BBC drops Sherlock Holmes pilot

Thursday, May 27 2010, 10:39 BST
By Catriona Wightman, TV Reporter
Martin Freeman
Rex Features
The BBC has reportedly decided not to show the pilot of its new Sherlock Holmes drama.

According to The Sun, the channel will broadcast a three-part series but has chosen not to air the original episode.

The BBC has now been criticised for spending up to 800,000 on the pilot, which will never be seen by the public.

"It must have been a real stinker," a source said. "BBC One controller Jay Hunt and drama head Ben Stephenson felt the pilot didn't work so ordered the changes. The crew couldn't just re-use footage because the series is now totally different. The stories are now more intricate and detailed, so they basically had to start again."

However, the BBC defended the decision and explained that it is normal practice.

"As with the rest of the industry, we occasionally use pilots to experiment with the best ways of telling stories," a spokesperson said. "As a result of this pilot we commissioned a series of three 90-minute episodes."

The series, entitled Sherlock, stars Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch and has been made by Mark Gatiss and Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat.

The show is scheduled to air in July.
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