Sherlock: Cumberbatch & Freeman on Series 2
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson aka Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman talk Sherlock Series 2 in these interviews from the BBC.
I was thrilled with how the first series of Sherlock was received,” says Benedict, commenting on the response to the first series of his contemporary consulting detective. “It was such great fun to film, which makes it so rewarding when something you enjoy, is so well received.”
It wasn’t just the viewing audience that took a liking to Benedict’s reimagining of Sherlock, he became something of a style icon:
“The coat was interesting, because there is so much about Sherlock in the original Conan Doyle books, that is modern, so the hardest thing to get right were the clothes and how to dress him for a contemporary audience and what should the silhouette be.
“The coat was Ray Holman’s, the costume designer’s idea. Sherlock’s suits have a clean, linear, perfunctory beauty about them, there’s nothing showy or flamboyant. They’re very well cut, functional but still very stylish and I think that sums up Sherlock perfectly.”
There is plenty of humour in this series, a lot of which stems from Sherlock and John working out each other as friends and how to live with each other’s personalities.
“I think the humour comes out of new situations rather than their relationship. Without giving anything away, there are some very nice moments in the new series and of course there is the comedy of John reprimanding Sherlock. John knows now, what he’s dealing with in Sherlock, he’s accepting of his friend, I think in this series, what we see more of is John having to explain it to other people.”
Much has been made of the relationship with Sherlock and John Watson, so to dispel any speculation the writers kick off episode one with a love interest, Irene Adler.
“Yes, the last series played on that quite a few times, with two men living together, and so many people getting it wrong. But episode one presents a very definite female presence in the form of Irene Adler, and she is more than a match for Sherlock. It’s really nice to have a female counterpart.
“Irene Adler is someone who has an incredible amount of power. She’s very beautiful, very smart and intelligent, quick-thinking and resourceful. She’s got a lot of attributes that mirror Sherlock and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, Steven and Mark are very clear though, this is Sherlock ‘and’ Love, not Sherlock ‘in’ Love. But viewers can expect a lot of flirtation!”
Benedict outlines what the audience can expect in the three new titles:
“With series two we wanted to move the characters on, but at the same time you want to tick some of the boxes that made the first series so popular. Now, John and Sherlock are established as a team, there are still a few ‘I can’t believe he’s doing that’ moments, but on the whole they form a united front. The characters are evolving, and they’re facing some of their biggest challenges yet. I think if anything has changed, he (Sherlock) is gaining humanity.”
And as for what the audience can look forward to watching in series two.
“I think the audience can expect three incredibly different films. The first episode is going to be about the heart, whatever that may be for Sherlock. The second episode is about horror and suspense and the third is going to be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and a thriller, so expect love, horror and thrills!”
“It was beyond all of our wildest dreams’, says Martin, talking about the response to the first series of Sherlock.
“We hoped it would be well-received and as popular with viewers as it was with us. We loved making it and are very proud of it, but beyond that it’s out of your control as to how people will view it, so the response was great.”
A large part of the success of the show, is the great partnership and relationship between Sherlock and John Watson, from their first meeting to sharing a flat together at 221b Baker Street, Martin goes on to explain how the relationship has evolved and what to expect in series two.
“By the end of the first series you saw John and Sherlock’s relationship moving on, John went from being merely ‘agog’ at everything Sherlock did to being just miffed at some of his actions. That takes a step further in the new series and I would say it is definitely a partnership now, with Sherlock being the main thrust, but John is only half a step behind, as opposed to six steps behind.”
John Watson, famously is written as a bit of a ladies man, so what will he make of Sherlock’s love interest in episode one:
“John thinks Sherlock would be much healthier if he had a relationship with a human being as opposed to a theory or something. John in the interim, according to the writers, he’s had a number of girlfriends, so I think he’d like Sherlock to do the same. I think it makes Sherlock more human in John’s eyes.”
In terms of what the audience can expect from John Watson this series, Martin explains:
“Well, John is not about to start doing deductions, but you kind of need John there, what he brings to ‘the game’ isn’t the same as Sherlock, but it’s kind of useful doing, as Mycroft says with disdain, ‘the legwork’. John can do different legwork to Sherlock, but he’ll do it all the same. It’s pretty much more of that really, I mean there’s only so much you can develop John’s role in the deduction because then it’s not Sherlock anymore. it has to be primarily about him, and that’s the only way to do it, with John as backup.
“All that I require, as an actor, and as an audience, is that it’s good backup, that it’s interesting and it’s three-dimensional, because otherwise I can’t see the point of being here, and I certainly wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t interesting.”
Martin describes one of his most memorable moments about Sherlock was arriving on set for the first time:
“I remember the first time I went on set, there was this beautiful slightly shambling, slightly chaotic, but classically designed room, that you can believe is a Victorian room. There are a lot of houses in London that look a bit eccentric, they’re a mish-mash of designs and periods, and it’s completely believable.”
In terms of what it is about the Sherlock and John relationship that people love so much, Martin suggests:
“I think people just like seeing friendship. I think people like seeing people who just drive each other up the wall, but at same time, can’t live without each other. You see it in Waiting For Godot and Steptoe And Son, that’s everything, especially involving two blokes who want to kill each other, but ultimately, where else are they going to go?”