1. SERIOUSLY. If you haven’t watched the first new episode of Sherlock yet, do not scroll down. DO NOT.
SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SPOILERS.
2. NO SERIOUSLY. SPOILERS.
3. In a dramatic twist at the end of “The Six Thatchers”, Mary (Amanda Abbington) dies after she is shot.
In a Q&A following a press screening of the episode last month, Abbington described how much she enjoyed filming her death scene.
She said: “When you get something like that in a script and it says you get shot, you have to say all of these last things, it is a dream for an actor. Because you can be really self-indulgent, like fucking go to town with it.”
4. Benedict Cumberbatch said that the sequence was a difficult and emotional moment to film.
He joked about his co-star, Martin Freeman: “It was not at all emotional for Martin, obviously. It was a walk in the park. Yeah, it was. It really was. It was emotional.”
Talking about what Mary added to the show, Cumberbatch said: “Two became three and then this incredibly important part of what Sherlock is, is suddenly no more and in the most violent way imaginable. It’s a great bit of tipping someone off the edge of a cliff just when you are most in need of them and in love with them. It was a very upsetting bit to film.”
5. For Freeman, his biggest concern was overacting Watson’s grief: “You have to do it justice obviously, but it’s very easy to overdo it.”
6. Mary’s death scene takes place in an aquarium, and Abbington said that to lighten the mood during filming, the people on set would all recite fake shark facts to one another.
“We were making up lots of shark facts,” she said. “‘Sharks like beans,’ and things like that. It was funny at the time!”
7. Sherlock creator Steven Moffat explained that Mary’s death was inspired by the books written by Arthur Conan Doyle.
He said: “It’s a strange thing but actually in the original stories it’s not actually said that she’s died, it’s heavily inferred. It could have been a messy breakup.
“We’ve obviously been very true to Conan Doyle and also very untrue, so we didn’t necessarily have to do this. But it just felt like the absolutely right place to do it.”
8. When asked why they decided to kill Mary off now, rather than during the finale, “The Final Problem”, in two weeks’ time, Moffat shot back: “Why would that be better? The truth is, Mary has been dead for 100 years so it’s harder to surprise people in those circumstances.”
“The only thing we could do would be to do it earlier than people thought, so it would happen as wrenchingly and as horrifically as such things happen in real life.”
9. He also noted the flip between Sherlock being shot by Mary in “His Last Vow” and Sherlock aiding Mary after she is shot in “The Six Thatchers”.
“There was that moment of froideur when she shot him in ‘His Last Vow’. So it was nice to reverse that and have her save his life.”
10. There’s also the added issue of Watson getting a number from a stranger earlier in the episode. When asked about it, Freeman said: “It’s always interesting to play shades of people.”
He added: “There’s a lot of talk and understanding about how John is a very reliable, very steadfast character, which he is, generally speaking. But he is also someone who has weaknesses and can be at fault at times.”
Cumberbatch said that in the original stories, Watson was a “ladies’ man”. Moffat hinted that Watson becomes more of a dick in future episodes, while Sherlock becomes “less of a dick.”