Friday 18 August 2017

Mark Gatiss in poetic response to critics of 'violent' Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes returned to our screens this week (BBC)
Sherlock Holmes returned to our screens this week (BBC)

Sherlock producer and actor Mark Gatiss has made a poetic response to critics who have attacked the show's latest series for being too much like James Bond.

The star, 50, wrote a five-verse piece, complete with rhyme, explaining how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective had always been a skilled fighter.

Referring to some of the most famous Sherlock stories, Gatiss challenged his critics: "In hurling Moriarty over the torrent, did Sherlock find violence strange and abhorrent?

"In shooting down pygmies and Hounds from hell, Did Sherlock on Victorian niceties dwell?"

His composition followed an article in The Guardian, which claimed that the show's New Year's Day episode, which saw Benedict Cumberbatch's famous character embroiled in fist fights and his friend John Watson's wife turn out to be an assassin, was too physically violent.

The article, by Ralph Jones, described Sherlock as "perversely morphing" into the typical 007-style action movie detective, rather than the science-focused "nerd" of Sir Arthur's stories.

Addressing his critic, Gatiss wrote: "Here is a critic who says with low blow, Sherlock's no brain-box but become double-O.

"Says the Baker St boy is no man of action - whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction."

Hitting back at the idea that the modern Sherlock Holmes of his and Steven Moffat's creation has become more akin to the suave, gun-toting Bond, he concluded: " There's no need to invoke in yarns that still thrill, Her Majesty's Secret Servant with licence to kill.

"From Rathbone through Brett to Cumberbatch dandy, w ith his fists Mr Holmes has always been handy."

Read the full poem below:

"Here is a critic who says with low blow

Sherlock's no brain-box but become double-O.

Says the Baker St boy is no man of action -

whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction.

The Solitary Cyclist sees boxing on show,

The Gloria Scott and The Sign of the Fo'

The Empty House too sees a mention, in time, of Mathews,

who knocked out poor Sherlock's canine.

As for arts martial, there's surely a clue

in the misspelled wrestle Doyle called baritsu.

In hurling Moriarty over the torrent

did Sherlock find violence strange and abhorrent?

In shooting down pygmies and Hounds from hell

Did Sherlock on Victorian niceties dwell?

When Gruner's men got him was Holmes quite compliant

Or did he give good account for The Illustrious Client?

There's no need to invoke in yarns that still thrill,

Her Majesty's Secret Servant with licence to kill

From Rathbone through Brett to Cumberbatch dandy

With his fists Mr Holmes has always been handy."

- Mark Gatiss.

Press Association

Also in this section