That’s an actual word—it’s the name given to the cottage industry that sprung up around Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, of films and television shows and even other stories written by different people. Anything Sherlock Holmes-adjacent is part of Sherlockiana, which means Comic-Con now has a footnote in the Sherlock Holmes encyclopedia, as Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, co-creators and writers of the BBC’s Sherlock, as well as producer Sue Vertue, appeared at Comic-Con on Friday to discuss series three.
It was a surprisingly funny panel, though once again this was strictly “we can’t say” territory, which means a lot of answers amounted to, “Just watch the show.” They did confirm a series four option exists, though they were quick to declaim any immediate plans to make it, citing Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s film careers as increasingly difficult to schedule around. Neither star was on hand in San Diego, but they did make a cute video for the panel, with The Batch playing on the big reveal of how Sherlock survived The Fall. That was a central theme of the panel—everyone wants to know, they want to know now, and the show’s creators are clearly enjoying torturing us.
But all you really care about is the footage, right? It’s an interesting scene choice—Sherlock’s best man speech at John Watson’s wedding. (If you think that’s a spoiler, read a goddamn book.) Intercutting between Sherlock’s speech at Watson’s wedding and Watson asking him to be his best man, the scene is both very funny, as when Sherlock doesn’t remember Lestrade’s name, and genuinely touching when Sherlock asks, “I’m your best friend?” On the one hand, it’s exactly what the horny women in the audience want to see (Sherlock and John engaged in a homoerotic display), but on the other it’s not illuminating toward any mystery or crime solving. Undoubtedly that’s why they chose it—it’s ultimately harmless re: actual plot.
Watson’s wedding taps into my one fear for Sherlock, though: the treatment of female characters. It’s the show’s weakest point and I’m afraid of both how the show will handle the arrival of Mary Morstan (played by Freeman’s real-life partner, Amanda Abbington) and how fans will receive her. I hope it’s a well-written part that doesn’t treat her like an interloper at best and a shrew at worst, and that she gets a fair shake from fans, who are creepily invested in Sherlock and John’s relationship. Judging by the screaming at the Comic Con panel, though, I’m pretty sure Mary is doomed to be hated.