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Who Would Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue Cast as a Female Sherlock Holmes?

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, creators of the hit BBC drama, Sherlock, mused over who they would cast as a female version of the iconic character, created by Arthur Conan Doyle. And Moffat, perhaps unsurprisingly suggested a name very familiar to Doctor Who fans: Michelle Gomez!

Gomez played Missy in Series 8, 9, and 10 of Doctor Who, for which Moffat acted as showrunner. Moffat also suggested Olivia Colman, who was propelled to stardom after her lead role in Broadchurch, but who starred in The Eleventh Hour too.

Meanwhile, Gatiss put forward Fleabag star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, while Sue Vertue, Producer of Sherlock, threw Jodie Comer’s (Killing Eve) name in the hat.

Moffat concluded:

“I think we could sit here [and] generate quite a lot of names of female Sherlock Holmes. I think that part would go female very easily. I don’t think you have to do anything. Change the pronouns and you don’t even have to change the name. Sherlock Holmes could be a woman quite easily.”

However, he finds a female Watson a more interesting prospect:

“You know what I get stuck on? Who is John Watson as a woman? I find that slightly harder to think of that kind of performance.”

Elementary fans will recall that Lucy Liu played a female Watson (Joan) between 2012 and 2019 opposite Jonny Lee Miller (Kinda) as Holmes. It’s well worth a watch if you’re interested in the Great Detective.

Who would you cast as a female Sherlock? Or indeed Watson? (And no, not every character has to swap gender to be relevant; this was just a question Moffat, Gatiss, and Vertue were asked and their answers were pretty interesting.)

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Who Would Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue Cast as a Female Sherlock Holmes?

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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