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article imageSherlock writer wanted to dump Benedict Cumberbatch

By Mathew Wace Peck     Oct 4, 2013 in Entertainment
One of the writers of the hit BBC drama series, “Sherlock”, has revealed how he pitched to have the show’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch, written out.
In a new interview, Steve Thompson said, “I wanted […] to do an entire episode without Benedict in it at all.”
Thompson is one of the triumvirate of writers who have scripted for Sherlock – the modern-day reinterpretation of the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories – since it began in 2011; the other two being the show’s co-creators and executive producers, Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss.
Doctor Who Magazine recently published an extensive interview with the writer, concentrating largely on his work on Doctor Who. (To date, Thompson has written two episodes for the long-running sci-fi series: Curse of the Black Spot (2011) and an episode that was previously highlighted by Robert Myles for Digital Journal, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (2013).)
For Sherlock, Thompson has written three episodes – one for each of the three seasons so far: The Blind Banker (2011), The Reichenbach Fall (2012) and a forthcoming season 3 episode.
Asked whether there’s anything he wanted to do Sherlock-wise that didn’t make it through the discussion process, Thompson replied in the affirmative. “I wanted to do [an episode about] young Sherlock,” he said. “I wanted him to be nine […] I was just trying to think of a way of surprising everyone.”
Had it been approved, this would have been the episode that would have been completely void of Cumberbatch.
“‘This is the most surprising thing possible: Ben’s not going to be in it!’” I told them. I must’ve been drunk or something. Benedict’s amazing; how could I suggest it?”
Luckily, as Thompson adds, Moffat and Gatiss said, “‘You know what? I think we probably won’t do that.”
His Cumberbatch-exclusion faux pas aside, Thompson has garnered much praise for his Sherlock – and Doctor Who – work, especially The Reichenbach Fall, the season 2 finale that left viewers speculating as to how Holmes could have survived the fatal fall witnessed towards the end of the episode. All is set to be revealed this winter, when Sherlock returns for season 3.
Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson. Other regulars include Rupert Graves as Lestrade, Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson and Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes. It is produced by Sue Vertue.
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