There was a party last night for people who have been on the cover of The Radio Times. I don’t know if The Snowman and The Snowdog attended, but some of the Sherlock crew did, and among them, the series co-creator and writer Mark Gatiss.
He spoke about plans for the upcoming third series of the show, and how he and Steven Moffat are looking to avoid a particular pitfall:
Doyle got it right first time, he invented the supervillain. All great heroes have their Moriarty and after that you have to be very clever about trying to come up with someone who’s the equivalent otherwise they just look like a watered down version, so it’s about telling different kinds of stories.
As expected, the next episode will take inspiration from The Empty House, Doyle’s story that brought Holmes back from apparent death at the hands of Professor Moriarty. There’s no way that they’ll do a straight up translation, simply pushing those scenes a hundred and some years into the present day.
One change is likely to be how Holmes disguises himself. Or doesn’t.
We made a decision right from the get-go that he would not do disguise in the traditional sense. He actually has a line in The Great Game which is ‘The art of disguise is knowing how to hide in plain sight’ and that was because, right from the start, I thought modern day Sherlock Holmes would not put putty noses on, he would basically be standing behind you now and you wouldn’t know he was there. Ben [- edict Cumberbatch] has put on various costumes but it’s more about being invisible.
Instantly I thought of a sight gag with Jack Black towards the start of Be Kind Rewind. Then I thought of how brazenly Zemeckis flaunted the pages of Ooh La La at a key point in Back to the Future 2 and still most people I know who watch the film think they’re looking at the almanac.
The greatest bit of hiding in plain site is very probably in Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky. There’s one shot with loads of anachronistic film gear plainly visible… but nobody ever seems to look at it. Magic.