S P O I L E R A L E R T This post should only be read if you choose to possibly be spoiled regarding upcoming Sherlock episodes and after you've read the long May 7 blog about Sherlock and John.
Although the team of Gatiss and Moffat have provided fans with a single keyword preview of each episode in the third season/series, some readers may not want to know about them, even if they have been bandied about fandom for months. Also, since filming on series/season three began, photos and media reports suggesting plot and character developments in season/series three have been published in mainstream entertainment news as well as on fan sites. (#setlock anyone?) However, if you’ve avoided that type of information, please stop reading here. I’m trying to be as vague as possible while still adding a few comments about issues raised in the results.
B E G I N N I N G O F D E L I B E R A T E L Y V A G U E B U T
P O T E N T I A L L Y S P O I L E R Y C O M M E N T S
Fans who follow #setlock may know a lot about the first two episodes (but the series’ creators also likely have many more surprises in store that were unable to be glimpsed during location filming). Those who know the one-word descriptor the creators’ provided for the second episode might have certain fears or expectations about this episode in particular. It seems less likely, in light of these revelations, that fans’ “wish list” for John and Sherlock will be fulfilled, at least in the way that much of fan fiction (and there are some excellent reunion or relationship stories out there) envisions as the optimal series’ direction. Because Gatiss and Moffat are on record numerous times as saying that the John-Sherlock friendship is a love story and basically the reason for Sherlock Holmes stories’ longevity, I would hope that the friendship aspects of the series would continue as long as episodes are made. What will be interesting to see (and possibly to record in another survey) is how fans respond to the changing nature of this friendship and the introduction of another cast member.
The survey also generated fan requests for more women in the series, with the emphasis in most comments on Mrs. Hudson, Molly Hooper, Irene Adler, or Sally Donovan. However, within the survey’s context of fan comments, the inclusion of more female characters or characters of color is requested in order to reflect the diversity of modern London. It is not a specific request for female love interests. Whether women brought into the series primarily for this purpose would be construed as a potential threat to the Sherlock-John friendship (or to fans’ perceptions of Johnlock) or whether such female characters would be perceived as playing “stereotypical” roles (e.g., sex objects) for women on television would be interesting to discern. Again, fan comments regarding possible developments in upcoming episodes may be worth studying, from an academic standpoint, because of diversity, sex roles, gender roles, canon v. fanon, or other issues arising from changes to the series over time.