Patricia Morris Buckley – Sr. Staff Writer
In a panel devoted to turning BBC’s Sherlock into manga and comic books, it’s inevitable that the discussion would mostly be about the TV show. But first, producers Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue talked about the challenges of the screen-to-page conversion.
“Getting Benedict Cumberbatch’s hair took the artist a while,” revealed Vertue, who approved every page in the beginning. “So did the jaw. But the hardest was Martin Freeman’s nose.”
Asked which format he enjoyed most, Moffat said: “The manga makes it more real. On TV, it was two blokes we knew pretending. On the page, it was new to us.”
Speaking of new, Moffat added that one of maxims of the writers was to stick to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story, but to be timely with it. For example, Doyle had Sherlock send messages by telegram, so using a cell now only makes sense. But one update that didn’t work.
“In The Blind Banker, there’s a clue in a book, so we picked a book that every Londoner would have – London A to Z,” he said. “But here we are a few years later, and no one has that book. That’s an example of our show becoming a period piece.”
Moffat was asked about bringing back Moriarty (sort of). “We always knew we would have him shoot himself, so we could see that that he’s willing to go that far,” he answered. “But that didn’t mean that we couldn’t bring him back. He’s such an amazing character. It was easy to bring him back as a recorded/dream version.”
Vertue’s favorite moment filming the show came when Cumberbatch was wrapped in a sheet — and nothing else. “Once we watched him fall, and no one moved to help him,” she said with a wink.
Then there’s always the Big Question about a fifth season. Moffat sighed loudly. “I just—and I mean JUST— finished my last Dr. Who. I’ve been flat out on that. I haven’t had a chance to talk to [co-producer] Mark Gatniss. But I expect at some point we’ll reassemble and recreate our glory days.”
And then about that Dr. Who/Sherlock crossover idea he’s always talked about? He waved his hands and pointed out someone new is producing Dr. Who. “I’m not in charge anymore!”