Aaron Richards (Young Mycroft Holmes) Interview

mycroft-1The fourth (and possibly final) series of Sherlock came to an explosive end on Sunday. I spoke to Aaron Richards who played a young Mycroft Holmes in flashback scenes, to find out about his experience filming the show.

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Hi Aaron. Really enjoyed the flashback scenes in the latest episode. How many days were you filming for?

Umm well, I was only filming for 2 days. However young Sherlock was filming for much longer than me.

mycroft2What was it like working on the set of such a large-scale production?

It was really enjoyable to see the behind the scenes and work alongside some great actors. The sets were amazing and the cast were really friendly!

Did you have to keep your involvement secret or could you talk about your role before the episode aired?

No, I couldn’t publicise it. I signed a contract of secrecy.

mycroft-3Did you get to meet any of the main cast whilst filming?

I met Mark Gatiss and Benedict Cumberbatch. They were both extremely kind and friendly.

Did Mark Gatiss give you any particular instructions on how to play the character of Mycroft?

He was giving me small pointers as I was acting, from off-screen. Just the ways Mycroft would react with sharing, family and food etc.

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Thank you Aaron for speaking to me. If anybody is interested in my Sherlock filming locations video, it can be found here.

Cumberproof

So, as I am constantly saying, about a year ago I met Benedict Cumberbatch at a recording of the radio sitcom Cabin Pressure.

Although I managed to get his autograph and stare into his face, I din’t get a photo which I’m very annoyed about.

However whilst on Instagram the other day I saw a picture of someone who was at the same recording as me and managed to snap me in the background of their picture with Benedict!

There I am just to the right of Benedict’s head.

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Sherlock Series 3 Review

It was two years ago that we saw Sherlock Holmes fall to his death and somehow survive. Two years of constant waiting, constant theories and fanficiton. Hours have been spent anticipating the return of Sherlock Holmes. And now another Series is over.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????There were three episodes in the third series of Sherlock, all of which can each be summed up in a word. The Return, the Wedding and the Mastermind. The first episode ‘The Empty Hearse’ showed Sherlock’s return to London having been out of town for the last two years after his shocking death at the end of Series Two. Not only did the episode give us the solution to how Sherlock survived the fall (and what a great solution it was) but also presented the audience with two spoof-solutions, obviously born of the wide speculation concerning that pivotal point in the last series. These were both hilarious. Not only did Derren Brown pop up but we also got a bit of Mollock and Sheriarty, two fangirl dreams coming true in one episode.

Although mainly featured on Sherlock’s return and the impact it had on the other characters, the episode also has an interesting case, terrorism no less. There’s a nice scene with Sherlock thinking about the Underground (nice direction by the way) and a heart wrenching moment when Sherlock and John become trapped in the terrorist’s bomb and think they are going to die.

There’s been much criticism that the solution to this case was too simple, Sherlock merely having to flick an off switch however I liked the almost entirely character-driven episode and though it was good to end on an uncomplicated note.

sherlock-episode-3-01-the-empty-hearse-full-set-of-promotional-photos-28_fullIf I thought the whole series was to continue to the same high standards as Episode 1, I was sorely disappointed when it came to ‘The Sign of Three’. The episode, which is centred around John and mary’s wedding, was full of missed opportunities. Some great characters, an interesting case and even getting to see Sherlock and John drunk were all thrown away when the production team decided to hire some god-awful director to lead the episode.

In fact the the directing of this episode was so poor that it seems even the acting and music suffered and in my opinion the whole episode was very sub-standard. The transitions were to quick and jaggardy, the flashbacks to hectic and the solution to the case being given away without much thought. Although Sherlock’s best man speech did have a very emotional 20 seconds half way through.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????And finally we come to ‘His Last Vow’. Exactly why it’s called that I don’t know however what I can say is that it was one of the most beautiful, emotional and thrilling things I have ever had the pleasure to watch. I’m not going to bore you with the plot, I’ll just say that it was centres around Charles Augustus Magnussen, a criminal mastermind and blackmailer. Lars Mikkelsen gives a fantastic performance, creating a character who is not only terrifying but who I would go so far as to say beats the performance of Mr Scott himself. How do the Sherlock creators managed to create such perfect villains?

Additionally this episode gave us two of the best scenes in Sherlock history, one of which had me clutching my seat, the other of which had me in tears. Of course the first was the beautifully shot trip we took into Sherlock’s mind palace as he worked out how to not die (again!). Here we saw Molly, Mycroft and even Sherlock’s arch nemesis Moriarty turn up with Andrew Scott giving yet another wonderfully insane performance. The second scene was when John discovered his wife Mary’s secret and the fact that she had been lying to him since they had met. This was the one where I was crying.

Apart from creating amazing villains the Sherlock creators like to end the series with a final confrontation between Sherlock and his enemy. ‘His Last Vow’ did not disappoint as Sherlock and John go head to head with Magnussen who turns out to have thousands of pages of information stored not in underground vaults but in his own Mind Palace. It’s amazing to see Sherlock beaten and even better to see him shoot his rival in the head. Let’s hope he really is dead unlike Moriarty whom it turns out, faked it as well. I really didn’t like the ending.

Sherlock-Episode-3.03-His-Last-Vow-Promotional-Photos-4_FULLAnd so another series is over. Another long wait is ahead. But for now we’ve got 4.5 extra hours worth of material to repeatedly rewatch.

Sherlock Filming Locations Trip

A few days ago, me and my good friend Tim went on a little trip to London and visited many of the locations used to shot scenes from Sherlock. We made this little documentary about the day. Enjoy everybody!

Fortysomething

Sorry I haven’t blogged recently. Half the time I didn’t have internet and the over half I probably spent eating or sleeping or generally doing nothing.

The other day I was scrolling through one of my most favourite website pages; Benedict Cumberbatch’s IMDb page, when I saw among the list of generally awesome films a small TV series in which Benedict had a recurring role. This show was called Fortysomething.

Fortysomething cast

It is set around the life of Paul Slippery (played by Hugh Laurie someone I recognise for being in Stuart Little and 101 Dalmatians). He’s a doctor and in short he’s pretty messed up. He has a wife Estelle (Anna Chancellor from Pramface) and three sex-obsessed sons of which the eldest is played by Benedict.

During the series Paul jumps to many wrong conclusions including the fact that his wife is having an affair and is continuously made a fool of by his greatly more intelligent children.

Although I wish it were otherwise it was not Benedict Cumberbatch who gave the star performance in this show but actually Hugh Laurie (yes I know he’s the main character so shut your face). Also Peter Capaldi who played Slippery’s work college and rival gave an excellent performance, I dunno why he just did.

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Cabin Pressure Series 4 Recording 3

CIMG8653Yesterday I fulfilled one of my long time dreams. I met one of my favourite actors, my role model, my hero. Yesterday I met BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. But let’s start from the beginning, we can’t just skip to the main event.

Me and two friends had journeyed up to London for the recordings of the last two episodes of Cabin Pressure Series 4. CIMG8634We didn’t have tickets but like last time our intention was merely to get into the studios at the end to meet the actors and collect autographs. We also hoped that, like last time, stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Roger Allam would journey down the road to Café Nero to grab themselves a coffee. We positioned ourselves in Pret (‘twas really cold outside) and waited for the chance to see Benedict and Roger. We were half successful as it seems poor little Ben didn’t want a coffee leaving Roger on his own to journey to Nero. We ran ahead to the café where, to look like we were doing something, bought some popcorn and then sat at the window seats. ‘twas then that Roger Allam walked in and ordered a small espresso!!! He then took the window seat next to me!!! Exciting much. However it seems a small espresso is REALLY small and before I had time to take some subtle pictures of him he was gone causing us to rush out a follow him.

CIMG8657The next few hours were quite uneventful. They included wandering round London, using McDonalds toilets and not actually buying anything, looking at the RADA studios from round various corners so we could not be seen and generally passing to time in any way possible.

Soon we knew the recordings would be finis150679_573324692683059_1815122607_nhed so we went up to the RADA studios to see the audience leaving and, taking our chance, walked in.

There we met Anthony Head, Roger Allam, John Finnemore, David Tyler, Stephanie Cole and BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!

They were all lovely people (especially Anthony). I got loads of photos and two new autographs from CIMG8661those I hadn’t seen before. This included Benedict who, although was in a rush, managed to make my day.

BENEDICT: What’s your name (taking autograph book).

ME: Philip, one ‘l’.

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BENEDICT: (Handing back autograph book and looking at my face) Thank you Philip.

That was a dream come true! On my third recording (I’ve been to all of them this series although only got in once) I met lovely Benedict. That’s my life’s ambition complete!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

‘The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey’ a film that I have been told on many occasions to be the most anticipated picture of 2012. Yesterday I went to see this film and I feel that it is always nice to do a little light-hearted review of a film you have recently seen.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the beginning of a trilogy of films which focuses on Bilbo Baggins, a young hobbit who sets off on a mission with a band of dwarves. The film, which was directed by Peter Jackson, is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy from the same director and features many of the same cast. Being a fan of these films myself it was very easy to get into the spirit of the film however the Hobbit acts as a completely different story told in a completely different way. In fact somehow whilst watching it I was both always and never thinking about the Lord of the Rings.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyBefore watching the film I, like many others, was wondering how on earth Jackson had managed to stretch one 280 page book into three motion pictures. I was pretty shocked to hear that the nearly three-hour long film only covered 6 chapters of Tolkien’s original book. However you forget all your criticisms when you are watching it. The film never ceases to be amazing, truly bringing Tolkien’s work to life. The film also contains many scenes (and many villains) that weren’t featured in the books however fit in perfectly with the world of Middle Earth.

The start of the film is spoken from the view of an elderly Bilbo (played by the returning Ian Holm). He tells the tale of the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield and the capture of the lonely mountain by the dragon Smaug (epically played by Benedict Cumberbatch). This part then seamlessly returns to a point only about an hour before the Lord of the Rings starts, with Frodo Baggins running off the meet Gandalf. If I hadn’t known otherwise I would have thought these scenes were filmed simultaneously.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyPerhaps my favourite scene featured the return of three “Lord of the Ring-ers”. These were Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchett, Saruman, played by Christopher Lee and Elrond, played by Hugo Weaving. These three along with the good old Gandalf come together in the White Council where they sit around and talk about stuff. Christopher Lee especially gave a great performance (especially considering his roles for all three films were filmed in four days). Lee managed to combine the character of the kindly wise-old wizard with a darker backbone of the traitor which is to come in the Lord of the Rings.

However in every film there are a few minor moans to be had. Some of the battle scenes seemed to never end (yes that worked well in LOTR however Jackson should remember that the Hobbit is a children’s tale). Another thing; though pleased at the sight of Sylvester McCoy playing Radagast the Brown, I wasn’t completely sure that some of his scenes were completely necessary (take the part when he is running round frantically trying to save a dying hedgehog while giant spiders knock on his windows).