From pretty much the moment that Steven Moffat took the reigns of Doctor Who and his show Sherlock, co-created with Mark Gatiss, became a hit, fans have speculated about what a crossover between the two shows would be like. It’s a far-fetched idea, to be sure, and Moffat himself has publicly poo-pooed the idea. While Doctor Who’s crazy universe could easily accommodate a visit from Baker Street’s eccentric, crime-solving genius, it would be a lot more difficult to make the Doctor “fit” within the world of Sherlock. All things being equal, it’s probably for the best that this crossover will likely remain the stuff of nerd dreams, Who actor Matt Smith is all for it, should the idea ever get any serious consideration.
Speaking to Collider, Smith acknowledged that Moffat and Gatiss don’t like the idea of a Doctor/Sherlock meetup, but adds that, “I’m not averse to it. I’m kind of open. I’m like yeah, because I just think they would find each other so remarkable.” Ignoring all the hurdles, both narrative and real-world practical, I have to admit that it would be amazing to see the Doctor and Sherlock teaming up for an adventure. Because you know the Doctor would likely infuriate Sherlock by posing ridiculous science fictional explanations for the mystery at hand, which would then prove to be accurate and piss Sherlock off even more. It’d be like Mulder and Scully, only with less sexual tension and more seething rage.
What we need here is a TV equivalent of Marvel’s old “What If…?” comics, where we could play out insane ideas like this one as one-off adventures that wouldn’t muddy up the official canon of the shows. Somebody get on that project, stat.
There’s one other intriguing dynamic that a crossover would allow: the chance for Smith to play off of Martin Freeman’s Dr. John Watson. Matt Smith very nearly played that role, before he was lured away to the green fields of Doctor Who. It would be fascinating to watch Smith play against a role that could have been his. And I’m sure Watson and the Doctor’s companions would have a lot to commiserate about.
Smith, however, is more focused on the pure fun a Doctor/Dr. Watson pairing could provide. As Smith puts it, “The Doctor with Watson, he’d be like, ‘Cheer up mate. It’s not that bad, I know you’re really clever, but there’s an alien over there, let’s go and talk. He’s got wiggly bits on’.”