Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss is currently one of the BBCâ€™s hottest bits of property. With a finger in every pie and a train in every station.
Heâ€™s currently overseeing the production of his modern day reimagining of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock, which he co-produces with Doctor Whoâ€™s lead writer Steven Moffat. Heâ€™s just finished writing a new episode of Doctor Who for the 2011 series and heâ€™s currently adapted and starring in the H.G. Wells adventure The First Men in the Moon.
Add to that mix of shows A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss on BBC Four, his adaptation of a Poirot adventure showing on ITV this October and a radio show for Radio 4 on a haunted house and you could very confidently say that Mr Gatiss is a very busy man indeed!
But at the moment, Markâ€™s newest show, The First Men in the Moon is his biggest focus. Whilst talking to The Daily Telegraph, he explained:
â€œIt was brought to my attention by some friends of mine who work in special effects that unlike most of the other HG Wells titles â€“ The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine â€“ this one for some reason isnâ€™t owned by one of the big Hollywood studios.
â€œs so much my favourite kind of thing. The sort of programme Iâ€™ve always wanted to make is the sort of programme Iâ€™d like to watch on a Bank Holiday Monday: that kind of adventure, that kind of fantasy.â€
And is Mark purposefully drawn to these types of characters? Eccentric and heroic at the same time? He certainly thinks so:
â€œIâ€™m drawn to eccentric characters because theyâ€™re more fun…I think one of the few faults in Dickens is that mostly his lead characters are blanks â€“ who is David Copperfield, who is Oliver Twist? And yet he takes such joy in populating the rest of his novels with these fantastic, grotesque people like Pecksmith and so on…also, eccentric characters can surprise you.
â€œSomething I was very keen to put in our version of Sherlock, which I donâ€™t think had ever been done, was to combat this idea that Holmes is a complete know-it-all â€“ so I put in this thing from the original stories that he doesnâ€™t know the Earth goes round the Sun. There are some things everybody else knows but which heâ€™s ignorant about. He says to Watson, â€˜I donâ€™t care… I know by looking at the mud on your shoe that you went to the Wigmore Street post office this morning but why should I care if the Earth goes round the Sun or the Sun goes round the Earth?â€™
â€œWhen I was a kid that thrilled me.â€
Mark is certainly hot property at the moment so itâ€™s good news for all Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes fans that heâ€™s involved in both shows. Who knows, he may well be Doctor Whoâ€™s next Executive Producer…