivid in the books. However, the rest of the characters [except for maybe Moriarty] are “just there”. As a consequence, they had to take several liberties with the female characters in order to give them more dimensions. For instance, he felt Mrs. Hudson needed an edgy backstory, because… why else would she put up with Sherlock?

Sherlock and Watson are “not blokey blokes”

Those were the words Amanda Abbington used to describe the duo. Of course, at this point, it became just a bit unclear if she was talking about Sherlock and Watson or Benedict and Martin or both. I guess she has a point and it is the reason Sherlock is not your average “buddy” show. Steven Moffat once again explained the nature of Sherlock – in case you weren’t paying attention or are still in denial – he is all about the puzzle and not particularly interested in sex or women. He followed this remark by an apology to the audience “sorry everyone”.

But speaking of women…

A female Sherlock?

The universe has a female Watson [Lucy Liu on Elementary], but not yet a female Sherlock [unless you count Shirley Holmes]. What does Steven Moffat think? He definitely doesn’t want to open the door for an attack of why he didn’t cast a woman… I suspect this is more about a female Doctor rather than a female Sherlock. So he is not interested in this particular line of questioning, however… not entirely joking he pointed out that a female Sherlock is feasible. Paraphrasing him: “You don’t even have to change the name… or the dialogue”. I am amazed at how much polemic there is around casting well known male characters as females… Rather than fighting that particular battle, I think I would rather have writers create new original strong female characters… but that is a debate for another post.  Back to Sherlock…

Stuff is happening on the Christmas Special

There was a lot of dancing around the Christmas special but not a lot of information! [Although we got to see a short clip starring Watson’s curled moustache]. Amanda and Louise even picked it as their favourite episode ever but couldn’t say why… Hmm intrigue.

Now this is complete speculation, but I also got the feeling that one or more characters might die… A member of the audience asked Steven to “please refrain himself from killing either Mary or Molly” to which he simply replied “I didn’t know this was a democracy. This is not a democracy”. No sir. Don’t tell the man what to do… he clearly knows what he is doing [And that’s the writer in me opposing to the public asking for rewrites on principle].

But seriously… don’t kill Molly [Who would inspire little girls to become morticians if she dies?]

Share on Google Plus


Alejandra spends her days watching TV, writing for TV, writing about TV. Hopefully, one day, she will get substantially paid for all three. Follow her on twitter @azannier

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment

Add your Comment Here