9 Fascinating Things We Learned About Sherlock From Creator Mark Gatiss' AMA

Reddit’s 'Ask Me Anything' sessions often offer fun little peeks into the lives of celebrities and important figures, and Doctor Who writer and actor and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss’ AMA was certainly no different (although his was decidedly proper, with ‘favourite’ and other words spelled in the lovely British manner). If you like to geek out to either of Britain’s excellent dramas, we’ve culled together some of the best moments from Gatiss’ AMA.

From secret cameos to favorite Sherlock moments, Gatiss’ AMA was all over the board, so without further ado, here are 9 most interesting moments from this morning’s feature.

Peter Davison

When asked which Doctor Who character Gatiss would like to see on Sherlock most, he revealed a secret cameo.

The fifth incarnation of the Doctor, Peter Davison, has already appeared on the series. You can try to guess where, or just take a look at his quote: “Well Peter Davison has an uncredited cameo on Sherlock! He was the voice of the Planetarium in the Great Game!”


Will Sherlock be on TV in 5 years? It may be more likely than you might think.

While Doctor Who has always had longevity, Sherlock is a little more touch and go, which is why it is good to hear Gatiss state, “In 5 year's time, I've got a few things on the boil that may or may not work out, but if I'm still doing Sherlock and Doctor Who in 5 years, I'll be very pleased.”

Conan Doyle's Sherlock

Gatiss, would really, really like to adapt Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League” for Sherlock.

The story is about a pawnbroker and a secret “Red-Headed League,” as well as a slew of bank robbers looking to pull a fast one on the pawnbroker. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that is one of the episodes Sherlock has in the works at the moment. “I'd love to do “The Red-Headed League” for Sherlock! One of these days...”


Sherlock’s Mycroft inspired Gatiss to start running.

Gatiss says he and his Sherlock character aren’t really much alike. However, his Mycroft is still dissimilar to the original books. “In the original stories, Mycroft is very fat, so we've given him an ongoing paranoia about his weight, so I did a scene where I ran on a treadmill last year, and I've subsequently taken up running, which I enjoy tremendously. So there is that.”

Doctor Who

Doctor Who’s An Adventure in Space and Time was in the works for a long, long time.

It took 13 years to come together, but when it did, Gatiss says the cast and crew’s intense help was very gratifying. “The original members of the Doctor Who team were incredibly helpful and kind. So I think, probably, the best part about it was seeing the Tardis re-created, the original Tardis, and seeing David on it, it was very, very moving indeed.“

Martin Freeman

A scene with Martin Freeman from the second series of Sherlock is Gatiss’ favorite moment the drama has ever created.

The scene is part of the Irene Adler-based episode that left fans believing that Sherlock was departed from this world. It was pretty tricky to shoot, thanks to the London Riots, but Gatiss likes the emotionality of the scene, noting, “ [My] favourite moment to film was probably the scene with Martin in the cafe at the end of ‘Scandal in Belgravia’. The scene was originally interrupted by the London Riots, but when we came to do it, to finish it off, it was a very touching and affecting scene, I think."

Watson and Sherlock drunk

The secret to writing great episodes of Doctor Who and Sherlock is non-stop work.

A lot of writers like to take breaks throughout the day, but Gatiss says he would rather get “in the zone.” “My writing process is - I tend to do my best when I'm spending an entire day focused on it. Rather than doing little bits at a time. I find that works best. And sometimes, when I'm in the zone, there's nothing like it.”

Sherlock and his violin

Environment is also a key to Gatiss’ writing success.

The man talks about the habits of other writers, including Steven Moffat’s vacation home writing habits, but he likes “complete quiet and no distractions. I write in a room at the top of a house, there's no telephone or anything, because it's the only way I can concentrate.” Take that to heart if you want to write a successful TV series.

Sherlock surprise

And, drumroll, the most important answer of the day: He can grow a proper beard in record time.

If you remember, Gatiss had a brief gig on HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, playing Tycho Nestoris, an envoy for the Iron Bank in Braavos. His beard was pretty epic, and only took him three weeks to grow out. Here’s what he had to say about the experience: “I'm very hirsute. And I actually grew it a while ago, and then I was cutting it down to go on television, and accidentally shaved too much off, so I had to take the whole thing off and start again.”

To read the entire AMA, click here.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.