Mark Gatiss: Sherlock and John Romance is “Not the Story We Want to Tell”


There has been renewed interest of late in the age-old theory that Sherlock is heading towards a point where John and Sherlock will enter into a romantic relationship. The interest springs from the intriguing latest trailer for the new series which sees the detective uttering the immortal words “I love you” to someone unseen.

In a Q&A on Tumblr, however, co-creator Mark Gatiss has apparently put the dampers on the idea. When asked if he is against the idea of “Johnlock”, here’s what the writer/actor replied:

“Of course we’re not against it. But as we have explained many times, that’s not the story that we want to tell. Obviously as a gay man myself, I have no problem with the notion that a Sherlock Holmes and a Doctor Watson could be in a relationship together, but ours aren’t. It’s as simple as that. Sherlock is clearly capable of feeling emotion and of falling for someone, but that someone is not John Watson, despite his love and great affection for him.”

So who is it that Sherlock is saying “I love you” to in Series Four, then? Gatiss offered a tongue-in-cheek suggestion:

“His mum, obviously. He doesn’t ring home often enough and usually forgets her birthday. He’s a very naughty boy.”

Well, that sounds pretty conclusive to us. Or is Gatiss lying to keep fans off the scent? Leave your feelings on the matter in the comments below…


20 thoughts on “Mark Gatiss: Sherlock and John Romance is “Not the Story We Want to Tell”

      • I agree with Kasia26 There are just so many proofs that he is gay, obviously. I mean one of the thousands you can find in “A Study in Pink” in the Café. “So do you have a girlfriend?” – “Girlfriend? No, not really my area.” -“Alright. So you have a boyfriend? Which is fine by the way.” – “I know it is fine but no”. 🙂
        Of course he is gay.


  1. Well, it’s pretty obvious they weren’t ever meant to be a couple. The showrunners made a mistake, I think, when they tried to play with this theme as a long-running joke, and now they’ve got a lot of the fans who before 2010 knew nothing about SH thinking that’s what it’s meant to be from the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • After I’ve read ypur comment several times I am quite sure that you are serious and you’re not being sarcastic.
      So, you’re trying to tell us that you actually believe that Sherlock Holmes is a heterosexual man? Where should I start? Maybe at “A Study in Pink”, the restaurant scene. “Do you have a girlfriend” – “Girlfriend? No, not really my area.” – “Oh. So, do you have a boyfriend then? Which is fine by the way…” – “I know it is fine, but no”.
      If he would be heterosexual, these answers would be kinda strange. I mean why would he reply that having a girlfriend is not his area? He would just simply say “No.”
      Okay, he isn’t attracted to women, we know that. But not being attracted to women doesn’t mean you’re gay. He could also be an asexual, but same here. He didn’t deny that it could be possible for him to have a boyfriend, he just said that having a girlfriend is not his area, didn’t he?

      If you need more proofs, just ask 🙂



      • Hey, there

        Well, it doesn’t surprise me as much nowadays that people give so much importance to that dialogue, just because I’ve seen it a lot lately. But seriously, that dialogue is clearly meant to poke fun at the situation of them two there. The humor is pretty obvious: first the restaurant owner thinks they are a couple, then John mistakes Sherlock’s “not really my area” to mean that he isn’t into girls and thinks Sherlock is gay, then Sherlock mistakes John’s inquiries for “interest”… and it all gets cleared away in the end.

        It’s pretty clear for me that Sherlock’s “not really my area” is a reference to romantic relationships per se, not girls as opposed to guys. It states who Holmes is: he doesn’t do relationships and he has archenemies. There is really no more evidence in Watson and Holmes’ relationship that either of them is gay or bisexual than there is in any normal close friendship. If you have two people who are very close and understand each other so well, etc, it’s obvious that they’ll appear to outsiders to be a couple at times, which is precisely the long-running joke the showrunners go with.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Okay, let me be clearer:
      There are no gay jokes in Sherlock. There are only moments when gay relationships are mentioned or speculated. If you find yourself laughing at these moments it is because you find the idea of homosexuality laughable.
      “Sherlock thinks John is was hitting on him! That’s hilarious!”, “Mrs. Hudson thinks John is Sherlock’s boyfriend! HAHAHAHAHAH”, “Jeanette called John a great boyfriend.. to SHERLOCK HOLMES! AHAHAHA!!”, “That gay couple just asked John if Sherlock snores! HAHA WHAT!”, “Irene asks John if he was JEALOUS of her her omfg what that’s a good one!”. The only time we hear something that resembles as a gay joke we see Sherlock’s moping face and if you still think it is funny or you are laughing at gay subtext in BBC Sherlock you should really reconsider and think about how you watch TV.



      • Nah, don’t try to stake a claim for the truth here. This may be how you view it, but it’s just your opinion based on your theories—not on how the show is presented or on what the showrunners state.


    • What if I tell you that the show represents it exactly like this?
      I am alright with people thinking that Johnlock isn’t real, but I am not okay with people trying to say that BBC Sherlock is a queerbaiting show.


      • Do a simple test: go on Wikipedia and read the article on the show. See? That shows that it’s not portrayed as gay. As for queerbaiting, I don’t see how people can accuse them of that when the showrunners have stated more than ten times that it’s not a gay relationship, not ever going to be.


    • Of course they deny it, which showwriter would spoil their own show? I mean what the fuck? Do you actually think that Mark Gatiss or Steven Moffat would go into a press conference and say “yup Sherlock is gay, John is bi and they are totally dating.”
      I mean, c’mon


      • You can say that, but like I said, it’s just a theory. And when it turns out that johnlock won’t ever happen, you shouldn’t say the show is queerbaiting—it’s a bit unfair to refuse everything the showrunners say and then later on accuse them of queerbaiting, it just won’t stick. The only queerbait is in people’s minds, just because they theorize far too much.


    • Yeah, a joke of 3 seasons, they really screwed up making sherlock look like he was heartbroken during John’s wedding, they shouldn’t do that. You know? This is then the biggest queerbating tv series I’ve seen … *rollseyes
      In fact, it reminds me that Mulder and Scully’s romantic relationship wasn’t the story they wanted to tell either, it just developed by itself, and sudenly you were like…wait a minute…when did this happened? so, i wouldnt be surprised if this is what they’re going to do or just keep it simple: accept that sherlock is gay, maybe in love with john, even that they don’t end up together


  2. ok, lets say that yes, its not the story they want to tell. But he said before that it wasn’t a detective story, that it was a story about a detective. But we’ve seen this before, remember the xfiles? People wondering are they or not together, are they ever gonna be? at the end they ended up together and we didn’t realize exactly when they started, because that wasn’t the story they wanted to tell, it was the story of Fox Mulder’s life againts the conspiracy and looking for his sister…
    I see the pattern in Sherlock, is subtext, is there… is the same as Mulder and Scully, they are each other’s rock, they put each other before others…etc..
    Call me crazy but at least in the show, sherlock and john will end up again at baker street, just the two of them againts the world even if Mofiss decide not to make it romance.
    John NEED sherlock and Sherlock NEED john, they are each other drug. We’ve seen how affected they are separated
    My bet is that at least they talk about their feelings, some hugs and almost kiss (i beg for a kiss) by episode 3 S4. Considering john not being honest to himself about his bisexuality (yes he is bi and sherlock is gay thats what i believe)
    Queer baiting? jokes? but after Irene confronting John on that jealous scene i was so positive. And the I was very happy that i was not the only one suspecting a gay subtext, i see i’m not the only one


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