Martin Freeman Says Making Sherlock Wasn’t Fun During His Split From Co-Star

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Sherlock season 4 hasn’t gone down as the fandom’s favorite run, and it sounds like it wasn’t the best experience for one of the show’s stars, either. John Watson himself, Martin Freeman, has admitted that filming on the possibly final outing of the hit BBC detective series “wasn’t that much fun” as he was experiencing a tumultuous time in his personal life at that point.

Speaking with BBC Radio 4’s Lauren Laverne on Desert Island Discs, Freeman opened up about his split from longtime partner Amanda Abbington back in 2016. Abbington, of course, also starred on Sherlock as John’s wife Mary. This naturally made shooting episodes together while they had actual personal drama in their home life difficult. However, the actor also stressed that typically his experience working with Abbington was “great.”

“By the time of the last Sherlock that we’ve done we were sort of in the midst of splitting up, so that wasn’t that much fun, but when we weren’t in that midst it was great… I really love working with her.”

Abbington hasn’t spoken about her side of things in quite the same way, but the actress has revealed that she thinks season 4 might not have been the strongest set of episodes in her opinion because the plots got “very complicated” and the writers started to “pander to the fans.” That said, she did later clarify on Twitter that she “loved” working on the show and was “incredibly proud” of it.

Though Freeman states in this same interview that he and Abbington remain on good terms, there wouldn’t be any uncomfortable filming between them if Sherlock continued, as Mary was killed off in the season 4 opener, leaving Sherlock and John to raise the latter’s baby daughter Rosie together. That was a sweet place to leave the pair, though Freeman’s aware that many fans were hoping for the show to end with a romance between the two men.

As for whether Sherlock will return, creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss remain insistent that it’ll come back eventually, though they’re currently busy working on their upcoming BBC adaptation of Dracula for the foreseeable future.

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