Mon
Aug 11 2014 4:30pm

Steven Moffat Is Totally Down for a Sherlock/Doctor Who Crossover But Doesn’t Think It’ll Actually Happen

Steven Moffat Sherlock Doctor Who crossover killjoys support Mark Gatiss fan imagination expectation vs reality

In case you’ve ever thought about penning a fanfic where Sherlock Holmes tries to use his famous deduction on the Doctor, only to be stymied because he has no idea what a Time Lord is, Steven Moffat wants you to know that he’s on board. He is all about a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover, because he’s a cool showrunner who would totally merge two completely disparate universes into a television event.

It’s his cast and fellow producers who are—in his own words—the killjoys.

At the Doctor Who season 8 premiere in Cardiff, Moffat told fans that a crossover had definitely been discussed at some point. In fact, if it were just up to him, it would’ve happened as quite the feels-bursting TV special. But in the same breath, he eliminated any real chance of it happening by mentioning that he seems to be the only one who’s writing crossover fic in his head:

Look I’m going to come clean on this: I would… Go speak to Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, OK? They’re all in the way. I’m not the killjoy, it’s that lot. It’s probably not going to happen.

I know... What a bunch of killjoys I work with.

That sounds like some “Ask your mother” question-dodging to us, but okay. The thing is, you could probably have a rad Doctor Who episode where the Doctor helps the archetypal Sherlock Holmes solve a case and maybe square off against Moriarty. But to have him—now, it would be Peter Capaldi—interact with Cumberbatch’s Sherlock in modern-day? We can’t see it.

Moffat tempered his own enthusiasm with some realism about expectation versus reality, citing his Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss:

You know in some ways, I think Mark has got a point when he says that however good you imagine [the crossover], it would be almost better in your imagination than it would be if the two grand old egotists actually met. They’d just both go off in opposite corners and sulk that there was someone cleverer than them.

He’s probably right about what fans envision being better than the reality. We still can’t get over how seamless this fan-made “Wholock” video is:

[Flickering Myth via Variety]

Photo: John Smith/YouTube

10 comments
Teresa Jusino
1. TeresaJusino
Oh man, I DISAGREE! :) I think that the Doctor would eventually warm up to Sherlock. Sherlock would be HUGELY uncomfortable at first, but eventually realize that the Doctor was awesome, and he might even have fun threatening Watson with the Doctor being his replacement.

And Watson would love the Doctor until that point. :) I could see him totally loving how the Doctor cuts Sherlock down a peg, and helps him do so....until Sherlock says the Doctor would be more helpful than he would, and he's all "OK, let's go." :)
Thomas Thatcher
2. StrongDreams
Meh. Moffat's Sherlock is the Doctor, slightly alien and trying to out-clever everyone in the room. Maybe Capaldi will be a different enough Doctor that it would make sense, but I don't think it would be watchable if it were David or Matt. Or you could have Ecclestone and Cumberbatch trying to out-do each other for not caring about humanity.

Plus, it's been established in the Whoniverse that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional Victorian character modeled after Madam Vastra, so how would you explain the presence of a detective named "Sherlock" in the 21st century.
Peter D.
3. Peter D.
>Plus, it's been established in the Whoniverse that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional Victorian character modeled after Madam Vastra, so how would you explain the presence of a detective named "Sherlock" in the 21st century.

Easy. You make it part of the plot. The Doctor shows up in what looks like the 21st century, then realizes he's interacting with Sherlock Holmes and nobody other than his companion is aware of the fictional Sherlock Holmes. Then reveal that TARDIS landed in the middle of (and the entire Sherlock series is merely a part of) an alien "reimagining" of the Earth for extradimensional entities who have fond memories of the original Earth but no longer wowed by it, so they're mixing a few things up and adding a few popular fictional characters.

*dusts hands off*

I should totally write for Doctor Who.
Angus McIntyre
4. angusm
When Tom Baker played the Doctor, he and Gareth Thomas -- who played Roj Blake in the BBC's other SF series, "Blake's Seven" -- allegedly had a plan to have a crossover cameo. The idea was to film a sequence in which the two would encounter each other by chance in a corridor, acknowledge each other ("Hi, Roj." "Hi, Doctor.") and then go on their way as if nothing had happened.

The actors liked the idea but they couldn't convince the producers, who thought that the fans wouldn't like having the integrity of the fictional universes disrupted. This suggests to me that the producers didn't really know much about fans.
Alan Brown
5. AlanBrown
A crossover would be a truly stupid idea. Moffat is lucky to have intelligent co-workers.
Erik Amundsen
6. Bigerich
Never seen a crossover that wasn't shit.
Peter D.
7. _Elena
Wow. For all that I usually like Moffat, this sound like an amazing display of idiocy - and egocentrism.
Dear SM, you're talented. The whole world knows that. Your run od DW is incedibly popular, as contested as it might be, and you created Sherlock that's arguably even more of a succes.

BUT THE DOCTOR IS NOT YOUR TOY. It's a franchise you're borrowing, something you're playing with and will have, eventually, to put down. Having a 50-year-old franchise that's bigger than you'll ever be cross over with something of your own creatin is nothing but a cheap excuse to create a shrine to Steven Moffat's genius, and I don't want to see that on my TV.

Let such ideas remain in fanfiction, as they should.
Ursula L
8. Ursula
I honestly don't thing Moffat was serious about this.

He's been asked this question a thousand times, and he's pretty much always dismissed the idea of a crossover. This feels, to me, like him looking for a way to avoid answering the same question in the same way again.

So he makes what is, clearly, a joke. Something to divert some of the attention and fannish conversation, as he's trying to do a Q&A while simultaniously trying not to give away anything better kept as a surprise. He needs to give the audience who just previewed the episode, and who will certainly be asked lots of questions about what happened, stuff to talk about that isn't giving away spoilers to those who haven't seen it yet.

Does anyone think that Moffat seriously considers his wife, one of his best friends, and two actors that he has now been working with for years "killjoys"?

Particularly since he then promptly went on to endorse Gatiss's reasoning as to why a crossover wouldn't make sense.

As for ego, saying that whatever he could produce couldn't live up to fan imaginations doesn't strike me as an example of egotism.

Fanfiction crossovers don't have to worry about keeping both shows able to move on as themselves, something that would be compromised for Sherlock if you suddenly introduced the Doctor to that world. An actual crossover episode would be constrained by the need to maintain the integrity of each fictional universe for future separate stories, in a way that fanfiction and a fan's imagination isn't limited.

Moffat seems to think of interviews, particularly ones that are about publicity for upcoming stories rather than talking about past work, a form of story-telling. The image of Moffat spinning out crossover stories, with the other four standing around him and shaking their heads "no," is a bit funny, since their relationship is actually one of working together to create stories, not to stop them.
Peter D.
9. quillet
@ Ursula: I agree. I think you're completely, absolutely right! Thanks for articulating that so well.
Peter D.
10. Mrdragon
I could only ever think of this working in terms of a Children In Need or Red Nose Day minisode.

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