Amanda Abbington plays Mary Watson and Sherlock Series 4 Premieres 1 January 2017 on BBC One.
How did it feel to return to the Sherlock set?
It was brilliant being back on set, I love Sherlock and I love being a part of it and this series is particularly exciting and dramatic. It was great to be back with everybody, with loads of old faces and some new ones as well.
What makes working on Sherlock so special?
The thing about working on Sherlock that makes it so special is the fact that it’s so loved by people, so we do really feel that we’re making something that people are excited about seeing. That always gives us an added impetus to really make it the best that we can. It’s also great to be back with the old gang, I’ve been in it now for two series and the special, so it is like coming home to a family. Everyone does really get on and we have a lovely time so I love it.
Were you ever worried about the fans accepting Mary?
I was slightly anxious about the fans accepting Mary because she can be quite a divisive character. I mean, she shot Sherlock! She’s quite independent, she’s feisty and she doesn’t stand for any nonsense.
How is Mary feeling about impending motherhood?
They know it’s a girl so they’re very excited about that. When I was pregnant it was incredibly nerve-wracking and terrifying and exciting at the same time and I think that’s how she will be feeling. It doesn’t get in the way of her having adventures but it’s certainly the bump that stops her running after stuff. The impending baby is something that they’re both looking forward to a lot and Sherlock too actually, despite what he says.
Is there an element of Mary that still pines for her life as a secret agent?
I think Mary lives in both camps. On the one hand she yearns for the adventure part of her old life but there is still that excitement there with John and Sherlock. She also likes the domesticity of being with somebody who she loves and who loves her back. She’s never allowed that to happen to her before, so being with John makes her feel complete.
What impact has Mary had on John and Sherlock’s friendship?
The key thing that holds John and Sherlock’s friendship together is their love for each other, they are best friends. I think of my three best friends and how much I love them and how I can’t really be without them and that’s what those two have. They have this bond that can’t be broken, and Mary doesn’t get too involved with that. In the third series she was very keen to make sure they still had that friendship and she maintains that this series. She wants them both to be happy and to have their adventures together.
How would you describe Mary’s relationship with Sherlock?
Mary’s relationship with Sherlock is interesting, fiery and turbulent. He really likes her and she really likes him. They’re cut from the same cloth in terms of their need for excitement and adventure and they both have a mutual respect for each other.
How do the female characters affect Sherlock’s mind-set?
He respects Mrs Hudson, he respects Molly and he respects Mary. We’ve seen him grow throughout the four series and become more open.
It’s wonderful that Mark and Steven write very interesting, flawed and strong female characters. That’s great to watch and fantastic to play. All the women in the show love our characters, flaws and all.