|Continuing his tradition of re-inventing classic characters, Steven Moffat has just enough time to give us his take on Sherlock Holmes before starting work on Doctor Who. Along with co-producers Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, Moffat will be doing for Holmes and Watson what he recently did for Jekyll and Hyde.
Though initially reported by the media in August of 2008, M & G's upcoming Sherlock Holmes adaptation drew little attention until the BBC issued a full press release in the week of the broadcast of "The Next Doctor". Follow-up reporting on the event has been drowned out by coverage of the Matt Smith's election as the Eleventh Doctor.
Nevertheless, the project appears to be what Moffat will be doing while RTD finishes out his lame duck term. Piers Wenger, the incoming Doctor Who exec and current BBC Wales Head of Drama, has said, "Our Sherlock is a dynamic superhero in a modern world, an arrogant, genius sleuth driven by a desire to prove himself cleverer than the perpetrator and the police, everyone in fact." A recent Mark Gatiss interview suggests the setting of Sherlock will be 2009.
Filming is coincident with that for the next Who special, "Planet of the Dead". Principal photography will be split between London and Wales. The Telegraph put the broadcast date as "Autumn 2009" on BBC One.
Based mainly on the December 2008 BBC press release, The Guardian have confirmed the production will star Bernadict Cumberbatch (Hawking, Amazing Grace) as Holmes, with Martin Freeman (The Office, Hitchhiker's Guide) as Watson and Rupert Graves (Death at a Funeral, V for Vendetta) as Lestrade. Professor Moriarty has been confirmed by Moffat as appearing, but his casting has not yet been announced.
The episode currently filming was one of two originally written. The second was written by Gatiss, and will likely become the first regular episode, should the concept go to series. In that eventuality, Moffat will obviously be unable to continue on both Sherlock and Doctor Who. According to Broadcastnow, Sherlock will therefore continue under the aegis of Gatiss and Vertue. It is unclear whether this means Moffat will be precluded from writing further episodes of Sherlock or Gatiss from writing for Moffat's version of Doctor Who
What it probably does mean, however, is that Vertue will likely not join her husband on the set of Doctor Who in the 2010 season. Indeed, as the principal of Hartswood Films, Sue probably won't produce any of Moffat's run on Doctor Who. Vertue had earlier produced The Curse of Fatal Death, making her arguably the second female producer in Doctor Who history. If she ultimately fails to produce any Doctor Who, it will be a fairly rare example of the couple being professionally separated for a protracted period of time. Nevertheless, it is somewhat curious that BBC Wales are currently offering only a one year contract for the next producer of Doctor Who.