INTERVIEWER: Was it difficult getting the complexities of the different [Sherlock Holmes] characters from the original books? A lot of adaptations turn Watson into a bumbling idiot, completely different to his personality in the books.
MOFFAT: […] With Watson, the problem is when you remove the narrator function from him–because he’s really just the ideal audience for Sherlock Homes in the book. You actually have to do something more with him.
Our Doctor Watson is very sardonic and snarky and funny. But if you actually look at the original Doctor Watson, he isn’t; he’s endlessly credulous, constantly amazed–not quite Nigel Bruce–but [he] nonetheless has an epic ability to be wrong about everything.
[In Conan Doyle canon] he’s not as thick as he can sometimes be presented, but he is comically astonished by Sherlock Holmes’ deductions for the entire thirty years of their friendship. You think at a certain point he might know Sherlock Holmes has probably got this one – not saying, ‘You can’t possibly know that, Holmes!’ Not three decades in!
We’ve got an actor like Martin Freeman, and I think the thing that’s important for Doctor Watson is that he’s definitely hugely competent.
He’s not any kind of genius, but he’s a very competent military man, and a good doctor with a stout heart, and the best friend you could want, and the first man a genius would trust–which is a huge compliment.
A genius chooses him.
A genius who understands everything about everybody chooses John to be the man he trusts.
So that’s about as big a compliment as you can get, really.
(Emer Sugrue’s University Observer interview transcript, February 2012 [x])
scotlandlass: Repost from @improvdave Thanks for taking this!! So that awkward moment when you attend the #IntoTheWoodsReunionShow and are sitting next to Darren Criss from Glee. Super cool, down to earth and really nice. Best part was he proceeded to fanboy over Bernadette Peters with me so yeah that happened and it was awesome. I respect the guy even more now for his exceptional taste. Thanks for making my day Darren! =) #musicaltheater #sondheimlove #IntoTheWoodsReunionShow