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[personal profile] bbakerb
 I would say 'late night' but I am bound to be told that the night is yet young, etc etc.

so here is: everything I can remember about Thursday night, which was the Sherlock screening & Q&A.

- went to the fangirl meetup at the pub next door, met [ profile] flecalicious  (WHO WROTE MY HOLMESTICE STORY) I remember because I saw her name tag, did not get a proper look at [ profile] flecalicious ’s bff’s nametag but talked a lot to her (eta: I want to say her lj name was [ profile] roses_of_anna? but don't really trust my memory there)!), and bitched about Merlin (THAT WAS FUN) (DOUBLE ETA: yes it was [ profile] roses_of_anna  I talked to!)

Drank a Tom Collins, which is gin and lime juice, I like to think I’m getting some vitamin C with my alcohol.

Found [ profile] kate_lear  who is awesome

Met people I vaguely know already! [ profile] strangeumbrella , [ profile] lo0o0ony_lauren  and [ profile] cathamarine !

The episode they showed was The Great Game. I was sort of hoping it would be Study In Pink but ah well

THEN THE QUESTIONS and the answers - here are things that came out of that questioning/discussion:

Gatiss and Moffat say - the key thing about Sherlock is he's happy, Sherlock is content - not manic depressive like House, i.e. The similarities with House are they think quite superficial.

What Cumberbatch and Rathbone both have in common in their portrayals is that they are both magnificent anglo-saxon bastards, UNASHAMED OF IT.

The mouse - Mark Gatiss suddenly went ‘oh look a mouse, there’s a mouse over there’, how darling of him. The whole cinema went quiet thinking ‘where where? I want to see the mouse I have been promised a mouse’

Gatiss said: You get the impression that at some point in his childhood Sherlock weighed up good and evil and chose good because it was more difficult (gatiss did a CHARMING MIME of someone weighing things) - chose good because it’s HARDER. There are more rules. - at least that’s what sherlock told himself.

One or other of them said: you come to the story at exactly the right time because before John Sherlock is insufferable, before Sherlock John is miserable

They were glad to do Study In Scarlet because it hadn’t been done much before - twice, including once in Russian - and clearly they think it’s great

The riding crop was commented on by every newspaper - but that bit is from the book, said Gatiss - Stamford says Sherlock was beating corpses with a stick to assess bruising after death.

(n.b. the PTSD is from the book too - did not realise until I reread the beginning to look for the corpse beating but John is very clearly NOT OK, mentions wanting quiet and his nerves being shaken)

Moriarty: Moffat said they needed to make him genuinely unpredictable and frightening, said Moriarty was someone who would shoot a baby in the face and expect the mother to laugh. This was pretty much the first question Moffat answered - one of ROBIN MOTHERFUCKING INCE’S



Someone asked something about the relationship between sherlock and john - I forget what - Moffat was all ‘I assume you’re talking about the gay thing,’ and then, ‘if two men move in together in london today, that’s something people just are going to assume. AND THAT’S NICE. That is just what would happen.’

Moffat says: you don’t understand sherlock at all unless you understand that for him sex is thinking. It’s in here (taps head). It’s like someone did a genetic experiment and wired up his libido to his brain.

Was this when he said the line about being well aware of the ‘fervently imagined fantasies’ on the internet? Might have been - and after then said, ‘Stop it Mark,’ and Gatiss said innocently ‘I don’t know what you mean.’

Gatiss said, ‘Ambiguity,’ that’s what was important.

- I genuinely think they are not trying to say ‘oh they are this one thing, they are not this other thing’, I think they are trying to say ‘you cannot even express what this relationship is’.

- Moriarty is irish because a) andrew scott came in and was fucking stupendous, blew them away, and b) Moriarty’s an irish name, and an irish Moriarty had never been done before

Una Stubbs! Robin Ince wants more Una next series. Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge is THE EMBODIMENT OF EVIL.

Ince said something about reading things on the internet, Moffat said, ‘oh no it’s a terrible mistake to go onto internet forums,’ to which Mark gently said, ‘Fora, surely?’ which CRACKED ME THE FUCK UP.

Robin Ince, that DROLL MOTHERFUCKER, to Gatiss in response to this: ‘So, what first drew you to the pedant Sherlock Holmes?’

I put my hand up at the end. Robin Ince said, “You, you look like you don’t have a question but BY GOD you’re going to think of one!’ - it was one that I had in fact thought of a LONG LONG time ago, which was - Moffat and Gatiss are very vocal about their favorite versions - Rathbone updated ones, and TPLOSH (TPLOSH!) - are there any that they hadn’t enjoyed, or thought had got it wrong?

And Mark Gatiss got all seriousface and I felt AWFUL like I had insulted something (which obviously I HAD) and he said, ‘I don’t think you should use that pejorative language,’ or maybe he said ‘you shouldn’t be so pejorative’, all adaptations have something to enjoy, then he and Moffat mentioned a couple of MAD sounding ones - and then Gatiss said, ‘but I WILL SAY that the recent - what was it, the one from 2009, with him out of torchwood, that was DREADFUL, that was TERRIBLE, I don’t even know what that was supposed to be.’ to much laughter.


- and re: reading things on internet fora, Moffat said ‘There are stages to fan love. It goes - ‘I love this show so much - I love this show so much I want to be a part of it - I love this show so much, why won’t they let me be a part of it - I hate this show, they’re dreadful, I’m going to say nasty things on the internet’.

- by which he means I hope ‘bitching about the show and insulting the creators’ more than ‘writing fanfic’, I actually think that writing fanfic keeps people sane about shows, it’s an outlet, it’s satisfying, whereas ranting is emphatically NOT satisfying.

Martin Freeman has funny bones. Martin Freeman can just do the funny stuff. Martin Freeman would say sometimes to Gatiss - specifically TGG was mentioned - ‘you don’t need that line, I can just do that with a look’, and I BELIEVE this, because Martin Freeman does the BEST looks.

- Nigel Bruce had that too, said Gatiss, people don’t like him so much now but he and Martin Freeman are similar in that they are both really funny, have funny bones, just can do the funny stuff, don’t need to be told when/how to do it

Someone asked Mark ‘what was it like coming up with FIVE different mysteries in that episode?’ i.e. TGG which we’d just watched, and Moffat laughed and said, THANK YOU, and Gatiss made a sort of thankful sigh and said, ‘people only ever talk about the swimming pool scene, no one ever mentions that I came up with FIVE DIFFERENT MYSTERIES, yes it was hard - writing mysteries is HARD. Even A C D after the first initial flurry gave up on writing mysteries, there are endless stories which are like ‘oh so this wasn’t the greatest test of holmes’ deducting skills but nevertheless was interesting’. (Which is true. There are PLENTY like that) - and then Gatiss said ‘in answer to your question YES IT WAS HARD.’

Moffat said - and a lot of the most famous bits of deduction aren’t anything to do with the case at all. (I thought of the gold watch.)

Someone asked if they’d ever do any of the smaller stories, the missing brooches, etc - Moffat said, Holmes is famous for the hound of the Baskervilles, not for the Copper Beeches - they might do the smaller stories but as part of a bigger one like they'd done with TGG.

- there was some discussion about when/where they’d get stories from - they obviously had said Hound, Adler, Reichenbach - which is no secret really -

- Gatiss said, ‘I collect bad Sherlock Holmes pastiches, they always seem to have Moriarty riding in upon the hound of the Baskervilles’ - lol i.e. There’s a danger in thinking you have to do all the exciting bits at once

There’s the problem that there aren’t really any stories that could sustain a programme for ninety minutes apart from HOTB, so they do the pick’n’mix thing that the Rathbone films do - take bits of lots of stories

That’s one thing they really like about the Rathbone films - irreverence to canon. The writers take the favorite bits and smush them together, like in House Of Death they take the five orange pips and basically just use the concept of the pips.

They like the Rathbone/Bruce relationship. They think Cumberbatch and Freeman have rapport like that, that it just WORKED when Freeman came in, the way that in ASIP Holmes is insufferable and John is miserable, when cumber-freeman happened it was like ‘we are at this story at the right moment’

Rathbone films: the updated ones. Moffat and Gatiss did a little dance of glee (well, said gatiss, we didn’t LITERALLY dance) when they found out that for both of them their favorites were the Rathbone series and SPECIFICALLY the updated ones, which they said was a heretical opinion. But they thought these ones were the most FUN, and truest to the spirit of the originals (the galumphing disregard for common sense, I think they mean), they were the most FUN versions

- like in HOTB, said Moffat, Holmes is absent for half of it because A C D KNOWS that if Holmes shows up it will be over too soon. It’s ridiculously simple, just go around Dartmoor asking who’s got a dog, A C D KNOWS the story makes no sense and that’s why Holmes has to be absent

- Moffat said something interesting - which is that actually ultimately the mysteries are not THAT important.

- and then Moffat said it was really about making HERO MOMENTS. (And this I suppose applies equally to say the deduction of the phone as of any actual 'heroic' moment, Moffat I think meant moments that just AWE you)

He pointed out that in ASIP Sherlock solves the crime because the murderer COMES TO HIS HOUSE, CLIMBS UP TO HIS FLAT, and OFFERS HIM A LIFT. He said that when writing that episode he’d got to that point in the screenplay, and realized that he could either have Sherlock do some clever deducing with maps and so on, or put him in terrible jeopardy. And A C D would without a doubt have put Holmes in terrible jeopardy, so THAT’S WHAT MOFFAT DID. Terrible jeopardy > coherent mysteries, basically, and that’s how it is in the stories.

The humanizing journey of Sherlock. (I also like to think of it as ‘two men on their journey towards broccoli.’ At the start, they do not have broccoli! John ignores Sherlock’s texts a couple of times! They can’t even keep the fridge full of milk! By the end, they are communicating with TORTURED GAZES under the eyes of their mortal enemy, seriously, the last few seconds of TGG are two men who have finally achieved broccoli.)

but yeah, the humanising journey of sherlock, sherlock getting to the point where moriarty can say 'that's not quite true' and both sherlock and us know he's right

Is there any co-writing, could there be? These were two different questions but the answer was in both cases - if ever Moffat and Gatiss sat down in a room together they’d just chat. It would be lovely but no writing would get done.

Could there in the future be any co writing? Mark (who every time someone semi-suggested something would say ‘ah yes, in series 2!’, ‘series 4’, ‘series 5’) - he said brightly, ‘series 8! We’ll do the Giant Rat of Sumatra together.’ (Oh Giant Rat of Sumatra, you are close to my heart)

Will there be any changes in s2 due to Martin Freeman being in The Hobbit? ‘Yes,’ said Gatiss, ‘Series 2 is set in New Zealand, and John Watson takes a very strange turn, he takes off his shoes, and - ’ lol.

Someone asked how to break onto the screenwriting scene. Moffat said, ‘I personally have stopped all training programmes. We’re full up. One of us has to die first.’ and then, ‘I never know what to say to this question. seriously the best way is to write something so good that someone HAS to put it on.’

The wallpaper. Everyone comments on the wallpaper in 221b. It’s a trademark of the director, Paul McGuigan, nice wallpaper (said Gatiss); he always makes sure to have nice wallpaper in his films.

The original pilot looks like pretty thin stuff now, said Gatiss, but when we first saw it we thought it looked incredible .

Is there anything you regret losing from the pilot? Dialogue in the restaurant etc? - Moffat looked very serious and said, ‘No, not really, that scene was too long, it needed to be cut,’

Gatiss said, ‘There was one line I thought was brilliant (little love moment between Moffat and Gatiss there!) - where Sherlock says ‘Everything else is just transport’.’

So Gatiss loved that line! In a manner commensurate with the status that line has taken on in fandom i.e. Quite a bit.

The design of the flat they realized didn’t really work - the wallpaper was all blood red, there was a weird three inch step in the middle of the floor that people kept tripping over, so they just GOT RID OF IT - there was a subplotthing where Mrs Hudson actually ran Speedy’s Snacks, and there was a kind of industrial design thing going on in the 221b kitchen that was supposed to carry through from that, like it had originally been part of the cafe kitchen - this was supposed to make it look more like a lab but didn’t really.

Paul McGuigan came up with the texts onscreen for TGG because he didn’t like the idea of having endless shots of phones, and there’s a lot of texts in TGG. Moffat at that point - when they were LITERALLY FILMING TGG - was so behind that he hadn’t actually written ASIP yet and so was able to work in more of that text-on-screen thing as he wrote it. Moffat and Gatiss referred to Paul McGuigan multiple times as a genius.

(i.e. This might be why ASIP is the best episode (alas Gatiss it just IS) - it not only got a serious rewrite, but got a serious rewrite after the writer was able to see what the series would look like - i.e after seeing the pilot, and after knowing a good deal about what what the final episode would look like.)

Mark Gatiss wasn’t credited at the end of ASIP because they knew that, if he was, it would get out that he was playing Mycroft. They wanted to play on everyone's assumptions that he'd be playing Moriarty. Moffat said, ‘The newspapers would just have printed it. They just would. And you can’t ask them not to because they do it anyway.’ The lesson of caginess learned from Doctor Who I feel.

The question of Doctor/Sherlock comparisons. The Doctor is kind and warm - Sherlock is cold and mean i.e. They aren’t all that similar. And the coat was because you need to give a character like that a hero coat, need to be able to recognize him anywhere, recognize his silhouette - ‘and they’ve now sold I think a MILLION -’ said Gatiss. lol.

- though there was some instruction in the very early days of the Doctor to Sydney Newman to make the Doctor more like Sherlock Holmes, so Holmes is certainly in the DNA of the Doctor

Watson and Stamford meet at the Criterion Bar in ASIS - and they were able to actually film there in the original pilot! But couldn’t afford to go back when they reshot it, hence it became Criterion Coffee, much cheaper.

Someone asked if Moffat had felt anxious at all over being responsible for both Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes in the same year - Moffat said, yes, I thought oh god, if it all goes wrong, all I have to do is shoot Daniel Craig in the head and delete the back catalogue of the Beatles and I’ve destroyed the entirety of British culture.

ETA because [ profile] strangeumbrella  has reminded me: and THEN he said 'but of course now I feel incredibly smug'. And everyone applauded this FOR SOME REASON. And Moffat said, 'you wouldn't get this kind of applause in NORTH London, they'd all be going 'ah yes but actually we're a bit more smug than you.'

Gatiss when talking about TPLOSH - I forget what the context was but he said there's a lost sequence from that film, The Case Of The Upside-Down Room. Holmes is called in to investigate a room where everything is upside down; it turns out that Watson has organised it to try and entertain Holmes and cheer him up with a problem. Holmes sees through it straightaway (I think that's what Gatiss said.)

also Gatiss likes The Yellow Face, which is a story where Holmes gets it totally and completely wrong. Also: he always liked that Holmes was the only detective who, when someone came in and said 'I need you to rescue the Crown Jewels, here is a MILLION POUNDS!', would say, 'well yes but the man next door has started eating white toast instead of brown, I'm afraid I can't attend to your case just now'  (in the Rathbone-Bruce film Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes you have a scene exactly like that, iirc - someone comes to Sherlock and says 'MORIARTY IS GOING TO STEAL A PRICELESS EMERALD!' and Holmes says, 'But this young lady has just received a note asking her not to go to a garden party, so I'm afraid I'm busy.')

Moffat wrt fanfic is very much ‘if you want to think - if you want to write - that sort of stuff on the internet that’s fine - THAT’S FINE - but the reality is - Sherlock is not interested in sex at all, at all (etc.)’



well anyway


- Moffat said that you could tell when it was a good and thorough and serious adaptation, that you could just TELL when the creators loved the original and cared about it - 'I don't know anything about Spiderman, I've never read the comics, but when you see the films you just know they're made by people who really care about it.' So the hardcore Holmes fans are easily won over, because they can feel the love and thought that's gone into this adaptation, as well as being excited that it's Holmes full stop.

- TPLOSH was liberating for them when they were thinking about Mycroft, because Billy Wilder & his cowriter made Mycroft into 'a cold government BASTARD.' (for full effect say 'bastard' in a Scottish accent. in fact imagine all Moffat's line in Scottish accent, it's much better.) Mycroft shows up in The Greek Interpreter and is fat and doesn't get much more development after that, so th e TPLOSH interpretation of Mycroft was a massive help.

- there was some conversation that Gatiss had had with Christopher Lee (who was TPLOSH-Mycroft) where Lee had told him 'never be photographed in your own home. it is an invitation to BURGLARY.'

- Gatiss and Moffat had talked about what made Sherlock Holmes the theoretical person special in the modern day, since forensics were now used everywhere. That ACD in Sherlock Holmes invented the modern idea of forensics (and this is sort of true, the man who sometimes is called the father of modern forensics, Bernard Spilsbury, was influenced by Holmes, and frequently compared to him in the press) - and obviously in this universe that can't have happened - so what distinguishes Sherlock today is that he's still the cleverest man in London (did he say in London? he said 'in', at least), he can make the giant leaps and connect things together and make it make sense.

- feel perhaps I should provide a link to the Worzel Gummidge wikipedia page in case people are confused about that.

- I was terrified of Worzel Gummidge when I was little, literally thought he was terrifying

- oh yes, and the hardest decision they made, but one that seems in retrospect ridiculously obvious, was that the characters had to be Sherlock and John rather than Holmes and Watson, they had to call each other by their first names because that's what people DO </Moriarty>. And then they kept on reading things in the papers which said 'Sherlock is played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Dr. Watson by Martin Freeman', i.e. it was weirdly more difficult for people to accept 'John' than 'Sherlock', probably because it's a much more normal name.

- and re: the Asylum Holmes: 'They have a MAN playing Holmes - not an actor, JUST A MAN.' 

I said to [ profile] strangeumbrella  on the way out ‘would it be really really inappropriate to ask Mark Gatiss to sign a copy of the Christian Fall book?’


Me: no you don’t understand, I mean get him to sign it as Christian Fall!

Alas no that is still ridiculously inappropriate. (Please if you are reading this: NEVER DO THAT.)

And then we had a little rave about Raffles. Strangeumbrella thinks Mark Gatiss needs to play Raffles, is perfect for the part. Wanted to ask him if he’d ever read the stories, because she thinks he clearly has.

(I have added ‘mark-gatiss-should-play-raffles’ to my lj interests.)

Also: talked about how incredibly fucked up Raffles, and his relationship with Bunny, are. ‘There’s one story where Raffles is like ‘imagine walking into the club, knowing you’d just killed someone, wouldn’t it be great’, [ profile] strangeumbrella  said, ‘and you’re like no, Raffles! That is not ok!'

Oh, the affection I felt during the Derren Brown lovefest last night. I would like to inform you that the autocorrect in Pages changes ‘lovefest’ to ‘loveliest’.

Basically there is nothing better than Derren Brown in a bizarrely normal checked shirt with a parakeet on his shoulder showing you his collection of stuffed and pickled animals. NOTHING.

(And. Iain Sharkey, his co-writer, who he met doing The Seance - he was Spirit Cabinet Guy! - I remember thinking ‘wow that is some serious love connection there!’ in that moment when Derren lets him out of the spirit cabinet - I genuinely considered shipping them on the basis of the three seconds where Spirit Cabinet Guy (as then we knew him) grabbed Derren’s hand, pressed it to his heart, and said ‘Feel that!’ with a massive grin on his face. This shipping was pretty brief - I just thought ‘my goodness that guy looks madly into Derren there.’ and rewound it and watched it again - but I was ridiculously pleased that this impression wasn’t false. The guy really had thought, ‘This is amazing, I need to know how this is done, I have to be involved in this!’ and Derren and he ended up working together and becoming great friends. AND THAT IS ADORABLE

Derren said that the ‘explanation’ episode of the lottery-guessing special made him cringe. And I’m glad he said this, because I think it’s the one Derren Brown show where I’ve literally thought ‘well what is the point of this, Derren, why am I watching this’.

so those are some things aren't they.
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April 2011

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