So, anyone that knows anything about Sherlock knows that you won’t find spoilers here. I really don’t want to spoil anyone and, tbh, it will be 500 million times better if you don’t know what’s coming. So don’t go looking for them!
The short review is: amazing. Brilliant show, brilliant cast…it just gets better. The fact that we wait so long for so little is one of the things that makes it so great, I think. It just maximises the quality of the show – you know it hasn’t been rushed and no one has burnt out trying to write 22 episodes a season.
I had wanted to write a little about the Q&A, but quite frankly it was awful. I’m not the biggest Caitlin Moran fan, but she did the last Sherlock Q&A really well and I know she really likes Benedict and Sherlock, so I was happy that it would be someone who knew what they were talking about. Boy was I wrong. Nothing she asked had anything to do with the episode, showing how crap she is at interviewing on the fly. And what made that worse was that she clearly hadn’t prepared properly either because her jokes and what she thought was funny really were not and clearly not well thought through.
You could say that Caitlin misjudged the humour in her questions. She went into the Q&A to take the piss out of the fans, the show and the whole phenomenon in general. Not, mind you, maliciously. Just in a mocking way. But that was bad judgement. The people in the room were the cast and crew, journos and fans that are well known for taking the show seriously. We had waited for 2 years for the episode.
Things Caitlin asked them about:
- Code words when filming and general secrecy
- Martin casting his wife
- Telling the director that fans are visible in one scene and generally making a big thing about it – i.e. asking the fans in the audience if they could see themselves
- Making Benedict and Martin read fanfiction aloud – and fibbing by saying there’s nothing rude in it, when it turns out there’s some hot and heavy kissing
In fact, I cannot remember anything else that Caitlin Moran asked them about that interested me. And those above didn’t interest me, just memorable for being really dumb.
Let me address the fact that she decided to make a big thing about a mistake in the episode. It’s not polite or friendly to do that and she didn’t just reference it once, but she also called out to the audience if anyone saw themselves. You could tell both the director and Stephen Moffat were a bit pissed off, but they kept joking about it, presumably out of embarrassment.
That was the only thing Caitlin Moran really said about the episode that wasn’t related to casting choices.
About the fanfic thing. So Catlin decided that it would be funny to focus on the same thing all boring interviewers focus on when interviewing actors with huge fandoms – fan fiction. It’s been done to death, usually by Graham Norton, but in general it’s brought up a lot. I have never seen two actors being asked to read slash fanfic together though. And there’s a good reason for that – they don’t like it. Benedict was more reluctant than Martin, but they were both trying to be good sports about the whole thing. I suspect they know Caitlin and didn’t expect her to put them in an awkward position. But as they read down into the fic it was clear it wasn’t as innocent as she kept making out. Here is the extract they read (it was edited by Caitlin so they didn’t read all the description, just a little):
John opened the door.
Sherlock sprang to his feet and went into the kitchen. John was taking off his coat.
“You’re home early.”
John glanced up at him, rubbing the back of his neck. “Um, yeah, didn’t work out.”
Sherlock licked his bottom lip. “She was interested. It was you who ended the evening.”
John hung up his coat carefully. “Bit boring to be honest. Was hoping you’d interrupt me with a case or something.” He smiled weakly.
Sherlock didn’t laugh, his chest felt tight. The woman had been no more boring than the rest of them, yet John had come home.
“Boring’s never bothered you before,” he said, taking a step closer.
John turned then, but avoided his eyes. “Yeah well. It’s different now.”
Sherlock advanced on him, a peculiar fluttering within his mid-section. “Different how?”
John looked off to the left, his body at attention. “It’s hard work having a relationship outside of—” he waved his hand. “This, you. Too hard to bother with boring.”
Sherlock stopped a hand’s breadth from John.
“This isn’t enough for you. You want love, intimacy.”
John swallowed and shut his eyes. “Yeah.”
Sherlock studied John. John, with his nicest button down shirt, plain cardigan, grey-shot hair, bags under his eyes and lines on his face. John who was standing, tense and agitated. John, who cared about Sherlock and was more important than comfort or reputation. John, who right now needed caring too. Sherlock felt something unfurling within him, something he’d kept ruthlessly tucked away for a very long time. Hope was the least of it.
He closed the space between them and leaned his forehead down to John’s. John’s eyes remained shut but his breath quickened.
“John,” Sherlock murmured and he grazed his fingertips over the buttons of his cardigan.
John’s jaw twitched and his eyes flickered open, meeting Sherlock’s. His gaze darted down to Sherlock’s mouth and Sherlock found his own eyes drawn to John’s mouth in turn, that funny, expressive mouth. He suddenly very much needed to know how it felt, how it tasted. He tilted his head and very carefully pressed their lips together. John gave the slightest start, a small intake of air and then his thin lips parted under Sherlock’s. Sherlock froze at the frisson that ran through his centre, and he held there, lips pressed to John’s, their breaths loud. After a beat he slowly drew back, seeking John’s eyes.
“I can give that to you,” he said, voice uncommonly rough. “Let me.”
John’s tongue darted out to wet his lips. “Let you…”
Sherlock solemnly began unbuttoning his cardigan. “You need to be touched; let me.”
John gave a shuddering sigh and leaned his forehead back against Sherlock’s, their noses bumped, cheeks grazed and then John lifted his hand to Sherlock’s cheek and their mouths crushed together.
Sherlock pushed John back against the wall, deepening the kiss.
Source: Tea on AO3
Directly after this part is an extremely explicit (pornographic) scene and I don’t know whether that was on the print out Martin and Benedict had, or whether Caitlin just got her kicks from knowing that it followed, but it was all very uncomfortable. Benedict stopped as soon as it got to the kiss, they didn’t read it smoothly, they kept stopping, trying to distract, but not be real divas about it and refuse to read.
Essentially, I found it ridiculous and it really comes to something when the panelist is worse than the fan Qs, which in this case were decent and reasonably thoughtful.
Afterwards, Benedict also made a point of saying that fanfic has no bearing on the show, that it’s fantasy, and in the world they had created the scenarios are absurd. (I am paraphrasing, please don’t take that as a quote.)
And, Caitlin Moran has essentially uninvited herself to any Sherlock events again. Madness.
Edit: the person whose fanfic was read out has spoken. Read her comments here. I’ll leave you this quote, which sums up my general feelings on Moran anyway:
Also if Caitlin Moran had asked permission to use my work I would have begged her not to. She didn’t ask.
Mocking women for their passions, not very feminist.