Martin Freeman on John and Sherlock

Released     --:--

Related to: Sherlock, Season 4

Support Provided By: Learn More
Download and Subscribe to MASTERPIECE StudioDownload MASTERPIECE Studio @ iTunesDownload MASTERPIECE Studio @ StitcherDownload MASTERPIECE Studio @ Stitcher

News:  MASTERPIECE Studio has won two Webby Awards! Learn more.

John Watson and Sherlock Holmes have been through some rough patches before, but never one quite like this. In the wake of an episode that tests both their relationship, and their sanity, Martin Freeman joins us to look back at John and Sherlock’s unlikely friendship, and teases their uncertain future.

Download and subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher| RadioPublic


Jace Lacob (Jace): 2 major surprises, in just 2 episodes; it’s clear that the new season of Sherlock is on a roll. Unless you want to learn what these surprises were from us, make sure you’ve seen episodes 1 and 2 before listening.

MASTERPIECE Studio is brought to you by Viking Cruises, exploring the world in comfort. Learn more at

Jace: I’m Jace Lacob and you’re listening to MASTERPIECE Studio.

In a weird, somewhat unexplainable way, John Watson and Sherlock Holmes make a great team. Even from the very beginning, John understood Sherlock in a way that no one else could.

But now that Mary’s gone and the team’s dissolved, both John and Sherlock find themselves in a very bad place.

Sherlock: I’m burning up. I’m at the bottom of a pit and I’m still falling and I’m never climbing out.

Jace: But in death — just as she did in life — Mary Watson is able to reunite the misfits. Together, John and Sherlock confront Culverton Smith and some other painful realities.

John: I’m not the man you thought I was. I’m not that guy. I never could be, but that’s the point. That’s the whole point.

Jace: But the episode doesn’t end there. In a scene 3 years in the making, the identity of the third Holmes sibling is revealed, punctuated by a gunshot.

Martin Freeman: I never did that scene where her identity is revealed without a chill running up my spine.

Jace: Since this could be the end of Dr. John Watson, we’re taking a look back at all of the big moments from the past 4 seasons of Sherlock with actor Martin Freeman.

This week we are joined by Sherlock star Martin Freeman. Welcome.

Martin Freeman (Martin): Thank you.

Jace: This is a highly emotional episode. What was it like to tap into John’s grief?

Martin: Grief is a hard thing to play (laughs). Well, because it’s such an extreme state of mind and state of being that if you’re not feeling it’s quite tricky. You have to dig a bit, and when necessary you have to just make it up.

But I don’t know, I think John’s always feels to me like he’s on the verge of stopping himself either exploding or slapping someone or something (laughs).

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: Yeah. “Difficult,” is the answer to that, how it was to tap into his grief. It’s difficult, because it’s also not a very nice place to stay, you know? It’s not a very nice place to inhabit for a few days.

Jace: Now, John and Sherlock have had bumpy patches before. Why is this rift with Sherlock so different?

Martin: Oh, because I blame him for the death of my wife. And so, I think all the stuff that I felt about Sherlock anyway as John is being given voice and is being given full rein.

Because, you know, Sherlock has always pissed John off. Always. As well as loving him, he also wants to slap him quite a lot of the time, and I think this is John’s way of giving vent to that.

He’s allowing the loss of his wife to give him license to go, “Yeah, and it’s your fault, you f***er. It was you. You said you would look after her and you didn’t.” And of course, like most of those things, it’s misplaced because what John’s really thinking is, “I couldn’t look after her. I didn’t stop her from dying, but rather than dealing with that, I’m going to blame you.”

Jace: John engaged in an emotional affair with the mystery woman from the bus.

John: …and this girl just smiled at me. That’s all it was. It was a smile. We texted constantly. Want to know when? Every time you left the room, that’s when.

Jace: Should that change our perception of John Watson?

Martin: Um… (Sighs) It might change you perception. I mean, for me it doesn’t particularly change your judgment of a person, but it’s literally new information for the audience about John, because we haven’t heard that about him before. I think, generally speaking, all you’ve seen of John is him being very decent and very loyal to Sherlock. You know, he’s a decent, professional doctor, ex-soldier.

So, I don’t… Yeah, I mean, it might change your perception of him literally just because you are seeing that, but I hope it won’t change people’s judgment of him, because, well unless you’ve got certainly different makeup than I have, then I think we’ve all engaged in a bit of emotional jiggery-pokery at some point, you know. I would imagine it’s almost impossible not to, isn’t it?

Jace: “Emotional jiggery-pokery” might be the name of my new band.

Martin: Yeah, emotional jiggery-pokery. I’ve never said that before. You can have that for your band.

Jace: I’m keeping it. It’s mine.

Martin: As long as I get credit on the sleeve notes.

Jace: Yes, absolutely, absolutely.

Now, the mystery woman’s identity is revealed at the end of “The Lying Detective.”

John: Who are you?
Sherrinford: Isn’t it obvious? Haven’t you guessed? I’m Eurus.

Jace: How does her presence shake up the relationships on the show?

Martin: Well, it’s obviously… It’s a massive bomb that has dropped for that family, for the Holmes family.

I can only really say what it was like from my point of view, playing it. I never did that scene where her identity is revealed without a chill running up my spine. So, however many takes we did, I always felt cold as it was revealed. I loved it, loved it.

Eurus: My parents loved silly names, like Eurus, or Mycroft, or Sherlock. Oh, look at him. Didn’t it ever occur to you, not even once, that Sherlock’s secret brother might just be Sherlock’s secret sister?

Martin: And of course, yeah, it changes everything for the Holmes brothers. And as a result, if something changes that deeply for Sherlock, then something has to change a little bit for John, because they’re best friends.

Jace: Were all you just laughing at the notion that Tom Hiddleston was supposedly playing Sherrinford?

Martin: (Laughs) I didn’t hear that, actually, until… Well, I only heard that after we stopped shooting, so no, I didn’t know. I heard about Taylor Swift as well, that she was going to be something in it (laughs).

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: I guess it was a job lot. While they were together, it was two for the price of one, maybe.

Jace: (Laughs)

Jace: What was it like filming the emotional resolution between John and Sherlock in “The Lying Detective”?

Martin: It’s hard, actually. It was hard, because it comes off the back of very painful stuff between John and Mary.

John: She was wrong about me.

Sherlock: Mary? How so.

John: She thought that if you put yourself in harm’s way, I’d rescue you, or something, but I didn’t. Not until she told me to. And that’s how this works, that’s what you’re missing.

Martin: So, it’s hard sometimes just being in some states, because it’s not pleasant. And sometimes, if you…

There was a really annoying thing, actually, that day that I thought… It’s a big scene. It’s a very big scene between Amanda, myself, and Ben, and I thought I’d got it. And then we broke for lunch and I was gutted because I thought, “Oh, no. I’ve got to come back to this. We didn’t finish it.” And I was very anxious about it after lunch, very anxious, and actually Ben was very good. He took me aside, and calmed me down. He just said, you know, “Take a deep breath,” sort of thing. So, I did and sort of allowed the scene to come back.

John: She taught me to be the man she already thought I was. Get yourself a piece of that.
Sherlock: You are doing yourself a disservice. I have known many people in this world, but made few friends, and I can safely say…
John: I cheated on her.

Martin: But it was not an easy day. It was a fulfilling day, once we’d done it, because it’s a really good scene, it’s a really well-written scene, so hopefully we’ll do it well. But, yeah it was… That’s what it was. That’s the answer to that question, there.

Jace: (Laughs) I mean, what happens after that? Is there a switch that’s flipped, and you’re done. How do you pull back from that sort of raw emotion? Is there an antidote?

Martin: For me, personally, then you just call “cut” and then the end of the day happens. Yeah. And then it’s just tiring, then you’re just tired in a nice way, you know. Hopefully it’s in a nice way.

I love that feeling as an actor of being tired when you know you’ve done your best and that you’ve spent something, you know? You should feel a bit tired sometimes.

But, no I don’t really… I tend not to take things home, apart from a general… You can take feelings and moods home, but I’ve never thought, if I’m playing a baddie or if I’m playing a murderer, I’ve never thought, “Yeah, I might kill my whole family now, because I’m so in the character.”

Jace: (Laughs) So, no Jared-Leto-as-Joker method acting.

Martin: (Laughs)

Jace: You’re not sending pigs to Benedict, or anything?

Martin: Why, what was he doing?

Jace: Oh, he sent like a dead pig to his cast members in Suicide Squad.

Martin: (Laughs) Did he?

Jace: He got so deep into the character of the Joker that…

Martin: Really?

Jace: …He was… Yeah, he went a little mad.

Martin: No, I don’t. I mean, I think, each to their own, of course, but I find that focus helps and doing what you need to do helps. You know, if that just means shutting up for an hour and not having a laugh with anybody. But, no. Once it’s over, I have no …

You know that thing that you were doing at 4 o’clock? That was fiction, that was your job. Now, you’ve got to put the tea on. It’s, for me, reasonably straightforward. Although, of course, there can be a bleed of a feeling or a mood. If you spend all day screaming and shouting, that’s going to have a different feeling at 8 o’clock that evening than if you spent all day flirting and kissing. They are different feelings, definitely, but either one of them is not real, so you know…

Jace: On the subject of feelings, is Sherlock as oblivious to people’s feelings as we, the audience, perhaps believed?

Martin: It’s funny because we sort of talked about that occasionally, or, you know, it purports more to Ben of what he has to play. I think, generally, it’s known that he is pretty blind and deaf to people’s feelings, but I think there were moments- I think there are moments where Sherlock knows more than he’s letting on, you know?

I think, sometimes he uses his reputation that everyone in the room thinks he’s completely blind and deaf to something, he uses that as cover, I think. I think, occasionally he’s able to see more than he’s given credit for. Do you know what I mean? So, it’s a, “Yeah, maybe I’ve just hurt your feelings, but I don’t really care because I’ve got this other case to solve.” As opposed to, “I have no idea that I’ve hurt your feelings.”

I think, sometimes he genuinely does not have an idea, and we see that, certainly, in the earlier episodes of the show, but then other times, I think, there is a little glint in the eye, almost invisible glint in the eye, where he knows, but he’s just doesn’t care, maybe.

Jace: Now, the series to date has been full of very malevolent baddies, but Toby Jones’s Culverton Smith seems to be pure evil incarnate.

Culverton: You know in films when you see dead people pretending to be dead and it’s just living people lying down? That’s not what dead people look like. Dead people look like things. I like to make people into things, then you can own them.

Martin: Yeah (laughs).

Jace: What did Toby bring to the role, and what was it like playing opposite him?

Martin: Well, Toby is just a very good actor, so he brought that and he brought those chops and that craft that he has. Working with him was really good fun. I’ve worked with him before like 10 years ago, and you do… Yeah, we ended up laughing a lot, actually. He’s very naughty, you know. He just likes a**ing about basically.

But yeah, he does… For someone who’s as nice as he is, he does a very good line in spooky. Do you know what I mean? (Laughs) Like he does a good line in something just a bit off and Culverton Smith is very off, you know, very, very off.

Because Moriarty is at least charming, do you know what I mean? Moriarty’s funny, and he’s camp, and he’s charming, whereas Culverton Smith is just like, an ooze. You know what I mean? He’s a like an oozing sore, you know?

Jace: Before we get to the next question, a brief word from our sponsors.

MASTERPIECE Studio is brought to you by Viking Cruises. See the world differently, by exploring differently. Learn more at

MASTERPIECE Studio is also brought to you by Farmers Insurance and their eighty-eight years of experience helping people so that they can prepare for the unexpected. They know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two. Find an experienced agent at

Jace: And we’re back now with Martin Freeman.

Martin: Thank you.

Jace: What was it like filming Mary’s climactic death scene opposite Amanda?

Martin: (Laughs) Oh, it was hilarious. Nothing I like more than… (Laughs)

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: …seeing Amanda get shot in the chest.

It was hard. I mean, you know, again, it’s almost impossible to go there, you know?

You think, “Oh, this is Amanda. This is the mother of my children. This is not…” I can’t glibly just think, “God, wow, just imagine she has been shot in the chest,” because obviously if she was shot in the chest that would be my life almost over, you know. So I can’t really… I can’t go there easily, obviously, and with that there is always the danger of bad acting, you know? So, my jury is still out on that (laughs).

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: I’ll know when I’ve seen it, if I’m okay with it. But it was hard. It was hard.

Mary: John, I think this is it.
John: No, no, no. It’s not. It’s… Jeez.
Mary: You made me so happy. You gave me everything I could ever, ever want.
John: Mary, Mary. Shh…

Martin: I mean, I do remember the look he gives Sherlock afterwards is of a wounded animal, you know, who will kill him if he comes any closer. You know, “I don’t want to be anywhere near you, now,” because of course, I don’t know what to do with these feelings, so I’m going to have to blame my best friend, because he’s the only other person in the world who I really care about. So, he has to blame Sherlock or he’ll just die, or he’ll just kill himself, or something. So, it all goes on Sherlock’s shoulders, and he hates Sherlock for that time being until he has to acknowledge that maybe he doesn’t hate him.

John: You didn’t kill Mary. Mary died saving your life. It was her choice. No one made her do it. No one can ever make her do anything, but the point is you did not kill her.

Martin: Yeah, it was not easy, basically. Not easy, and I may well have done some bad acting, and I really hope I haven’t, come January the first. So, apologies if I have.

Jace: You haven’t.

Martin: (Laughs)

Jace: You haven’t.

Martin: Yeah, I bet you say that to all the boys.

Jace: (Laughs) You’ve said, you botched your first audition for Sherlock. Your wallet was apparently stolen on the way to the audition. What happened?

Martin: Well, for a start, I really don’t remember my wallet being stolen. I don’t remember losing the wallet. I don’t remember any of that. That came up later on. I don’t know whether that was a lie that I said in the audition to justify my state of mind.

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: I really, really don’t. I, swear to God, can’t remember my wallet going. I do remember not being in the highest of spirits, and I can’t really remember why. With me it could be f***ing anything, to be fair. Take your pick. Could be anything. But I remember thinking… I wasn’t firing at 100%. I also remember, in that symbiotic way where you’re not sure if it’s you bringing it into a room or it’s being reflected back to you, when I went into the room, I also thought, “Oh, maybe they’re not that keen on me, either.”

But I was in Los Angeles actually, and I was staying at The Chateau, as showbiz people are wont to do, and I said to Michael, my agent, “Did anything come back about Sherlock?” And he said, “Yeah. To be honest, they didn’t really feel you were that up for it.” And I said, “I really am up for it,” because by that time I’d read the script and I knew it was a good piece of writing. I said, “Will you please let them know that I was up for it. I don’t know what happened. Sorry. If it was me, sorry. But I’m really up for it.” So, they got me in again, and I read with Benedict.

It’s now weird, because this story’s been told so many times and by so many people, it’s like, “And Brian Epstein went down into the cavern, and there were these four Liverpool lads, and the rest was history.”

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: Clearly nothing is ever that emboldened when you’re doing it in real life, but it was a good read. He was already the part. It was always going to be Benedict, who was playing it. When I read the script, I’d heard it was going to be Benedict Cumberbatch, and I’d seen some of his work, and I thought, “Oh, wow. He’s really good. He’ll be great in that.”

So, he was already cast, but they were searching around for John a bit longer, I think, and when we read, as this is Mark and Stephen’s words, “They could see the show,” which is lovely. Makes for a good show biz anecdote.

Jace: It does. You said, in an interview with Vulture that your reaction to both Fargo and Sherlock was initially the same, “Really? Do we need that?”

Martin: (Laughs)

Jace: But then after reading the first few pages of both projects you were sucked in.

Martin: Very true.

Jace: What was it about Sherlock, specifically, that made you change your mind?

Martin: It was just the quality of the writing. I can’t remember a specific scene. There was a specific scene in Fargo that made me think, “Oh my God, I have to do this.” It was the scene between mine and Billy Bob Thornton’s character in a hospital. It was just so beautifully written.

In Sherlock I don’t think there was a specific scene, it was just from the get-go. It was very smart. It was action, and intellect, you know. And it wasn’t treating the audience like idiots. It wasn’t knowingly cool.

My fear, my initial thing was, “Oh my God, are we going to be rapping or something?”

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: You know, “Twenty-first century, set now. Is it going to be just uber arch and cool?” And I hate that. But it wasn’t that. It was just very, very smart writing. And within a few pages of that, I just thought, “Yeah, wow. Bang-up for that. I must go and do an audition where I pretend my wallet has been stolen and piss everyone off.”

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: So, that was my next ambition.

Jace: (Laughs) John has two mustaches over the course of the series run, one in Season 3, and then in the, “The Abominable Bride.”

Martin: Yeah.

Jace: How much did you hate wearing them?

Martin: I hated wearing the first one, because what I realized was… Well, from a vanity point of view, it wasn’t attractive. And also, because Mark Gatiss had had a conversation with me about having a mustache at some point in Series 3, and I said, “Why?” (Laughs) And he basically just said, “Because I want you to.”

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: It was that. It was not the normal rigor of, “Well, I think for the character…” you know. I think he and Stephen just wanted, at some point, there to be a nod toward the traditional way we see John Watson, which is having a mustache. So, my memory is, part of the reason that John Watson shaved it off in that first episode of Series 3 was to kind of meet me halfway, I think.

But next time… The Victorian mustache, I think, was a lot more attractive (laughs) even though it was more ridiculous.

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: You just think, “If you’re going to have a massive mustache, have it in that way, and have a bit more red in it.” Because if it had been gray, I would’ve looked about 70.

Jace: (Laughs) Have you forsworn mustaches moving forward?

Martin: I have not. No, I haven’t. I mean, I think there are roles that I could wear mustaches for, but I think I’d like to grow them. I think, where possible now, I will just have my own. That’s the thing.

Jace: One of my favorite “Sherlock” sequences is the gag in “The Empty Hearse” when Sherlock returns from the dead and John can’t help but sock him repeatedly in the face.

Sherlock: London is in danger, John. There’s an imminent terrorist attack and I need your help.
John: My help?
Sherlock: You have missed this, admit it. The thrill of the chase, the blood pumping through your veins, just the two of us against the rest of the world…
[John punches Sherlock]

Martin: (Laughs) Yeah.

Jace: What was it like getting to punch Benedict Cumberbatch over and over again?

Martin: (Laughs) Well, of course, I didn’t really… you know. “Getting to nearly punch Benedict?”

Jace: Stage punch.

Martin: Stage punch. It was good. I mean, we had done a bit of that before. We’d done that in, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” as well, “A Scandal in Belgravia,” rather, where Sherlock says, “Hit me,” and I hit him, and we have a little tussle.

I think the feeling was that in the original story, “The Empty House,” by Conan Doyle, Sherlock reveals himself to be alive and Watson faints, which is a kind of 19th century gentleman’s reaction, I guess. An English gentleman, “I’m so overwhelmed. Pass me the smelling salts, I’m going to faint.” I made it clear from the get-go, and I’m sure Mark and Stephen agreed, that was not going to cut it. (Laughs) You know what I mean?

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: Because that’s not who our John is. Our John is not that. He’s a bit more of a bloke, you know?

Jace: Yes. In “His Last Vow” John throws the “A.G.R.A.” flash drive into the fire at Christmas telling Mary…

John: The problems of your past are your business. The problems of your future are my privilege.

Jace: Looking back, do you think he might regret that decision now, the choice to not know?

Martin: No, I think if you asked him, I think he would… For all his bloke-y-ness, he’s also quite a romantic, John. And I think he believes in love, or that might just be me, I don’t know where we overlap. But I think, no, I think he thinks love is worth sacrifice, and I think he thinks love is worth, “Okay, if it didn’t go swimmingly, at least I did it for love.” So, no. I don’t think he would regret that, no. No, I don’t think so. Even though it has disastrous consequences.

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: No, I’m going to say, “No.” I’m going to speak for him, and I think he’ll stand by that decision to throw it in the fire.

Jace: There’s a great moment in “His Last Vow” where John pretends to be Sherlock in the empty house and then removes his disguise after Mary confesses, and it’s this huge emotional moment, and then John fixes his hair.

Martin: Oh, yeah (laughs).

Jace: Was that last bit scripted?

Martin: No, it wasn’t scripted. I don’t know, I’ve heard Mark say “That is pure Martin. That’s pure Martin.” Because I couldn’t stand to have bad hair onscreen.

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: I don’t know, see, because rather like (laughs), rather like Mr. Leto, I am so deep in character, I don’t know where I begin and John ends.

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: So, it could’ve been John, it could’ve been me. I’m not sure. It was a bit of both. I mean genuinely, yes it might have been me, because I am funny about hair. Yeah, I am. But also, John’s a military man, and that’s where part of the casting has been quite good, because I’m quite meticulous in my appearance, and so is John. You know, I think that’s John’s military training, as well. You know, he’s got to pass military muster and he’s not shabby, he’s not messy.

And I think also that patting down of the hair is a psychological statement, as well. It’s a kind of, “And now I’m back to me.”

So, no, I don’t know whether that was Martin… I mean it was kind of funny. For people who know me and people how know that (laughs) people how know my meticulous ways, they could go, “Oh, that’s Martin,” but also in fairness to some of my acting ability, I do also want to serve John well, and I don’t think John would walk around with messy hair either.

Jace: Looking back to the beginning of Sherlock, I love the scene in “A Study in Pink,” when John is summoned to that creepy warehouse by a mysterious man who’s revealed to be Mycroft.

Mycroft: I’m the closest thing to a friend that Sherlock Holmes is capable of having.
John: And what’s that?
Mycroft: An enemy.
John: An enemy?
Mycroft: If you were to ask him he’d probably say his arch-enemy. He does love to be dramatic.
John: Well, thank God you’re above all of that.

Jace: What was it like shooting that scene opposite Mark Gatiss?

Martin: It was f***ing great. It was really, really good. Because it had… Aesthetically, the shots were very mid-sixties, British, spy movie. It’s very Harry Palmer.

And Mark is a delightful person. He makes everything easy, he makes everything pleasurable. And also that was directed by Paul McGuigan, who, as any Sherlockian knows, cast a long shadow on this show, you know. And he gave me a really good note. This is great economic directing.

During that scene, as Mycroft is trying to do me down and trying to undermine me, my John’s reaction was to bluff it out, and smile, and laugh, and like, “Yeah,” like in a kind of “f**k you” way. “You’re not getting to me.” And he just came over and said, “I think you should try… Don’t smile.” And it was a really good, very informative and instructive piece of directing, because I think what’s in there is the straight version of me not smiling, you know.

Mycroft: When one is avoiding of the attention of Sherlock Holmes, one learns to be discreet, hence this place. Your leg must be hurting you. Sit down.
John: I don’t want to sit down.
Mycroft: You don’t seem very afraid.
John: You don’t seem very frightening.
Mycroft: (Laughs) Yes. The bravery of the soldier.

Martin: Any scenes between John and Mycroft, I really like because you know it’s going to get done. Do you know what I mean? Like this is going to be…

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: “Yeah, we’ll get done by lunch.” But not only done by lunch, because any fool can do that, but like actually get it done well by lunch. I love it. Yeah.

Jace: Do you have a favorite scene from the series so far?

Martin: Of all the episodes?

Jace: Of all the episodes. Your personal favorite scene that you’ve done?

Martin: Wow, that’s… I do not actually. No, I don’t. I mean, there are a lot to choose from. No, I don’t, actually.

I’m very lucky- well, we’re all very lucky in this show. We are given really good stuff to do, and to say, and to play, so that within that 90 minutes, I get to play pretty much everything. I mean, pretty much everything. I get to kick a bit of a**; I get to, you know, get very upset; I get to say funny stuff; I get to laugh; I get to chase people; I get to flirt and fall in love. It’s very, very layered that character.

So, no, I couldn’t actually think of one. What’s your favorite thing about all my great work?

Jace: I love everything.

Martin: Yeah, it’s hard, isn’t it? It’s hard picking just one moment of my great work.

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: That’s the tough one. How do you single out my great work into one, distilled scene? You can’t, the end.

Jace: The end. This interview’s running before the final episode of Season 4. Mark… (Laughs) They love to tease an episode with a single word.

Martin: (Laughs)

Jace: We know the clue for that episode is “Sherrinford,” but if the final episode were an adjective what would it be? If it were an adjective?

Martin: (sighs) Hoo.

Jace: Or I’ll do you one better. If it were a beverage, what would it be?

Martin: (Laughs) A beverage. That’s more… Yeah, he’s suddenly got my… Yeah, he thought, “No, this guy’s not that clever. Let’s make it alcohol.”

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: (Laughs) If it was a beverage, I think it would be like a strong strong, strong espresso, maybe. It’s like a shot. It’s like a shot in the arm where you have to face reality. It’s a [snaps] sobering up bit of caffeine that hits you, and you feel it in your system for a good few hours afterwards.

Jace: If it were an animal, what would it be?

Martin: Um… (Laughs) A Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Jace: (Laughs)

Martin: No. I don’t know. It would be, uh… a panther. And I’m not shamelessly plugging: “‘Black Panther’ my latest film, folks. Hi. In a cinema near you in a year’s time.” No, but like something sleek and smart, but deadly. You know? Deadly.

Jace: Deadly. What will you take away from your experience on the show?

Martin: I mean, too much really to put into words in less than an hour. I mean, it has been such a massive a part of the last — well, including the pilot — the last seven years of my life. We did the pilot in 2009. It has opened doors for me. I’ve made friends on it. It has been often imitated, I would argue never equaled. But I think it’s a really good show that if I wasn’t in, I’d be annoyed that I wasn’t in it, and I’d want to be in it.

Jace: That’s the best descriptor. Martin Freeman, thank you so much.

Martin: Thanks, Jace. Thank you.

Jace: The third and final episode of Sherlock Season 4 is wickedly good, but don’t just take our word for it.

Martin Freeman: Number three, I think, unless we’ve messed it up, could be maybe the best one? I don’t know.

Jace: Tune into the Sherlock season finale at a new time, 7:00 pm ET, Sunday, January 15th on MASTERPIECE, or watch it online.

Then, stick around after the Sherlock finale to catch the premiere of MASTERPIECE’s brand new show, Victoria, on at 9 pm ET.

Let Victoria whisk you away to 19th century England, and to a past where an 18-year-old girl wakes up one morning to discover that she’s Queen.

Jenna Coleman: She may have been 4″11 but she had “veins of iron,” it has been described as.

Jace: Jenna Coleman, the actor who plays Victoria, joins us next time on the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast to dive into the lavish premiere.

Subscribe to our show — MASTERPIECE Studio — for free on iTunes or Stitcher to get an automatic download of Jenna’s revealing episode as soon as it’s released.

MASTERPIECE Studio is hosted by me, Jace Lacob and produced by Rachel Aronoff.  This episode was edited by Kathy Tu with help from Elisheba Ittoop and Paul Sanni. Special thanks to Barrett Brountas and Susanne Simpson. The executive producer of MASTERPIECE is Rebecca Eaton.

Sponsors for MASTERPIECE on PBS are Viking Cruises, Farmers Insurance, and The MASTERPIECE Trust.

Jace: Now we’re going to do another quick outro. “Before we get to the next question, a brief word from our sponsors.” And then, “And we’re back now with Martin Freeman.”
Martin: F**k you!
Jace: (Laughs)
Martin: Is that not what you meant? That’s not what you meant, is it? “Thank you. Sorry, “Thank you,” not “F**k you.” Sorry. Go again.



Sign up to get the latest news on your favorite dramas and mysteries, as well as exclusive content, video, sweepstakes and more.