The Holmes brothers’ childhood must be fascinating though.
Yeah it is, it is, it’s really fascinating.
Do you know how they grew up?
It’s interesting, in the first series I said to Steven [Moffat, co-creator], ‘So what’s his back story?’ and he went ‘You don’t want back story’. He didn’t like to really do it because a lot of what we try and do in art is to sort of deepen the mystery rather than expose cold reasoning or post-Freudian parameters to define, that is why someone is like that because they were damaged by someone breaking their pencil in front of their face in the school room.
I think as an actor you have to have a framework to hang certain things on, so I had a discussion very early on with Steven and Mark [Gatiss, co-creator] about what they thought, because I was intrigued, because I’m a young Sherlock and because we’re starting his story, I wanted to know. It’s very easy to bandy terms like autism, sociopath, psychopath incorrectly, and OCD and all sorts of qualities of modern psychology or tropes or psychological behaviours or disorders and just go ‘That’s who he is’, and I think it kind of limits it.
But at the same time there’s a joyous fount of characterisation to explore there and yeah, definitely there’ll be some stuff revealed. You’ll find out more about their relationship definitely, as brothers. Somebody said something which I really liked, they said it to Mark and it was intriguing, he said ‘Does Sherlock worry about Mycroft?’ which I think is a wonderful idea, because they are very… they play cold with each other to maintain superiority but well, you’ll see.