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SHERLOCKED: What happened after Sherlock rescued Irene? * 02 June 2015

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During 'Sherlocked: The Official Sherlock Convention', which took place in late April this year at The Excel in London, panels with cast and crew members over the two day event discussed many of the finer points of their characters and work on the series. But none revealed more than writer and co-creator Steven Moffat in an astonishing revelation - news even to his wife and series producer Sue Vertue - that he had written an extra scene recently for Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia.

The episode from series 2, which was filming in August 2011 and originally broadcast in the UK on New Years Day 2012, to a whopping 8.8 million viewers, was based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short Sherlock Holmes story A Scandal In Bohemia and featured 'The Woman' otherwise known as Irene Adler, but more infamously as 'the woman who beat him'.

In Doyle's version, Holmes is employed by the King of Bohemia to retrieve an incriminating photo of himself and Adler together, but despite Holmes' disguises and intricate plans to locate the photograph he is eventually bested by Adler who not only escapes, but bids him farewell while dressed incognito in men's attire without Holmes realising until it is too late.

The BBC Sherlock version, written by Steven Moffat, sees Adler play the game admirably with Sherlock before eventually being trumped, and the scandalous photograph of herself and a female member of the British monarchy, stored on a camera phone, is confiscated by Mycroft Holmes, which ultimately leads to Adler being captured and sentenced to death by beheading in Karachi by terrorists.

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Although technically, Moffat did include Lara Pulver's Irene Adler telling Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock, "This is how I want you to remember me. The woman who beat you", after physically beating him with her dominatrix riding crop, the episode did come under criticism as unbeknown to John Watson and the elder Holmes brother, Sherlock did indeed come to Adler's rescue and save her from execution. Thus, it would appear that Irene never beat Sherlock at his own game after all like in Doyle's original.

However, this recent revelation shows that Steven Moffat had other intentions entirely and it has be the subject of wild speculation as to exactly what the pair got up to that night after he rescued her in a scenario that was very reminiscent of heroics only reserved normally for characters such as Ian Fleming's James Bond. In fact, even Benedict voiced his opinion on the subject to a 2,000 strong audience during a sold out panel at the Cheltenham Literary Festival on 6th October, 2012, "Well you say he was beaten by her, but do you know what they got up to in Islamabad? Because I do. There was no beating. It was all very loving."

Some have even suggested that Sherlock never visited Karachi at all and the flashback scene that was featured at the end of A Scandal In Belgravia was nothing more than a fantasy played out in Sherlock's Mind Palace.

So what is the truth?

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"The scene does not take place in Sherlock's Mind Palace, nor could it," Steven confirmed, "He's been told a lie about where Irene Adler is, so he wouldn't have fantasied saving her from a terrorist cell, he had no reason to have to. No, he really does go and save her. He really does that, because if you remember earlier on in the story, Irene says, 'I make my way in the world, and my trick is I get people to be exactly where I want them, when I want them there. That's my super power. That's what I do.' Sherlock a few scenes later says, 'I'm the one guy you can't put a collar on' and at the very end… yep, he turns up dressed as an Arabian Knight and hacks up some terrorists, and Irene's sitting there going, 'Oh yes! Talk to me momma!'"

But if that wasn't enough, Steven goes on to explain that he wrote a further scene of what happens after they escape during the time he was writing Sherlock: His Last Vow, the final episode in series 3.

"I actually wrote a scene about what happened afterwards, because I got so curious about it. I had Sherlock turning around after he had hacked up all the terrorists, still very cross, and sort of saying, 'I hope you don't think that this means I am in any way interested in you?' And Irene's already got a gun on him - as she picks up a gun from the floor - and says, 'No, but I am going to need male costume to get out of here.'

"And so Sherlock is left naked and Irene runs off dressed as him. That's what I think would happen next."

So why was this extraordinary scene not included in the original 90 minute episode?

"I only wrote it not that long ago, I just got so curious," Steven admitted, "It's not so much about what they did that night, it's what they said to each other. You can imagine him so pissed off, because he lost again."

Let's be clear here then, once and for all… Sherlock was indeed beaten by Irene?

"Some people say he won; he lost, because he admitted he cared. Having hacked up terrorists with bodies all over the floor, him covered in blood, and he's trying to retain his dignity, saying, 'I was passing and it was a night I thought I'd hack up some terrorists… Oh, you're here, I didn't know. I don't even like you… oh, don't pull a gun on me…' [Irene] 'Strip!', [Sherlock] 'Oh, it's not fair. I saved your life!'

"And something like that happens between Irene and Sherlock every 6 months and THAT is their idea of a night of passion."

 

 
 
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