Its inspiration is a case mentioned in passing by Dr Watson in the 1893 short story, The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual – a mystery that Holmes had solved before his acquaintance with Watson.
Cumberbatch claims that he wasn't initially convinced by Moffat and Gatiss's idea of a standalone episode transporting his painstakingly modernised detective back to 1895. “I genuinely didn't understand how they were going to get away with it.
Benedict cumberbatch interview updating sherlock
They’re getting to do what any fan would ever want to do — sit in that world. It was the middle of Christmas and all of the casting directors in the UK were on holiday, so I had to do it myself. Kind of old fashioned but with new technology — a bit like Sherlock I guess. The line’s really bad, I can’t hear what you’re saying.
We’re honoring it and we’re also giving it a modern twist by bringing it into the 20th century. Did you don any prosthetics for the on-camera audition?
I actually had a biscuit, which is very not Sherlock Holmes. So I think they catered to me more in the second series, especially with regard to relationships — such as the relationship between Mrs. In this series, it’s about him coming to terms with the fact that he can do a better job if he has a little bit of morality, feeling and emotion; to be able to play with those things without necessarily being taken over by them. With any interpretation of this character, everyone has their own goals or starting point. Just before we started, this lady’s hand reached over to dial the numbers on the telephone key pad.
For me, the idea that we’re doing him young at the beginning is terrific, whilst we’re adhering to a lot of the details in the book. Just listening to you speak, I’m reminded of Sherlock. You seem to operate at warp speed compared to us mere mortals.
“And then I got the more detailed pitch and I thought, 'OK, this is going to be great fun', And it really is. The things that are asked of me in the modern version, the sense that this is a man clearly slightly out of his time...