Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘Sherlock’ to Be Directed by Woman for First Time

'Sherlock' to Be Directed by Woman
Courtesy of BBC

CANNES — Filming for season four of Benedict Cumberbatch starrer “Sherlock” has started, and the show is being directed by a woman for the first time.

The first of the three feature-length episodes will be directed by Rachel Talalay, who has worked as a director, producer and professor in film and television for more than 25 years, having previously directed “Doctor Who,” “The Flash” and “The Wind in the Willows.”

Talalay’s movie credits include “Tank Girl” for United Artists, “Ghost in the Machine” for 20th Century Fox, “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” and upcoming independent film “An Introvert’s Guide to High School.” She holds dual U.S./Canadian citizenship, but is a permanent U.K. resident.

Directors U.K., the association of British film and TV directors, reported in 2014 that 13% of TV drama episodes in the U.K. were directed by women, and last year, Boxed In reported that women comprised 14% of directors of U.S. broadcast network shows.

Season four begins with Sherlock Holmes back once more on British soil, as Doctor Watson and his wife Mary prepare for their biggest ever challenge — becoming parents for the first time.

Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock, said he was “genuinely thrilled to be back filming ‘Sherlock’ with all the cast and crew. I can’t wait for everyone to see season four. But you will have to wait… though not for long… And it will be worth it.”

Co-creators, writers and executive producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss said: “Whatever else we do, wherever we all go, all roads lead back to Baker Street — and it always feels like coming home. Ghosts of the past are rising in the lives of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson bringing adventure, romance and terror in their wake. This is the story we’ve been telling from the beginning. A story about to reach its climax…”

Hartswood Films’ Sue Vertue, the producer of the show, said: “It’s taken a while to gather everyone together for season four, but I can confidently say I think it will be well worth the wait.”

“Sherlock: The Abominable Bride,” which aired on New Year’s Day this year, was the most-watched program over the festive season in the U.K. with 11.6 million viewers, and the highest-ever audience share for a “Sherlock” episode. The Victorian special was also released in thousands of movie theaters around the world to complement the TV broadcast.

“Sherlock” is written and created by Moffat and Gatiss, and inspired by the works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Executive producers are Beryl Vertue, Gatiss and Moffat for Hartswood Films, Bethan Jones for BBC Cymru Wales and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece. It is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.

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  1. nagamedigitalcom says:

    The unaired pilot was directed by a women.

  2. neemsemmi says:

    So PC. Much WOW

  3. Quantization says:

    Very sexist article. Who cares if it’s being directed by a woman, it makes literally no difference unless you’re saying woman are smarter or dumber than men. Either way, sexist. Shame on you Variety.

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  5. Lucifer says:

    And what a talent they got, she’s the director of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare!

    Seriously, though, announcements worded like this for when someone gets hired or awarded sound like their gender/race/orientation/etc. are the sole or main reason they got their “achievement.”

  6. Nan says:

    This shouldn’t be news. I am not applauding genderism in our modern society. Give the best person the job and shut up. I will now not be able to watch the show, nor applaud her work without thinking she only got it because some man at the BBC felt guilty and some poor single father is now out of work. I would have liked to celebrate her direction, now it’s just a show to shut up some whiner and make some liberal men feel better.

  7. Dunstan says:

    The business needs to quickly move to the place where this is no longer “news” but just the way things should be done. To quote the famous line from “Oliver:” More, please. :D

  8. cylon6 says:

    I’d be more excited if they brought Paul McGuigan back. Sherlock’s best director. If you’re going to have a female director get Alice Troughton.

  9. Why is this news? Women are just as capable as directors as men are.

    • Nan says:

      It’s called white guilty only that it’s a group of true genderists who want to stand up and say, “Whiny liberals of the world, you can’t point the finger at us, see we picked a token woman, see. We’re not the bad guys.” When picking the most talented of any race or gender would have done more for the show and society. This time of news, should not be applauded. It reads like, “We are letting Sally pee standing up,” When it should be just another show.

  10. Lisa says:

    Okay. Thanks for that, boys. We are beyond grateful for you to be giving a fellow female the opportunity to direct just one show. And after just 4 seasons!
    Seriously, one would think it would have been sooner that a woman direct.
    I guess you’re saying, ‘Look! We’re trying.’
    Yeah, right. Pfft.

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