Continuing on from last month’s look at some fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about Series One, this time we turn to – yes, you don’t need to be Sherlock to deduce it – Series Two. First up, did you know it isn’t really Benedict playing that violin…?
1. Violin virtuoso
Yes, we’ve been deceived. While Benedict took violin lessons to convincingly play the instrument on-screen, his playing is dubbed over in the final show by professional violinist Eon Chater. Chin up, though, Ben, as Chater has said ‘I have no doubt [Cumberbatch] would be a good violinist if he had the inclination.’
2. It’s a riot!
Back in August 2011, Sherlock filming was greatly disturbed by the infamous London riots. In particular, the Speedy’s Cafe scene in A Scandal in Belgravia was filmed right in the heart of it. ‘The riots were genuinely frightening,’ Mark Gatiss has said. ‘You can feel a bit silly doing ‘showbiz’ when stuff like that is going on.’
3. How to be a villain
Andrew Scott deliberately did no research for the part of Moriarty, hoping to create a completely original performance. He didn’t read the Conan Doyle stories and refused to watch other adaptations of the character. He even eschewed watching the performances of other classic villains such as Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
After the success of the first series, Moffat and Gatiss often got bombarded with requests from big-time celebs to appear in Sherlock, only to turn them all down. They have said the reason for this is because they much prefer to cast lesser-known actors and make them into stars, just as they did with their main cast.
5. Driving Dr Watson
The scene in The Hounds of Baskerville when Sherlock can be seen driving seems out of character for the detective. Well, originally it was intended for Watson to be in the driver’s seat – until Martin Freeman revealed he couldn’t drive. He later had to learn for his role in Fargo and so can be seen driving in Series Three episode His Last Vow.
People keep getting the driving fact wrong. He filmed Fargo after Series 3 of Sherlock. The commentary even states that Watson only looks like he’s driving in His Last Vow but that he only learned after the filming wrapped, for Fargo. If you actually watch the episode, John gets into the car and then the next scene cuts to the destination with John then exiting the vehicle. After he finds Sherlock it’s Mary who has switched places and is in the driver’s seat. We never actually physically see John driving.
The cast once said Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue were locked outside, and two of them had to sleep in Gatiss’s car. And that was not a prank, Ben did it by accident. In the Sherlock Chronicles I think…