Steven Moffat Wants ‘Doctor Who’-‘Sherlock’ Crossover, But Doubts Possibility

'Doctor Who'-'Sherlock' Crossover: Steven Moffat Wants
Frederick M. Brown/Getty

For the fans who want a “Doctor Who”-“Sherlock” crossover, “Sherlock” showrunner and co-creator Steven Moffat is on your side — he just doesn’t think it can happen.

Fans of the hugely popular British series have been asking for the crossover for years (and have even made fan videos of their own of it happening), and Moffat revealed at a recent Q&A that he would like the worlds to collide, according to Flickering Myth.

“Look I’m going to come clean on this: I would,” he said in regards to whether he would do the crossover. However, according to the showrunner, his “killjoy” co-workers are in the way.

“Go speak to Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, OK? They’re all in the way. I’m not the killjoy, it’s that lot. It’s probably not going to happen.”

Still, he admitted that the two famous fictional Brits are probably better off staying in their own respective universes, agreeing with “Sherlock’s” other co-creator Mark Gatiss.

“You know in some ways, I think Mark [Gatiss] has got a point when he says that however good you imagine [the crossover], it would be almost better in your imagination than it would be if the two grand old egotists actually met. They’d just both go off in opposite corners and sulk that there was someone cleverer than them.”

Peter Capaldi’s first episode of “Doctor Who,” “Deep Breath,” premieres on BBC One and in theaters Aug. 23.

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  1. Ganieda says:

    Someone needs to put “Sherlock” out of its misery. It’s so far from being Sherlock Holmes now that it isn’t even funny — please make it stop!

  2. Mk says:

    This article incorrect, I was at Comic con and saw this interview with Moffat. Moffat said this would never happen. He plain and simply said No, never. It was nothing to do with coworkers not wanting it, it was down to it not being a plausible idea to mix the two world’s together. He just feels it wouldn’t work. Anyway, He said the doctor would hate Sherlock and vice versa,

  3. Katierosefun says:

    Well, I personally think that Steven Moffat is a brilliant writer and I don’t blame him for thinking that a crossover with Doctor Who and Sherlock as a cool idea. In fact, I think it would be rather cool myself, seeing that I’m a fan of both shows.

    However, I suppose we should just leave “Wholock” in the Wholockians’ imagination, though it WOULD be call if the Doctor and Sherlock and John (unintentionally) bumped into each other. If Sherlock and John didn’t reveal their names, then…I think it would have a decent shot.

    • The Fanvergent Companion Who Lived says:

      I agree. Why can’t they have the Doctor do a cameo apperence in Sherlock, like just walk past in the background and see how many people even notice it, or vice versa?

  4. Joe Strike says:

    I was in Disneyland in June when I saw someone wearing a T-shirt explaining how Sherlock survived his fall off the hospital roof: the Doctor’s TARDIS materializes and scoops up Sherlock halfway down!

  5. Somebody Else says:

    They’ve gone to so much trouble to make Sherlock into a character that believably could exist in our world. The show’s creators have actually posted online the blogs of Holmes and Watson that are talked about on the show, and they’ve kept away from releasing bloopers and outtakes, I’m assuming, to keep Sherlock as a believable character. So why on EARTH would you want Sherlock to now hob-nob with a time traveler? I think it would do a terrible injustice to the Arthur Conan Doyle legacy to cross the two. And as much as that would be fun to watch, plenty of people have already posted their creative versions online.

  6. Tommo says:

    It’s a great idea for Comic Relief, or CiN.
    They missed a trick years ago when they should have had David Tennant, Freema Agyeman opposite John Simm and Philip Glennister in a short sketch crossover of DW and Life On Mars…
    There could have been “Tyler” jokes, Time Travel gags and of course Sam would have turned out to be The Master.
    It was on a plate but they never did it.
    A “serious” DW/Sherlock crossover would be rubbish, just fanwank turned up to 11, and there’s enough of that going on with DW as it is these days.

  7. William A. Corley says:

    How could “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” combine? That is ridiculous. “Doctor Who” deals in a science fiction world! That combo would not work, and I sincerely hope it is never attempted!

  8. Martyn Brewer says:

    Absurd idea. Both characters are egotistical to a fault. They would only clash with each other and as each already has his own nemesis it would be pointless.

  9. Susan says:

    I’m with the killjoys; keep listening to Benedict, Martin, Mark and Sue, Steven, they obviously know better!

  10. Paul says:

    This man just opens his mouth, and spews out a loud on nonsense. How is he a Showrunner of any show?

  11. Winter Dodd says:

    Okay, so don’t do an official cross-over, but maybe have them bump into each other.

  12. delores57106 says:

    No! Say it isn’t true. Maybe Moffat just wants us to beg. I am willing to beg for that. Who is with me? As Donna said to Lance…Please…. please, please, please, please, please…pleeeaase?

  13. jscottm says:

    How about a Doctor Who episode about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a main character, with Doyle played by Benedict Cumberbach? I would watch that.

  14. DeA says:

    Well if Moffat wants to ruin two shows then go ahead. He is already killing doctor who and should never have been placed in charged of story arcs, he can’t write them for doctor who. He can for Sherlock though. He needs to remember that the two shows are in different universes and as Sherlock is currently written, doctor who has no place in that universe.

  15. Michelle Wolfe says:

    I once read part of a fanfiction where Sherlock was investigating mysterious disappearances (due to Weeping Angels), and meets the Doctor…

  16. Well. Maybe not as canon, but perhaps a pre-recorded sketch for the BBC’s Children in Need?

  17. Dartpaw86 says:

    I always thought modern Sherlock and the Eleventh Doctor were way too similar anyway.

    Both beyond brilliant, but egotistical, can both calculate like super computers while scanning areas around them (Most notably with 11 in The Eleventh Hour) ,both like to spin around when happy or realizing a major plot point, are both socially awkward, when they’re both bored or unhappy they make sure to let everyone know, though I admit that 11 tends to show his emotions more, while Sherlock prefers to keep his hidden.

  18. It’s entirely possible this could happen. Every year the BBC do a telethon for “children in need” and they fill up the programming with special TV events. Check on youtube for ” Rowan Atkinson is Doctor Who” as an example. These two universes would be entirely unsuitable to collide in their respective “real worlds”, but for a skit outside normal continuity for charity, why not?

  19. It would only ever happen as a Children in Need or Comic Relief skit.

  20. dlherring1964 says:

    I’m not sure that a crossover with “Sherlock” would be wise at all. What about a crossover special with “Downton Abbey”? Could you imagine Lady Edith falling in love with The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), who would have no time or patients for such trifling relationships!

  21. JSintheStates says:

    Mr Moffat: Please retire before you destroy Doctor Who, or Sherlock, or both! You need and deserve the rest! Don’t you think he looks tired?

  22. Bill Ritch says:

    I should be one of those children’s Red Nose specials.

  23. Sarah says:

    I’m afraid I agree with the killjoys on this one! As much as I love both shows… Sherlock feels to much rooted in reality and Doctor Who too close to fantasy for the two to mesh well/believably. Now, a cleverly-disguised-but-blatant inside joke/reference of one to the other might not go amiss… :-D

  24. Josephine says:

    I do NOT want a crossover, it will go together like biscuits and tea, or for humans like fishfingers and custard.

  25. Cricket says:

    I dunno. I think it would be a great idea if they did as a one-off spoof sort of episode. A shameless fan pleaser.

  26. Just have a couple of scenes would do:

    Sherlock and Watson walking down the street, talking. Sherlock is expositioning, Watson is annoyed about it, all is good with the world.

    They randomly walk past a TARDIS. Neither character notices. No attention is drawn to it.

    Later in the episode they walk past the same location. The TARDIS is gone. Sherlock notices it’s gone, remarks that it’s a bit odd. Watson wants to know what a phone booth has to do with anything. Sherlock admits ‘probably nothing’, then continue on.

    In my view, that’d be the way to do it. :)

    • Webzu says:

      I somehow think Sherlock would notice the TARDIS on the first go, unless this were to happen outside London.

    • Pat says:

      I think something like that is the only way it could work.
      But, really, I think Moffat is just kidding around. He loves to tease the fans and get us going about something. He used to do that on Twitter before he left it.

  27. Chris Sadler says:

    I understand where they are coming from, thinking that what we imagine couldn’t be as good as what would be achievable. What about a linked storyline instead of an actual crossover? The two shows could work on the same issue/problem/disaster from different ends not knowing about the other but both being necessary to save the day. It could be a link without the two egos crashing head on or instigating a sulk-fest.

  28. Kelsey says:

    I think it would be fun to see all of our favorite characters interacting, but I don’t think that it would really be feasible. Sherlock obviously takes place in a universe where the books of Sherlock Holmes were never written and Doctor Who is in a universe where they were (because the doctor has dresse up as Sherlock a couple times). So, as much as everyone would be giddy to watch this (including myself) logically it just doesn’t make sense.

  29. M. King says:

    I think if they cant get a full on crossover done then what would be really cool would be to have each show ahve a story thay brings them to the same place and time however without interaction. So for insance in Doctor Who you see the Doctor and Clara on a London Street corner discussing something in their scene and across the street walks Sherlock and Watson. They walk through the scene, nothing more. Then the fan do a double take and say WTH? And then on Sherlock in a scene where Sherlock and Watson are walking down the street in their scene, they walk past The Doctor and Clara across the street discussing something. Again the fans say WTH? And they do a double take. The same time and space, the same exact scene, but without interaction and shown on their own respective shows. This would, in my opinion, be an interesting way to meld the two shows while keeping them fully separated, and blow the fans minds. The trick would be to make sure they episodes were being shown in the same time period and not a year apart or something.

  30. I feel like parallels between Sherlock Holmes and The Doctor have been drawn LONG before Moffat started writing both. I mean Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor was very heavily influenced by Holmes, and the Master was created to be his Moriarty. I feel like I remember Tennant comparing them when the Master came back, both being the cleverest man in every room, high action super sleuths who perceive so much more of the Universe than a typical mind can.
    However, I think Sherlock would be outmatched by the Doctor. The Doctor’s done Sherlock’s job across all of space time for over a thousand years. Sherlock is certainly as intelligent, and maybe more; but his scope is limited to Earth of his own time, and he only bothers learning facts that directly pertain to his current interests.
    I’ve always thought it’d be interesting to see Moffat write a cross-over. See a rivalry between the two, with Sherlock constantly trying to one up the Doctor (and maybe observing a few things the Doctor had missed because he was “being thick.”) The Doctor genuinely admiring Sherlock, but always wanting to assert that he’s still the Lord of Time, and still the best.
    The only thing is– despite similarities between protagonists and elements of story structure…. they’re different tones, on different scales, in different genres. I’m not sure it would work.

  31. Brad Riggs says:

    If the Doctor was to turn up anywhere, I reckon it should be in the Big Bang Theory when Sheldon is having one of his dream sequences.

  32. Jonita says:

    I say try for it anyway. Take direction from fans and YouTube videos

  33. LonelyCastle says:

    I can’t help but feel a crossover would just be silly; Sherlock is very much not a show that would fit the impossibilities of Doctor Who, a straight-up sci-fi. The two universes are far, far too disparate to meet and are infinitely better off that way

  34. Cptjh says:

    I think this sounds like ego to me. I love Sherlock and Dr Who, but I loved Dr. Who much much more before Moffat took it over. He has by no means ruined it or anything like that I just don’t like it as much. I do however love his writing for Sherlock.

  35. Whirlwound says:

    If it was going to happen, it would have done under Tennant or Smith’s tenure. Capaldi has already made it known he’s taking no crap like that.

  36. CM says:

    Or maybe Moffat can ‘crossover’ to Sherlock and let someone else take over Doctor Who.

  37. Chitarra says:

    I dunno… I can kinda see it happening with a Doctor Who episode, but it would just never work with Sherlock. Everything about Sherlock has always been possible in reality, including the glow-in-the-dark rabbits… …so for The Doctor to suddenly show up in a universe that’s supposed to be all reality, there’s just no way to work that. However with Doctor Who, I think it would actually be pretty awesome to see the Tardis land on Baker St. and have The Doctor and his companion(s) come across Sherlock characters or be involved with them in some kind of adventure. :-) So I don’t think it could ever be an episode of Sherlock, but it could totally happen on Doctor Who. :-)

  38. McCartan says:

    To hell with Steven Moffat

  39. Rose says:


  40. CB says:

    “Go speak to Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, OK? They’re all in the way. I’m not the killjoy, it’s that lot. It’s probably not going to happen.”

    As a fan of both Doctor Whho and Sherlock, I want to say “THANK YOU!!” to Benedict, Martin, Mark and Sue for riding herd and reining in this incredibly stupid idea.

  41. barbD says:

    Is it ever too late to start watching Dr Who? Orrrr how to catch up????

    • DLH says:

      Never too late – I just started last month and am scrambling to view enough so the new ones will make sense when the new eps start this month. I started on season 2 with David Tennant, the 10th Doctor, but have been bouncing between seasons to get a feel for the whole series. You can find them all online on various sites – I know project free tv has it and a few other places. There’s so much online about it, you can literally type in anything you don’t understand (ex. Dr. Who, fez; Doctor Who: Dalek, etc.) and get tons of info. “Blink” is a good Who Lite episode, the first one I saw, though there’s not much of the Doctor in it; I really liked the episodes with Donna Noble, starting with Partners in Crime, Season 4 ep 1 with the Adipose (she also made a brief appearance once before). I love that with so many past episodes I’ll have lots to watch for AGES. The science is not that important unless you’re fanatical – of course a lot of the science is suspect anyway. Just have fun with it – and it is SO much fun!

      • DLH says:

        In answer to KN – I have no intention of skipping Doctor # 9 – I DID say above that I’ve been bouncing between seasons to get a feel for all the Doctors, and that includes Season 1 of the modern series. I was shown season 2 first by a friend, which is why I started there. I’m watching the ones that sound the most fun now (there are episode lists and descriptions online), making sure to also catch some with classic characters like the Daleks and with various companions. Then will watch the rest more or less in order. Oddly, watched the Vincent Van Gogh one the night before last- it’s actually eerie how much of the episode came back to me yesterday when I heard of Robin Williams’ death. Some incredible writers have worked on that show.

      • KN says:

        how can you skip 9????

    • Ryan Miller says:

      It’s all streaming on netflix.

      • dan says: is a site where you can watch all Doctor Who episodes from both old and current series

  42. Sam says:

    sorry but no. no. no. no. as a fan, that would be a terrible idea. they’re in two alternative realities people. no. just no.

  43. Deborah says:

    They need to let doctor who stay were he’s at

  44. Billy says:

    They have already established that Sherlock is a fictional character in “The Snowmen” Christmas episode.

  45. Michelle says:

    It just wouldn’t work. It could be awesome, absolutely. But the Sherlock universe just wouldn’t accept a time traveling alien. He’s all about logic and science, not science fiction. If it had it, Sherlock would have to accept the possibility of so many other things that he couldn’t use the same logic anymore without it seeming wrong. Great idea, but bad if practiced.

  46. Kara Hodges says:

    I would like to see them sulk about someone cleverer than them, then suddenly realize that they could help each other and become the one they both call when at a loss. Having the doctor say, “oh that was just my buddy Sherlock Holmes” would be fantastic.

    Just a fan’s idea :) I love both shows.

  47. wally says:

    why couldn’t they do it for comic relief

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