Updated 1:39pm 29 June 2012

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Sherlock writer Steven Moffat furious with sexist claim


Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Moffat, also lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, refuted any suggestion Conan Doyle’s creation or he himself harboured sexist views.

“I think it’s one thing to criticise a programme and another thing to invent motives out of amateur psychology for the writer and then accuse him of having those feelings,” he said.

“I think that was beyond the pale and strayed from criticism to a defamation act.

“I’m certainly not a sexist, a misogynist and it was wrong.

“It’s not true and in terms of the character Sherlock Holmes, it is interesting. He has been referred to as being a bit misogynist.

“He’s not; the fact is one of the lovely threads of the original Sherlock Holmes is whatever he says, he cannot abide anyone being cruel to women – he actually becomes incensed and full of rage.”

Meanwhile the 50-year-old Scot also defended the show’s first episode from further media accusations racy scenes involving Adler, played by Lara Pulver, were inappropriate to show before the 9pm watershed.

He said: “It is worth saying very definitively there was no nudity, apparent nudity, she wasn’t naked and you never saw any one of the items I’m sure the Daily Mail would have printed had they the opportunity to do so.”

Moffat was joined by co-writer Gatiss and Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock, for the preview of the new episode – a modern take on Conan Doyle’s most famous novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.

The hour-and-a-half long feature sees Sherlock and Watson investigate the truth about a monstrous creature which is stalking Dartmoor and has apparently killed their client's father.

Gatiss said they had felt the need to be faithful in recreating the iconic tale.

He said: “The biggest challenge with this was because it is the most famous of the stories is that everybody has seen a version and it feels like there are a lot more moments in the original story which people are familiar with and which you feel you have to honour a bit more.”

Leading man Cumberbatch confessed he would like to be more like the consulting detective himself, describing deductive reasoning as an attainable “ superpower”.

“It’s not like Superman where you wear underpants on the outside of your trousers, it’s something that’s sort of achievable,” he said.

“It’s an ability to visualise at will in absolute detail and construct logic and understanding from that.

“It would be a lovely superpower to have but it’s not a superpower, so it’s even more tantalising.”

Produced by Hartswood films and BBC Wales drama, the episode received a unanimous round of applause on its conclusion.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, the director of BBC Cymru Wales, said: “It is an extraordinary, colossal audience – proof if it were ever needed that quality counts.

“Everyone at BBC Wales is utterly honoured to work in such close partnership with Hartswood.”

The three episodes of the second series are said to contain the respective elements of love, fear and death.

The Hounds of Baskerville airs on BBC One on Sunday January 8 at 8.30pm and is followed a week later by the final episode The Reichenbach Fall.

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