If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, chances are you’re also a fan of show runner Steven Moffat’s other creation, Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. With the Sherlock special, The Abominable Bride airing later today; I decided it would be fun to work out if the idea of a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover episode (also known in the fandom as Wholock) could ever be feasible; and if so, how.
Now for all you naysayers, I’m fully aware that Moffat has already said a Wholock episode would never happen; but never say never right? It would be great fan service should anyone in the future ever decide that an official Doctor Who story should cross paths with an official Sherlock story. Truth be told, we’ve already had a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover earlier this year from Big Finish with their special novel adaptation of All-Consuming Fire which features Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor and Nicholas Briggs’ incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. Whilst I’m aware it’s not what a lot of fans are looking for in Wholock, it certainly is a start.
As we’ve established that even that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have said it isn’t possible, and then Big Finish has proved that it is, we have to ask ourselves an important question. Should Sherlock pop up in the Doctor Who universe, should the Doctor pop up in an episode of Sherlock or should Wholock be its own entity entirely? The best way to figure this out is to look at the pros and cons of each of these three options.
Doctor Who Episode Feat. Sherlock
- Could easily fit it into a story, we’ve already had works of fiction appear as characters in the show, such as Robin Hood in Robot of Sherwood.
- It would reach a much broader audience, with Doctor Who being more suitable for younger viewing than Sherlock.
- Doctor Who can be as silly as it wants, meaning there wouldn’t need to be excessive explanations for how this meeting has happened.
- We wouldn’t be able to have such a complex storyline which would showcase Sherlock’s talents.
- It’s already been established that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character in the Doctor Who universe, so would the Doctor believe that Sherlock is real?
- We can’t have too much murder, blood, guts, gore or language.
Sherlock Episode Feat. Doctor Who
- We would have a much longer episode meaning more time to see the chemistry between the Doctor and Sherlock.
- We could have much darker themes, meaning we could also learn about the more morally questionable aspects of the Doctor.
- From an editing standpoint, there would be more impressive visuals to fit the tropes now associated with Sherlock.
- It would alienate the younger audience due to it’s later airing time.
- Sherlock would demand explanation for how everything fantastical that the Doctor owns or does works.
- Having the Doctor around could lower the tone of the show into something much more childish.
- We’d no doubt have to wait at least three years to see the thing.
- Anything goes.
- No time constraints or audience restraints.
- There doesn’t have to be any established rules to adhere by.
- It wouldn’t have to be placed anywhere within either the Doctor Who or Sherlock timelines.
- You’d have to either reintroduce all of the characters for anyone unfamiliar with either.
- As it’s standalone and wouldn’t be part of a larger narrative, there’s chance for too much to go on at once to appease viewers.
- You’d have to find the money from somewhere to produce the show.
All in all I think that, whilst I’m sure a hell of a lot of people would love to see a special Wholock episode, chances are it won’t be happening anytime soon. In an official capacity anyway. The one way I could see it working would be as a sketch for a charity such as Comic Relief or Children In Need as it wouldn’t have to be too long, so all the actors involved should find it easier to slot into their busy schedules, and the writing can be as nonsensical as the writers wish. Also, you could have a two-part special, like the previous Doctor Who specials entitled Time and Space. One half of the two parter could be predominantly featuring the worlds of Doctor Who whereas the other half would focus more on Sherlock.
What do you think? Do you think Wholock would ever work? Tweet us @UtopiaOfGeek with your ideas!