This past Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of BBC’s Sherlock. To celebrate the occasion, creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and producer Sue Vertue took part in a virtual Q&A, hosted by Louis Moffat (son of Steven and Sue, who played young Sherlock on the show), and answered questions posed by fans. One of the most interesting segments of the 25-minute video came when they were asked about the possibility of a female Sherlock Holmes and who could play them.
Moffat initially suggested former collaborator Michelle Gomez as a potentially good choice. The Scottish actress is most known for playing Missy on Doctor Who and Madam Satan on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Gatiss then put forward Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag and Solo: A Star Wars Story fame, while Moffat came up with a second choice in The Crown’s Olivia Colman. Vertue, meanwhile, suggested Killing Eve icon Jodie Comer.
Moffat then reflected that there’s no great challenge in swapping the gender of the Great Detective. “I think that part would go female very easily,” the writer said. “I don’t think you have to do anything. Change the pronouns, but you don’t even have to change the name.” The trio also agreed that all of the actresses they had put forward would also be great picks to play a female Moriarty as well.
In contrast, Moffat admitted that he doesn’t think a female Watson could work. “I just find it hard to imagine any woman putting up with Sherlock Holmes,” he remarked. “You imagine a man would put up with Sherlock Holmes, somehow, but a woman would just say, “oh f–k off!” Clearly, Moffat’s forgetting Elementary exists, with Lucy Liu’s five-season portrayal of a female Watson being highly popular with fans.
For those who like the sounds of a female Sherlock, though, there’s HBO Japan’s Miss Sherlock out there and Netflix is also set to release Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown as the detective’s little sister. Look for that to drop in September.