Press Release

Sherlock

5 Jan 2010

Hartswood Films and BBC Drama announce production on Sherlock, with three new crime dramas for BBC One.

BBC Wales Drama, BBC One and Hartswood Films announce commencement of filming on Sherlock, a contemporary remake of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Starter For Ten, Stuart: A Life Backwards) as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Office, Hot Fuzz) as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves (God On Trial, Midnight Man) plays Inspector Lestrade.

The drama is co-created by the amazing partnership of Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Coupling) and Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who, Crooked House) and produced by Sue Vertue (Coupling, The Cup).

The three 90 minute films, written by Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Steve Thompson (Whipping It Up, Mutual Friends), are being directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin, Gangster No. 1, The Acid House) and Euros Lyn (Doctor Who, Torchwood).

Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced take on the crime drama genre set in present day London. The iconic details from Conan Doyle’s original books remain – they live at the same address, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them.

Piers Wenger, Head of Drama, BBC Wales, says: “Our Sherlock is a dynamic superhero in a modern world, an arrogant, genius sleuth driven by a desire to prove himself cleverer than the perpetrator and the police, everyone in fact.”

Sherlock is produced by Hartswood Films, continuing their fruitful relationship with the BBC. Past productions include Coupling, Men Behaving Badly, Jekyll and, most recently, The Cup for BBC Two.

Steven Moffat says: “Everything that matters about Holmes and Watson is the same. Conan Doyle’s stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they’re about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes – and frankly, to hell with the crinoline.

“Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures, and that’s what matters. Mark and I have been talking about this project for years, on long train rides to Cardiff for Doctor Who. Quite honestly, we’d still be talking about it if Sue Vertue of Hartswood Films (conveniently also my wife) hadn’t sat us down for lunch and got us to work.”

Mark Gatiss says: “The fact that Steven, myself and millions of others are still addicted to Conan Doyle’s brilliant stories is testament to their indestructibility. They’re as vital, lurid, thrilling and wonderful as they ever were. It’s a dream come true to be making a new TV series and in Benedict and Mark we have the perfect Holmes and Watson for our time.”

Sue Vertue says: “Steven and Mark are such huge fans of the Sherlock Holmes stories that I had a feeling they would just go on and on talking about it, so I picked the Criterion for our lunch as I knew of its iconic significance in the meeting of Sherlock and Watson and thought it might get the boys’ attention! It did, and what has evolved from that meeting is hugely exciting.”

Commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, and Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One, Sherlock is shooting in Wales and on location in London.

Sherlock is executive produced by Beryl Vertue, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

Download the ‘Filming starts on Sherlock’ press release.
Download the Sherlock Series 1 press pack.