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Mark Gatiss has admitted he and fellow Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat could have done things differently, like not killing off Moriarty at the end of season two.

This revelation emerged from a talk he was giving last week (June 6) at the Oxford Union — the debating society at England’s famous Oxford University that’s been welcoming legendary speakers such as David Hasselhoff, Sir Patrick Stewart, and even King of Pop Michael Jackson since it was founded in 1823.

A video of the Q&A that followed his talk has just been released, meaning his words of wisdom get a wider audience than just those in the hallowed hall of the Oxford Union.

Or the “Oxford Whonian,” as Mark dubbed it after getting lots of questions about Doctor Who, the show for which he’s written no fewer than eight episodes.

He also answered questions on Game of Thrones, in which he plays banker Tycho Nestoris, and League of Gentlemen, the blackly comic sketch show with which he made his name alongside Reece Shearsmith (Doctor Who) and Steve Pemberton (Whitechapel, Happy Valley), and named the projects he’d like to work on in the future, saying he’d “love to do [classic Dickens novella] A Christmas Carol. It’s my favorite story. I’d love to do more ghost stories in general.”

The whole thing is almost an hour long, but we’ve picked out the answer to a particularly impertinent question about Sherlock for you in the video below. Asked if there was anything about the show he regretted or would have done differently, Mark quickly responded in the affirmative — and it was clear he needed no time to think of examples.

“Well, there’s always things you’d do differently,” he admitted. “Maybe we shouldn’t have killed Moriarty off at the end of the second season.”

Uh-huh. We’d certainly say so. Sherlock’s wildly popular nemesis played by Andrew Scott made a sudden departure at the end of season two thanks to a self-inflicted gunshot in the final episode.

That turned out not to be the last we saw of Moriarty, of course. He featured in the multiple fake solutions to Sherlock’s death-defying fall at the start of season three, made a number of appearances in Sherlock’s “Mind Palace,” and asked “Miss me?” from beyond the grave in that season’s finale, followed by extended flashbacks in season four.

On Moriarty’s continued presence in the show despite his apparent suicide, Mark remarked: “I remember going to the Edinburgh TV Festival with Andrew Scott and at the end he said, ‘I’m a bit sad really, because it’s all over,’ and I thought, [evil laughter]. He’s left the show, like, five times now.”

“That was the point though – telling 90-minute stories, they’re so big and film-length, the stakes [like killing off major characters] have to be big.”

Mark then tried to think of other regrets, before making a dig at Sherlock fans’ other big bugbear, namely the huge stretches of time between seasons:

“Give me 20 years to decide. By which time there’ll be a fifth season…”

What questions would you have asked Mark about Sherlock?

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Filed Under: Mark Gatiss, Sherlock
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.