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

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Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper in “Sherlock”. (Photo: BBC)

Molly Hooper Wasn’t Supposed to Stick Around

Sherlock looks a bit different than many of other Holmes adaptations that have come before it. It’s a contemporary series, set in modern-day London. Holmes and friends have access to access to current technology, both on a personal (smartphones, texting capabilities) and professional (police techniques, etc) level. The mysteries featured each week are often more “inspired” by the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories than they are straight retellings of them. So it should probably come as no surprise that one of its most popular characters is an original one, who doesn’t actually exist in the Holmes literary canon at all.

Molly Hooper, the charming, slightly awkward pathologist with a crush on Sherlock is entirely a creation of creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Played by Louise Brealey, she quickly became a fan favorite among the show’s roster of secondary characters. And she wasn’t ever even supposed to be a regular part of Sherlock.

According to Moffat, Molly was originally meant as an “absolutely one-scene character for the pilot” when the show was first put together. But they thought Brealey’s performance was “so fantastic” that they changed their minds about keeping her on the show. And, in turn, broke their own first rule for the series, which was to never add a regular character who wasn’t from Doyle’s stories.

Interestingly enough, Moffat also claims part of Molly’s appeal is that Sherlock doesn’t often feature much in the way of female perspectives on Sherlock and his behavior. (Neither, for that matter, do Doyle’s stories.) But her presence in the show – and her complicated feelings toward Sherlock – have helped change that a bit. How much is probably a matter of interpretation, but her continued existence in the show is definitely a welcome one.