Last month, Martin Freeman said that making Sherlock for the BBC wasn’t enjoyable anymore, in large part due to the fans. Apparently, Benedict Cumberbatch, the show’s eponymous detective, thinks otherwise.
An interview with The Telegraph, that ran last month, cited Freeman, who played Watson on four seasons of the show, as saying that he was fine with not doing a fifth season of the BBC program due to its rabid fanbase.
“Being in that show, it is a mini-Beatles thing,” Freeman said. “People’s expectations, some of it’s not fun anymore. It’s not a thing to be enjoyed, it’s a thing of: ‘You better f—ing do this, otherwise, you’re a c—.’ That’s not fun anymore.”
Now, in his own interview with The Telegraph, Cumberbatch has some strong words regarding his co-star’s perspective, saying: “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 know. 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.”
The debate about how fans shape the production of a show is a hot one, since the internet has made creators so accessible and enabled the fervor of fans to sometimes turn toxic, ending up in harassment or hostility toward creators. Earlier this month, the Westworld creators provoked the same anxieties with a purported attempt to head off fan theories with a revelation of spoilers—that turned out to be a giant rickroll.
Everyone has their own reactions to stress, I suppose. At any rate, I wouldn’t count on a fifth series of Sherlock any time soon.