We’ve already taken a look at some juicy tidbits about Series One and Two and so, in the spirit of completion, this month we’re serving up 10 more fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about Series Three.
1. How to Fake a Death
To make sure that Sherlock’s faked death was as believable as possible, the production team hired an ‘expert’ on the matter to consult them on what was the best way to go about it. Certain things this expert helped them with include the exact size of the mattress Sherlock would need to fall on after his jump off the hospital roof.
2. Martin’s Moustache
Martin Freeman really hated the fake moustache he had to wear in The Empty Hearse. “But I’m a sex symbol,” Mark Gatiss remembers Freeman jokingly lamenting. Hopefully, Martin and the moustache he is wearing in the upcoming Victorian-set special got on better…
3. Mrs Hudson, Private Eye
The original plan was to have Mrs Hudson accompany Sherlock on his cases, as his replacement John, in The Empty Hearse before it was decided that Molly should fill the role instead. If anyone wants to start a petition calling for a Mrs Hudson spin-off, then be our guest. The tagline? “She’s not your housekeeper – she’s a detective.”
4. A Mark of All Trades
Mark Gatiss, as well as being a writer, actor and producer, also added directing to his long list of capabilities in this series, as he filmed some scenes in The Empty Hearse, including the shots of Lord Moran in his hotel room. Mark has also ventured into directing in his 2013 TV ghost story The Tractate Middoth.
The running times of the first cuts of these three episodes were wildly different. At first, both The Empty Hearse and The Sign of Three severely under-ran so extra scenes were quickly added in (including John shaving off his moustache in Hearse) while His Last Vow was initially a whopping five and a half hours long! – director Nick Hurran recorded many lengthy dialogue-free scenes.
A five and a half hours of Sherlock would have been pretty cool!
Sorry, folks, but that five-and-a-half-hour first cut is some sort of urban fan myth. They probably shot around that much film altogether, but they always do, because they tend to do three or four takes of each scene, with the intent of using only the best.
Regarding usable footage, the “Empty Hearse” commentary quotes Stephen Moffat as follows: ‘His Last Vow’ was a very long script, and I remember it was about 140 pages at one point and you said, Mark, you said, ‘Ah, so it’ll be ten minutes long, then, going by our current record,’ and it was dead easy to get to time. We hardly lost anything.
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I see! It did seem too good to be true.
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