Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t a “massive fanboy” of Sherlock Holmes and says the detective would “dismiss him in a heartbeat” if the two sat down to tea. But Mr. Cumberbatch’s interpretation of the character on the PBS series “Sherlock” certainly has a massive fan base.
When PBS announced a screening of the modern take on the Baker Street Boys at a 400-seat theater in New York, 10,000 people responded. Fans flew in from Arizona and drove up from North Carolina to get a sneak peak on Wednesday night at the first episode of season two, which airs on PBS-affiliate Thirteen on Sunday night.
The crowd at the French Institute Alliance Française howled at every glimpse of Mr. Cumberbatch on screen, including a scene in which he appears as Sherlock, dressed in just a bed sheet at Buckingham Palace. The infamous Irene Adler (Lara Pulver) also made her first appearance in the first episode, recast as a dominatrix and wearing nothing more than blood-red lipstick and heels.
The screaming didn’t stop after the lights went up and Mr. Cumberbatch, the series co-creator Steven Moffat and producer Sue Vertue (also Mr. Moffat’s wife), took to the stage. Whether it’s the success of “Sherlock” or Mr. Cumberbatch’s recent roles in “War Horse” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” the group admitted to being much more confident the second time around.
“You should have seen us before the first season premiered,” Mr. Cumberbatch said. “We were terrified.”
The group weighed in on “Elementary,” too, the CBS version of a modern Sherlock Holmes, which is set in New York and stars Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock and Lucy Liu as Watson.
The “Sherlock” team isn’t, in fact, consulting in the project, as had been reported. Only Mr. Cumberbatch had anything to say about it: “There is room for two Sherlocks, as we’ve seen from the motion picture [with Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.], so why not three?”
Even the end of the evening was met with squeals and screams: Mr. Cumberbatch would be signing autographs in the lobby of the French Institute. Sherlock-mania couldn’t have been louder.