17 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Sherlock

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A Holmes family promotional shot from “Sherlock” Season 3, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch’s real life parents. (Photo: BBC)

This Show Loves Some Behind-the-Scenes Nepotism

Unless you’re a fairly dedicated Sherlock enthusiast, you may not know how interconnected the show’s cast and producers are behind-the-scenes. This show loves to play favorites when it comes to casting decisions.  Or maybe everyone involved with it prefers working with people they already know.

At least, according to the show’s creators.  “Well, Sherlock largely runs on nepotism,” Steven Moffat told BBC Radio 2 back in 2014. “”So generally speaking we just don’t like to go outside our tiny circle very much.”

It’s true.

John Watson’s wife Mary is played by Martin Freeman’s (former) real-life partner, Amanda Abbington. Benedict Cumberbatch’s parents Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton appeared in a couple of Season 3 episodes as Sherlock’s mom and dad. Back in Sherlock’s first season, Cumberbatch’s then-girlfriend Olivia Poulet had a small role in “The Blind Banker”. (She was the receptionist that ended up with the near-priceless jade hairpin, if you’re wondering.) And Mark Gatiss’ husband Ian Hallard played the part of Moriarty’s defense attorney in Season 2’s “The Reichenbach Fall”.  It really did probably help that all these people just happened to be actors themselves anyway, but man. That’s a lot of six degrees of separation.

And that’s not all! Moffat is married to Sue Vertue, the executive producer of the show, and their son, Louis Moffat, has actually been on the show. Louis played the young Sherlock seen in flashbacks during Season 3 episode His Last Vow.

At this rate, perhaps we can start taking bets on when Cumberbatch’s wife Sophie Hunter will snag a role. Maybe Season 6, whenever that happens?