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Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in 'Sherlock'

Fan fiction, that scary sub-section of intense online worship that often bleeds into the creative arts and pornography at the same time, is clearly a phenomenon that knows no boundaries. People write about encounters between characters from rival realities (Harry Potter people meet Doctor Who people, for example), or surprising romantic relationships between bitter enemies. I even heard about one in which Kate and Pippa Middleton met Garfield. See what I mean about boundaries?

So naturally there are Sherlock fanfics out there and naturally some of them ask an intrusive question about the nature of the relationship between Holmes and Watson, and what the hidden subtext might be. And some of them are even illustrated. How do I know? Benedict Cumberbatch has seen them.

He told MTV News: “I am startlingly aware of it. I don’t go seeking it, but Martin Freeman, who was an absolute luddite on the first series, suddenly came back from New Zealand… and he had this beautiful Mac with him and said, ‘Hey, look at this Tumblr.’

“And I said, ‘What? Tumblr? What?’ He knows more about it than I do and he was showing me some of them. Some of it is really racy, un-viewable even on MTV.

“I was amazed at the level of artistry; people have spent hours doing it. And there’s some really weird cross breeding stuff that goes on.”

And he’s naturally unflappable about the whole thing: “It’s cool. I suppose my bodily proportions are quite flattering. I’m ripped, doing something I wouldn’t normally do with my body, or having done to it, involving Watson. So that’s as far as I’ll hit about that one, but it’s all there on the web if you want to find it.”

Note the emphasis there: IF you WANT to find it.

Sherlock series two is on PBS from this Sunday. We’ll be recapping the episodes every Monday morning after they play out, and why? Because OMG! That’s why.

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By Fraser McAlpine