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

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Matt Smith in his much more familiar role as the Eleventh Doctor on “Doctor Who”. (Photo: BBC)

Doctor Who Star Matt Smith Could Have Played John Watson

Since Steven Moffat is currently running things behind-the-scenes at both Sherlock and Doctor Who, there’s been a rather steady fandom drumbeat for the two shows to crossover with one another. When asked about it, Moffat has generally shot this idea down. Which is probably for the best, in the end.

But in a roundabout way, it sort of almost happened already. While Benedict Cumberbatch was the only person who auditioned to play Sherlock, there wasn’t a single consensus pick to play John Watson. Several people tried out for the role, including Doctor Who star Matt Smith.  Yes, really. He was actually the first person who auditioned.

However, Smith’s take on the great detective’s famous sidekick came off as too intense for Moffat. Apparently his audition felt like he was more of a Sherlock than a John. Given that Smith’s Doctor was rather famous for his speed-talking, occasionally neurotic demeanor, you can probably imagine why.

But all was not lost. It looks like his Sherlock audition had a direct impact on Smith landing the role of the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who in the first place.

As Smith told the Daily Mail, “Steven saw me more as a Sherlock Holmes than a Watson, but the main part had already gone to Benedict Cumberbatch. However, Steven saw something in me that made him think I could be right for the role of The Doctor.”

And then Martin Freeman came in and auditioned, and he and Cumberbatch clicked together immediately. So it all turned out okay in the end, even if it is fun sometimes to imagine what a Sherlock co-starring Smith might have looked like.