Thanks to all of you who submitted questions for Joe Lidster. His answers are below!
Q: Do you think both John and Sherlock will continue their blogs in Season 3?
A: I hope so as I want to keep doing them!
Q: Any future projects you’d like us to know about?
A: I’ve just achieved a long-term ambition by writing a play for the stage. It’s only ten minutes long but it’s going to be performed! By actual actors! On an actual stage! It’s part of a theatre festival that’ll be on later this year – http://www.theoffcutfestival.com/the-plays/. Other than that, I’m working on more Dark Shadows, a comic and I’ve just completed a Dorian Gray audio for Big Finish http://bigfinish.com/news/v/the-confessions-of-dorian-gray-announced. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll want me back on the Sherlock blogs as I love doing them. Oh, and I’m writing a film! It’s going to be produced by Tom Guerrier –
http://www.irresistiblefilms.com/news/2012/6/1/irresistible-welcomes-guerrier-brothers. So yeah, I’m keeping busy! Your best bet to find out what I’m up to is to follow me on Twitter – I’m @joelidster.
Q: If you were to make a blog for Anderson, what do you think it’ll look like and what would it contain?
A: I imagine it would either be very dull and grey with little snarky comments about Sherlock or it’d be a little sleazy. I think there’s something a little bit sleazy about Anderson.
Q: How did you “update” John’s writing style for the blog? What were the major changes (if any) that you made from his style of writing in the canon?
A: To be honest, I decided not to worry too much about his writing style in the original stories as this is a very different medium. What I have tried to do was develop this John’s writing style as the series has gone on. At first he basically has no interest in keeping a blog as he’s only doing it to keep his therapist happy. But then, as he becomes a happier person in himself thanks to his life with Sherlock, he starts to enjoy it a lot more. So he starts to inject more humour into his posts, he starts interacting more with the comments, he starts to include pictures and so on. I think by the second series, he’s really into it.
Q: Do you think Mycroft secretly keeps a blog?
A: Ha, that would be brilliant, wouldn’t it? I suspect he’s more likely to keep a very expensive leather-bound diary.
Q: Would you ever go to the Philippines?
A: I’d love to, one day! It looks like a stunningly-beautiful country.
Q: What’s your favourite book?
A: I think my favourite book of all time is The Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis. I just loved it as a kid and I think there’s a real sense of joy about it, although it’s got its dark moments. The writing style is deceptively simple but it’s such an exciting adventure. Also, I think does an amazing job of telling a story from a child’s point-of-view. The characters are flawed but sympathetic and very easy to identify with.
Q: When did you first start to write?
A: From an early age, I guess. When I was a kid, acting was my big passion. I loved it. I was in the school drama productions, a local kids acting group and even the town’s Operatics society – which was basically me, a friend of mine and a group of pensioners. But, as well as that, I did enjoy writing. I just liked telling stories really.
As I got older, though, I started to concentrate on the writing. There were a couple of reasons for this. I started to feel quite self-conscious in front of people – especially on the stage. Around the same time, though, we did a school play of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus in which I played the young version of Salieri. It was a fantastic production but it was the script that really grabbed me. I was blown away by just how amazing it was. It was a stunning piece of entertainment but also a fantastic character piece. There were no outright goodies or baddies. It was dark but funny. It had some astonishingly beautiful scenes and some moments that were simply terrifying. I just loved how it gave us, as actors, the opportunity to do something really very special. And I realised then that that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to entertain people. I wanted to make them laugh and cry. I wanted to make them think. I wanted to scare them and stun them into silence. I wanted to make them forget that there was a world outside of what they were watching. And I felt that I, personally, would be able to do that more as a writer than as a performer.
Q: Do you read fanfiction? If yes, have you read Sherlock fanfiction?
A: I don’t, I’m afraid. I’m sure there’s some fantastic stuff out there but, because this world is my work, I tend to try and avoid spending too much of my free time caught up in it. It’s not that I don’t love Sherlock (or Torchwood or whatever it is I’m working on) – I genuinely do – but when it’s your work, I think it’s healthier to try and do something else in your free time. I also need to be careful. If I read some fantastic fan story about John and Sherlock, I might be tempted to use elements of it. By not reading it, I can safely say that everything in the blogs is my own and any similarities are purely coincidental.
Q: A question about Torchwood: do you think people complain more about the homosexual sex scenes in Torchwood than about the violent scenes?
A: I honestly didn’t notice so much. I remember the sexual elements tended to get talked about quite a bit. Although, I found it a bit baffling really – you never saw anything remotely graphic! But yes, generally – in the UK at least – people do seem more likely to complain about sexual content or swearing on television than about violence which is something I find most odd.
Q: Who is your favourite Sherlock character and why?
A: I’m really not sure I could choose a favourite character! My favourite scene is the Christmas scene in A Scandal In Belgravia where all the regulars are together. I think it’s the only time it happens in the series and it’s just such a lovely joyous scene. If I had to choose one, it’d probably be Molly as she’s the one I think I’m probably most similar to.
Q: Was Martin Freeman actually typing during the making of the series?
A: I don’t know actually. I presume so. I’d written all the content beforehand so it could be seen on screen but whether he’s actually typing those words, I don’t know. I like to think so!
Q: Who/What was your inspiration while writing the blogs’ posts?
A: My inspiration? I guess it’s the characters themselves. From my previous experience doing the Doctor Who and Torchwood websites and, generally speaking as a writer, the big thing I’ve discovered is that I want them to be more than just simple tie-in websites. There needs to be a purpose for their existence. They need to tell stories. It can be tricky with John’s blog because many of his posts are basically mini-novelisations of what we see in the episodes – and what we see is so brilliantly written and performed that it’s difficult to find additional character stuff to add to it. So I guess that’s my main inspiration – trying to find ways to make these tie-in websites as strong and as interesting as they can be. Another inspiration, and I’m genuinely not just saying this, has been seeing what a fantastic response they’ve received. Obviously the series itself has rightly been adored but it’s been lovely seeing the blogs themselves getting such a great response.
Q: Did you always want to work in the television industry? Or was it something you happily stumbled into?
A: I’ve always loved television. There wasn’t a cinema near to where I grew up so I didn’t see that many films as a kid but I remember watching television that terrified me and made me laugh and cry and so on. It’s a medium that most people in this country have access to, so yeah, it was always my dream to write drama for television. Even after doing a Media degree, though, I wasn’t sure how to get into it so there has been an element of happy stumbling!
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
A: The highlights tend to be when I do something for the first time – my first Doctor Who audio, my first piece of television and so on. And, again I’m not just saying it, but doing these blogs is a real highlight. I get to work with some of the best writers and producers in television today and although the websites are only a tiny part of Sherlock, it’s really very rewarding to be involved in something so huge and brilliant.
Q: Do you have a favourite actor and actress? If so who are they?
A: I don’t think I do, really. There are lots of actors I think are fantastic but I tend to be more of a fan of specific programmes or writers rather than specific actors. If I had to choose one I’d probably go for either Christopher Eccleston or Kathy Burke as I think they’re both immensely talented and fascinating to watch.
Q: Has there been a moment in your career where you’ve felt like giving up and looking for a new job?
A: Yeah. And it’s never nice. I remember a time on The Sarah Jane Adventures where I was having real difficulty in coming up with the right story and I was close to quitting then. The good and bad thing about writing for me is that I find it very difficult. I’ve had lots of jobs over the years from pig-farming to working in offices and, to be honest, no matter how stressful they could be, I never found them particularly hard. Writing, despite – or perhaps because of – it being my dream job, I do find incredibly difficult. Every single time I write something, I want it to be better than what I’ve written before. On the whole, I think that’s a good thing though.
Q: What advice would you give someone who wanted to write professionally?
A: I hate giving advice because I’m still learning myself every day. The main thing is to always have a notepad with you so you can jot down ideas etc. You never know where you’re going to get inspired or where you might overhear a conversation that just has to go into a script – so always have something you can write things down on. And yeah, be nosy. Watch people. Observe them. And engage with them. Go to parties. Go to the pub. I’m not just saying that as a sly excuse for having a drink but I really don’t believe successful writers are lonely undiscovered geniuses hiding away in their bedrooms. You need to know how people behave and you need to meet people. Join local theatre groups. Follow writers and companies on Twitter who advertise writing opportunities. And, yes it’s the obvious thing to say, but write. It’s no good just saying you want to write, you have to actually do it.
Q: What’s the best thing about your job in your opinion?
A: I think it’s when I’ve finished my bit and I can hand it over to other people to make – whether that’s an episode of television or a blog post. That’s always just so exciting and terrifying because… it’s done. My job is done and then it’s going over to the professionals to make!
Q: Are you happy with the work you have done? If not you should be proud!
A: Oh, thank you. I guess, yeah, mostly I’m very happy with what I’ve done. There are always lines and things I think I could have done better but, for the most part, I tend to look forward at what I’m doing next rather than worrying too much about what I’ve done in the past.
Q: What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you at work?
A: To be honest, the weirdest thing about this job is doing the extra stuff like this. I’m just a bloke doing a job – albeit a job I care passionately about – so doing interviews and conventions and all that is just a bit weird. It’s the same with people following me on Twitter and that. I’m never quite sure why people are interested or what I should say. It’s lovely, though! I once snogged Kai Owen on stage, as well. Which was weird and unexpected but nice.
Q: Is there a TV show or film that you wish you’d written?
A: Twin Peaks. I adore Twin Peaks. I think it’s just an astonishing piece of television. I’d love to write something like that.
Q: We know us fans can be seen as rather crazy, is it annoying for people in your position? Or is it seen in a positive sense?
A: It’s mostly absolutely lovely. It’s great that people are so passionate about something I’m involved in. I think there’s only been one bad experience with the Sherlock fandom – someone on Tumblr said I should be sacked for not seeming to care that a blog post date didn’t match up with what had been seen on screen. I don’t mind people not liking my work, but it does upset me if they say I don’t take it seriously. But, to be honest, I’m so very lucky in that I get to be involved in shows like Torchwood and Sherlock that have very passionate – and mostly lovely – fans. And, at the end of the day, I’m a fan myself. I think most sensible people are.
Q: Is there someone in the industry or someone you know who you think is underrated?
A: I’m not sure. I always felt Elisabeth Sladen could have done so much more. She was such a great actress but I think it was her choice to put her career on hold when she had her daughter.
Q: People know you for your work on Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures, which one did you enjoy being a part of most? And why?
A: I loved them both and it would be impossible to choose between them. Both were made with such passion and a genuine desire to make good quality television. It’s just so rewarding to be involved in shows like that.
Q: Were you always a Sherlock Holmes fan?
A: Yeah. I can’t really remember when I first read them – probably in my teens. I remember worrying that they’d be dry and heavy-going but once I read one, I was hooked. As well as being incredibly clever, they’re just such good fun. Steven and Mark have said that what separates Sherlock Holmes from other detectives is that he and John explicitly have adventures. So yeah, I’ve always been a huge fan and I hope there are people out there giving the original stories a go now that they’ve seen the TV series.
Q: Where’s your favourite place to go when you’re working?
A: Sorry, rather a boring answer but I tend to work at my desk. It’s not exactly a long commute to work – from my bedroom through to the living room. I do take breaks from my computer though if I’m stuck – I’ll go for walks or have a bath or something. I’ve lots of ideas in the bath which has the added bonus of meaning I’m usually very clean and smell nice.
Q: Do you have anything to take extra care to create the characters’ blogs and website?
A: I take a lot of care over them, yes. I feel very strongly that they need to be of a high quality – as does everyone else involved – so we really do put the extra effort in.
Q: Which character do you like most in Sherlock? And why?
A: Like I said earlier, I’m not sure I could choose a favourite, to be honest. They’re all so well-written and performed and I think it’s one of the best ensemble casts on television today.
Q: Do you have any case you’d like to ask Sherlock to look into for you?
A: Ha, all the time. I’m always losing stuff. I lost a contract the other day and I was getting seriously freaked out by it! I’d left it on my desk and it just made no sense that it wasn’t there any more. So yeah, I’m not sure I have a specific case for Sherlock but if he could help me every time I lose something, that would be brilliant.
Q: Were you given a lot of instructions by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat or were you free to create the blogs the way you liked?
A: It’s very much a team thing. I tend to have a meeting with Steven, Mark, Sue and Jo Pearce (who’s responsible for the actual websites) very early on where we talk about the three stories and how the online material can complement them. Jo knows all the techy stuff so she’ll say what we can and can’t do – and will make suggestions about new things we can try. After that, I’ll usually type up my thoughts and everyone will agree a way forward. Then it’s pretty much down to me – I’ll write it all up and I’m very lucky in that I get a lot of freedom in how and what I write. It then has to be signed off and there might be notes on specific bits. Then it goes over to the clever techy people who make it look like a real blog.
Q: Out of all the blogs you have written for BBC Sherlock, which one is the most challenging, and why?
A: John’s is the trickiest because it’s the biggest. There’s so much on there and there could easily be so much more. I have to work hard to find ways to make sure he’s not just re-telling what we’ve already seen on TV. There are also quite a few extra challenges such as how do I make it look as if the blog has been active over such a long period of time. I’ve had to come up with quite a few extra cases – especially those mentioned in Scandal which were not the easiest things to do! I was cursing Steven when I read in the script that some comic book characters were coming to life and… CUT TO NEXT SCENE. How do you make that real? And fun? And of the same standard as seen on TV? And written up as briefly as possible? So yeah, John’s blog is by far the hardest just because of the actual amount of work it requires.
Q: Are there any plans for Molly to return to the world of blogging? I miss reading her writings, really.
A: I don’t know, to be honest. We made a decision in Series Two to focus more on John’s blog. The problem was that, in the fiction, they’ve become famous so John’s and Sherlock’s sites would have had so much more on them. In reality, we also felt that it made more sense to try and focus the audience’s attention on one single website – they can then discover the others if they wish to. I loved writing Molly’s blog as she’s such an introverted character so it would be fab to do more but it depends on what’s happening in Series Three and what decisions are made re the online content.
Q: Any chance for Sherlock to be kind enough to show, at least, one or two cases from his archived case files? Some of those titles sound very intriguing.
A: Ha, I’d love to but, again, it’s all down to time really. Also, it’s not easy trying to be as clever as Sherlock!
Q: How do you think the existence of these tie-in websites contribute significantly to the series’ success that they (either the BBC or the producers, I guess) go as far as hiring a different writer for them? I took interest in this particular subject and looking forward to hear for your opinion. 🙂
A: If I’m honest, I’m not sure they contribute to the show’s success at all really. The programme is a huge hit because we’ve had six wonderful episodes that show just how utterly brilliant television can be. The tie-in websites are great and I like to think they support the show but I’m not sure how much the general audience are aware of them. I think the way people watch TV is changing though – you look at how much people are tweeting during certain shows, for example, so I do think we’ll see more online content in the future.
Q: How does it feel to work with such legendary characters?
A: It’s brilliant, frankly. A challenge as there are huge expectations involved but it’s a real honour. I love it.
Q: Just for curiosity, have you read the complete canon of Sherlock Holmes? In case of “yes”, which story is your favourite and which story would you like to see adapted to the screen?
A: I think I have, yeah! My favourite is probably The Speckled Band. It’s genius! I love The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane as well but I’m not sure how well it’d translate to television.
Q: What’s the difference between working with Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies?
A: I work with them in different ways. With Russell, it’s on scripts so it’s more hands-on throughout the whole thing. With Steven, it’s more a few meetings at the beginning of the process. They’re both so passionate and, frankly, they’re both so brilliant (I hope neither of them read this!) so just working with them is an honour in itself. I learn so much from every single conservation with them.
Q: Will there be new entries on John’s blog before series 3 kicks off?
A: I don’t know, sorry. I’ve no idea what’s happening in Series Three so I don’t know whether the story demands it or not. I hope so!
Q: Can we expect Sherlock to answer some fan questions (problems to solve and such) on his website after he returns for series 3?
A: Again, as mentioned earlier, we tried to move people more to John’s blog with just a few extras elsewhere – just to keep it simpler really. While it would be fantastic of we could do that, it would obviously mean so much more work – and I’d worry that I wouldn’t be clever enough to answer the questions!
Q: Does the series’ success and the expectations created by its success influence the further storyline? Will for example real fan sites be mentioned in the series, etc.? (Like in Supernatural for instance)
A: I don’t know, to be honest as I’m not involved in the series itself – beyond writing websites and newspaper reports that appear on screen. As for the blogs, like I said earlier, I try to keep away from the fan stuff so that I can’t be accused of it influencing me. I love how it’s got such a strong fanbase though. Also, I’m not sure if the BBC would be allowed to link to non-BBC sites or whether there’d be any copyright issues.
Q: Should BBC Sherlock ever be produced in an cooperation with BBC America, do you think this would have a huge impact on the style of the series, like it did with Torchwood?
A: Again, it’s not something I’d really have any say in. I loved Torchwood: Miracle Day so it would certainly be interesting. I think it would be fab if we had a Sherlock holiday special set abroad. I’ve been watching all of the ITV Poirots and it’s great seeing him in Egypt and Paris and so on. So yeah, I’d love to see Sherlock and John in New York or somewhere.
Q: Why doesn’t Anderson have a blog?
A: I think for the simple reason that he wasn’t in the series as much as the others. That’s the second question about him – is he a really popular character or something? Unfortunately, much as I love doing the blogs, it is a job and there’s a limit to how much time I can spend on them and how much budget there is to spend on them! We have to look at what we can do that enhances the series and I’m not sure Anderson’s blog would add much to the experience. Saying that, I wouldn’t rule it out in the future!
Q: For which Sherlock character would you like to write another blog?
A: Moriarty’s would be mad, wouldn’t it! That would be great fun. I’ve a soft spot for Sally Donovan. She seems to have a few issues with Sherlock and I think that would be quite interesting to explore.
Q: How did you get this terrific job?
A: I had a general meeting with Sue and Steve about future scripts and ideas etc and then they went into pre-production on Sherlock. Sue called me up and asked if I’d do the blogs (because of my previous experience on the Doctor Who and Torchwood websites) and I said yes!
Q: Did the idea for the blogs already exist before the series were filmed? Or did someone (who?) have the idea afterwards?
A: The idea definitely existed before but I’m not sure who first came up with it. I was working on them when the scripts were still being written for the first series so it was quite early on in the process.
Q: What’s the work of a script writer like when he writes for a series? Are you free to evolve characters or do you have to stick to certain descriptions? (I’m interested because in my favourite episode of Torchwood » A Day in the Death« Owen Harper shows some new sides of his personality.)
A: Basically, it’s all agreed beforehand. So, we’ll have meetings and discuss it and then I’ll write a number of treatments before going to script. In those initial meetings, it’s very much a group thing but the general arc of the series has usually been decided beforehand. What’s great is that Russell encourages us to push the stories and characters as far as we can. So, with Owen, I was able to suggest my own thoughts and ideas and these are then discussed and agreed on. So yeah, it’s difficult to answer really, because so much of it is decided on in big chatty meetings.
Q: What research did you do in order to achieve the tone of John, Sherlock, Mrs. Hudson and the rest of the supporting casts on the blogs? Did you work from scripts or reel?
A: Initially I worked from the later drafts of the scripts but then I was sent rough edits of the episodes once they’d been filmed. I know the characters now and how the actors portray them so it’s much easier to get their voices right.
Q: If you were given a blank check to work on any project, or any idea what would you work on?
A: I’d love to create my own television series. I’m not sure what it would be about (possibly something a bit supernatural and soapy – like Twin Peaks) but, yeah, that’s definitely my big ambition in life. So yeah, if someone out there wanted to give me the money to do that, I’d be very happy!
Q: Which blog did you have the most fun writing?
A: Connie’s site was great fun just because I got to be a little silly. I had a lot more freedom with it as well because she was a minor character. I love writing them all but I think my favourite thing about the job is writing the comments on the blog posts as I can tell little stories and create my own ongoing characters.
Q: Which Sherlock character do you identify the most with?
A: It’s probably Molly Hooper. I’m not clever enough to be Sherlock or brave enough to be John.
Q: Will you be doing more social media stuff for Season 3? Any hints on what we can expect from you?
A: I hope so! I haven’t been asked yet so… fingers crossed! And if I’m not, I’ll be expecting a huge online petition and riots outside BBC Wales! Get the troops rallied!
Q: Who had the idea to anchor the series in reality by opening the sites which appear in Sherlock?
A: I don’t know, actually. Obviously John’s blog was very important in the initial script so I’m not sure whether Steve or Sue suggested it to the BBC or whether the BBC thought it’d be a fun thing to do.
Q: Why have you deleted the article about the cigarette ash?
A: Erm… Which one, sorry? I don’t remember any articles being deleted. If you get back to me, I’ll see what happened!
Q: Should Richard Brook not have a website, too?
A: The reality is that most of the characters should but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Also, it’s about telling stories – I’m not sure a Richard Brook site would add anything to the story as he’s not real. I mean, obviously, none of them are real but you know what I mean! It’s like I said before, I think the websites should add something to the series whereas I think a site about Richard Brooks would just repeat what we see on screen.
Q: Are you only doing the sites’ text or are you in charge of their designs too?
A: I basically suggest where I think pictures should be added but, other than that, I leave it all to the guys at BBC Wales. I’m not hugely internet-savvy or anything so it’s best left to the professionals.
Q: Are you going to do a site or a blog for Moran? For Moriarty’s spider web?
A: He hasn’t been in the series, has he? Again, I’m not sure who’ll be in Series Three or whether they’ll want more blogs so basically, like me, you’ll have to wait and see!
Q: Will there be a blog for Mrs Hudson one day?
A: Ha, I’d love that! I liked developing her in the comments on John’s blog showing her getting a laptop and becoming more internet-savvy. Like a lot of older people, it’s taken her slightly longer to get onto the internet but now she loves it. So yes, I think that could be great fun.
Q: As Sherlock disappeared for 3 years… Is he going to write a blog about his adventures during these years under a false name?
A: He disappeared for three years? Do you mean after his death at the end of Series Two? I didn’t know that! So, erm, I don’t know!
Q: Why did Molly stop writing her blog after Season 1?
A: In reality, it was because the decision was made to focus more on John’s site. There was a lot more to do on his blog for Series Two so we needed to lessen the workload elsewhere. My reasoning for it, in a fictional sense, is that I felt her experiences with Moriarty had hurt her a lot. She felt a bit foolish about her relationship being revealed to have been a fraud and the whole thing being out there on her blog. So I felt that, after that, she would be a bit more wary of being so public. I’d love to go back to it one day and have her being a bit more guarded, a bit more grown-up.
Q: Was “The Improbable One” Moriarty?
A: No. He’s my own character. Who knows where he’ll go?
Q: Is it a coïncidence that Molly has a cat named Toby? Like Toby the dog in the Canon?
A: I can’t actually remember but I’d guess he’s named after the dog. I usually name characters after my friends and family and I don’t know anyone called Toby.
Q: Which character do you prefer writing as? Sherlock ? John ? Molly ? Which one is the hardest?
A: I like writing for them all really as they’ve such distinctive voices. Sherlock is pretty difficult because he’s just so clever. Molly was quite hard as well as I worried about going too far with the cats and downtrodden aspects of her life. Yes, she’s a bit mousey and unlucky in love etc but she’s also brilliant at her job and can be very perceptive. It was tricky to get the balance right and not just imply that she was a doormat with an infatuation.
Q: Why is John’s blog blocked at 1895 hits? Is it a bug or a message?
A: That was in the script so it was something we added to the blog.
Q: How did you get the idea of the famous “Glee night” between Molly and Moriarty? That part was hilarious!
A: Ha, I dunno. I think I just tried to think of the worst show a supervillain would have to sit through. I imagined him sitting there with this big forced grin on his face. Plus, it’s obviously got a huge gay fanbase so it was a little clue about Jim’s other fake personality.
Q: I admit, that I really didn’t think there was a special person who was writing those blogs. But I am really curious now. So my question would be “Isn’t it a bit confusing to be writing blogs for several very different characters? Because it feels like you have a personality disorder. Or is it something you do rather mechanically – like you have a script, review it with the show producers and writers, and blog? Do you discuss it with the actors playing these characters as well? To make it sound more in character?
A: I wouldn’t say it was particularly confusing, no. I’m used to writing scripts so I’m used to writing for lots of different characters. I’m lucky in that the writing and the performances are so brilliant that each character has their own distinctive voice. I discuss it all with the producers but not with the actors, no. I’m not sure if they’re even aware of it!
Q: About Harry Watson, she pops up on the blog’s comments and a lot of fans are curious about her. Do you believe that would be possible that she makes an appeareance on the next series?
A: I LOVE writing for Harry. I love trying to tell her ongoing battle with alcohol through a series of comments on blog posts. Sometimes she’s doing okay, at other times she’s drunk or suffering withdrawal symptoms. I’ve enjoyed developing the ongoing relationships between the various people who post on John’s blog. There’s a nice little community forming! I’ve also enjoyed lightening the relationship between her and John. He was so cut off from everything so, no matter how hard she tried in her own messy way, he was very cold with her. Now that he’s enjoying life a lot more, he’s much more open and chatty with her – although I think she still irritates him. It’s a nice little relationship. It would be interesting to see her in the series, but that wouldn’t be up to me.
Q: There’s a discussion about the date of the Fall. On the blog, the last post is from June 16 but the date doesn’t match with the facts in the episode, like the childrens’ holidays. Is it intentional or is it just the kind of thing that the producers just miss?
A: No, it wasn’t intentional, sorry. It’s just one of those things that slipped through. Trying to get all the dates to fit is one of the hardest parts of the job. It’s one of those things that is nobody’s priority so I have to scour the scripts for any clues I can find and try to get everyone to agree where possible. I reckon it’s probably down to Moriarty hacking the blog.
Q: Did you develop the codes and stuff on “The Science of Deduction” website yourself? Though it has less content, was it more difficult to prepare?
A: Do you mean Moriarty’s secret messages? I worked with Steve Thompson. I created the set-up and the messages and so on, but he did the actual codes because he’s far cleverer than me. The rest of the website was down to me though – it’s even my own little drawing on the case of The Green Ladder. We had to be careful with Moriarty’s messages as we obviously couldn’t give away that he was going to be in it. So we can have little clues and hints but nothing more than that. My belief is that the hardcore fans who look at the tie-in stuff should get a few rewards but not have what’s coming up spoiled for them.
Q: What are your other projects? Is there a website where we can read your stories and about up-coming projects?
A: Ooh, easy one as I answered it way up above in Question 2! Yay!
Q: Your inspiration to write the stuff on Molly Hooper’s blog – did it come from something particular?
A: I just loved the character and begged to write the blog for her. It’s easier to write for the characters who aren’t in the show too much as you can develop them a little more and tell stories that won’t influence what we see on the screen. I think Louise Brealey’s performance is absolutely brilliant and I ADORED that scene in the last story where she stands up to Sherlock and they have a real moment where both realise just how special she is.
Q: Did you watch the episodes before writing the blogs?
A: I tend to start work on them before the episodes are written and then, after that, I’m sent the scripts and then the rough edits of the episodes.
And I’m done!!