Moffat Pilot Snuffed

Digital Spy reported this week that the pilot episode of Steven Moffat’s planned BBC drama Sherlock is not set to air.  The programme itself, which will star Martin Freeman as fiction’s most famous mystery-solver and co-created by another Who veteran, Mark Gatiss, intends to entertain its viewers over a three-part run this summer, but the £800,000 test installment of the series will not come with that package.

Doctor Who showrunner Steven MoffatNot surprisingly, a high budget spent on a project that will not even make it onto television is not without controversy, especially now that the NAO is watching the Beeb’s every move.  However,

“The crew couldn’t just re-use footage because the series is now totally different. The stories are now more intricate and detailed, so they basically had to start again.”

This is not the first time the BBC has created a pilot that wasn’t broadcast.  The pilot for Doctor Who itself, developed in 1963, didn’t air until 1991.  It fell under a similar category as Sherlock; the show runners had a concept that they loved, but the pilot failed to completely grasp the original ideals of that concept.  Essentially, if a pilot doesn’t work, the BBC chucks it in the rubbish bin and starts again.  And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a sign that the corporation highly prioritizes quality.

You’ll find Sherlock on your small screen this July.  First the Doctor, now the detective… Steven Moffat truly enjoys his icons of British storytelling, doesn’t he?  Who might he write next?  Perhaps James Bond?

Patrick Riley


Patrick has just been murdered and is currently seated on the edge of a lawn chair wondering when this Missy person will stop demanding his autograph. He probably can't tweet from the grave, but you should follow him anyway @10PatrickRiley.

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