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Sherlock Fans Were Robbed of the Gay Ending They Deserved

Sherlock Fans Were Robbed of the Gay Ending They Deserved

‘Sherlock’ Fans Were Robbed of the Gay Ending They Deserved

Even Martin Freeman knows fans feel betrayed by the series’ end.

Sherlock Holmes has been adapted into countless incarnations, but as of yet none of them have been explicitly queer. BBC's contemporary take on the iconic detective, Sherlock, was about as close as we've gotten.

The show, which launched the careers of Doctor Strange's Benedict Cumberbatch and The Hobbit's Martin Freeman, centered on the friendship between Holmes and his trusty companion Dr. Watson -- with other characters constantly assuming they were a couple -- and the homoerotic undertones in their relationship were so strong they spawned an entire fandom.

When Sherlock ended in 2017, fans hoping it might finally make good on years of subtext were disappointed, and Freeman revealed in a recent interview that he's aware the show let them down.

"So by the time we filmed the last ones, there were some fans who were so adamant that John and Sherlock were gay," Freeman told British Radio 4. "They knew it and they knew that [Sherlock showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss] were going to write an episode where we held hands off into the sunset together, and so when that didn't happen there was a chunk of people going, 'this is betrayal'."

In 2015, Freeman told The Sun that Holmes and Watson were "not actually fucking," explaining that it's "possible for people of the same sex to have a deep friendship without being attracted to each other. People are attracted to each other in all sorts of ways. You don't necessarily want to [sleep with] someone because you love them. They respect each other, they bring different things to their friendship... It's a friendship. Way more has been made in the ether of that relationship than has ever been put in the show. The trouble is as soon as you start getting into a dialogue about that, it sounds like you're somehow being homophobic."

A huge part of what made Sherlock such a compelling show was the chemistry between the two main characters, but the creators chose to double down on their implicit heterosexuality rather than take that chemistry to its logical conclusion. Television shows have doing this for decades, creating characters with an obvious attraction and then leaving it up to fans to imagine what happens off-screen in fan works. Only now are shows like Syfy's The Magicians and BBC's Killing Eve finally acknowledging that if characters are that obsessed with each other, that intensity can develop into a sexual or romantic relationship, the way it undoubtedly would if the characters weren't the same sex.

RELATED | The Magicians' Hale Appleman Ships Queliot as Hard as You Do

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