Is there really that much drama between Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman?


Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch responded to co-star Martin Freeman’s comment about the show not being fun anymore. But is the whole thing being blown out of proportion?

A nearly 200-year-old fandom seems to be having (another) rift come between them. The co-stars of BBC’s Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, have been at the center of some seemingly manufactured drama surrounding the two actors.

It began last month, when Freeman, who plays Dr. John Watson in the series, said to The Telegraph that working on Sherlock was no longer fun because of the high expectations from fans. As Freeman used a few choice words in his interview, for some, it seemed to seal the deal that a fifth season of Sherlock would hardly be likely at this point.

Following Freeman’s interview, Benedict Cumberbatch had his own response to his co-star’s comments. Also speaking to The Telegraph, Cumberbatch said: “It’s pretty pathetic if that’s all it takes to let you not want to take a grip of your reality. What, because of expectations?

“I don’t necessarily agree with that… There’s a level of obsession where [the franchise] becomes [the fans’] even though we’re the ones making it. But I just don’t feel affected by that in the same way, I have to say.”

That spun headlines with phrases like Cumberbatch responding to the “‘pathetic’ Sherlock criticism,” one that touted “things are getting heated at 221B” and my personal favorite, “Benedict Cumberbatch to Martin Freeman: Sherlock fans aren’t your problem, bro.”

As much as the word “drama” gets thrown around, and I only use it sparingly, this seems to be the kind of drama that is only being blown up by the people who are reporting on it. Cumberbatch certainly did have a strong opinion on Freeman’s comment. That doesn’t necessarily mean one should present the idea that there’s drama between them when no one explicitly said so.

Yes, celebrity drama (whether real or not) is no new concept. But to see it be cast on two mild-mannered and respected actors is almost insulting. Whether their relationship will have an effect on a fifth season of Sherlock is yet to be known. The two have already displayed fantastic chemistry on screen as the Holmes and Watson duo. Thus it’s hard to imagine that their feelings about the fanbase would completely stop the show from being created.

Honestly, if either of the actors actually says that their relationship is not in a good place, then I’d believe them. But for now, it’s unfair to assume that anything bad has actually come between them. Freeman has the right to his own opinion, as does Cumberbatch.

Plus, aside from Sherlock, the two have healthy acting careers. Both are front and center of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies this year. Cumberbatch continues as Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War and Freeman as Agent Ross in Black Panther. So dealing with Sherlock problems is the last thing they need to worry about right now.

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At the same time, the mixed reaction from the fourth season of the show made me wary of having a fifth season altogether. I’m a proponent of stopping while you’re ahead. If the fourth season of the show is to be its last, I’m completely satisfied knowing that the first two seasons were nothing short of spectacular.