While Doctor Who and Sherlock fans await new episodes of producer Steven Moffat's successful BBC series offerings, which premiere December 25th and fall 2013 respectively, there's little to do but speculate on what may lay ahead. For faithful followers of both programs, the thought of Doctor Who joining forces with Sherlock for an epic crossover adventure has always been a tantalizing possibility - especially since Moffat holds producer and writer titles on both series.
Now the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith is weighing-in on the possibility of a crossover - claiming that he's "open to it" but adding, as we've heard before, that Moffat isn't interested in tying the two shows together.
Speaking with Collider, Smith was clearly hesitant about the prospects that The Doctor will ever come face to face with Sherlock (at least the version played by Benedict Cumberbatch), though he admits it would be fun:
"Listen I’m not averse to it. I’m kind of open. I’m like yeah, because I just think they would find each other so remarkable [...] Doctor Who could [walk by in Sherlock], but it’s just nah, it’s you know - and The Doctor with Watson, he’d be like, “Cheer up mate. It’s not that bad, I know you’re really clever, but there’s an alien over there, let’s go and talk. He’s got wiggly bits on.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement but even if Cumberbatch was also "open" (read: not especially enthusiastic) about the idea, Moffat, as we've previously reported, is not only too busy - he outright feels as though the existence of Doctor Who in Sherlock's world would undermine the latter show's integrity.
Speaking with Whocon reporters, back in March, Moffat said:
"It's a lovely idea. [But] they'd just punch each other! [...] Sherlock's world wouldn't work if Doctor Who was real."
Considering that Doctor Who has crossed into other sci-fi properties, including the recent Doctor Who/Star Trek comic book, it sounds as though serving the edicts of the Sherlock series canon, not Doctor Who, is Moffat's reason for holding-out.
While a crossover would certainly be fun for everyone involved, fans of the either series (especially Sherlock) can see how an appearance by The Doctor (even in the background) could undermine the intensity and believability of Sherlock's character and respective onscreen challenges. The very reason that Sherlock is such a commanding show rests in the character's real-world setting. Understandably, introducing time travel logic, aliens, and supernatural entities would not only undermine the stakes that Sherlock normally faces, it would distract from the core appeal of the investigative series - a man who relies entirely on deduction (not gadgets and technology) to rid the world of evildoers.
Ultimately, while many fans would love to see the two characters meet, most of us would probably rather that Moffat and Co. refrain from a crossover that could compromise the integrity of either show. In the mean time, we'll just keep hoping for a full-on Doctor Who/Torchwood crossover instead.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more Doctor Who and Sherlock coverage as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
Doctor Who will return on BBC on December 25, 2012.
Sherlock is expected to return on PBS in Fall 2013.