It's partly the possibility for meta humor in the Mark Gatiss connection. (If you don't know, the actor who plays Mycroft on the BBC also has written several Doctor Who episodes.) Also, there's the excuse of bringing two things I love together like that. But there's something about Mycroft that's always struck me as having great potential for what I call covert geekdom. They don't let on how big a fan they are, don't quote lines or wear fannish t-shirts to the gym, but they secretly love the shows and get a kind of hidden thrill when other people reveal themselves as geeks. The man probably abuses CCTV coverage up in Cardiff to work out spoilers for the next series.
Anyway, I was poking around this afternoon to see just what bits of Doctor Who he's been involved with. Seems that he wrote some of my favorite episodes: The Unquiet Dead, Cold War, and the Idiot's Lantern all would easily rank in my top ten fave episodes ever. (Gatiss also wrote Victory of the Daleks, Night Terrors, and The Crimson Horror.) The first three especially are so fantastical in the gods-and-monsters tradition, but at the same time have this emotional heart to them that really involves you at a gut level. They feel real, even when you're dealing with things like TV's that suck out your soul quite literally. It's odd, because Sherlock doesn't really give him room to do the same kind of work ("Baskerville" is perhaps the only exception), but going off of interviews and quotes, this strength doesn't surprise me at all, if anything it felt like the most natural style of writing in the world.
The Sherlock fandom has a tradition called six-sentence Sunday, where people post six sentences from their current project. For once I'm working on a story that's not for an exchange so I feel like I can share bits of it. Here's a bit from my current WIP, a Study in Pink gapfiller/expansion I'm currently calling "Enemies":
In retrospect, what most surprised John wasn't that he'd failed Mycroft Holmes's first test, but that he hadn't seen it for a test at all. If by 'retrospect' he meant some seven hours later after they'd caught the police their murderer – more or less – and rounded off the evening with too much dim sum and rice wine, once the adrenaline had faded and he no longer had to fight back the urge to giggle – a short enough window to give him some perspective, but time seemed to move differently in a reality involving a Holmes, and so some words needed redefining.
His first clue should have been that trick with the phones and the video cameras, and the black town-car appearing seemingly out of thin air, to say nothing of the conveniently-abandoned warehouse. It was a scene drawn from a James Bond film, not the more mundane adventures he'd left behind in Afghanistan and certainly not his current existence. Yet there he had stood, trying not to lean too heavily on his cane, and there he had stood, the man John later attached to the name Mycroft Holmes, twirling his umbrella like a young girl's parasol, plucked from another age. Mocking him.
John knew what a reconstructed knee looked like, how a man stood even when the procedure was successful as they ever were. There was weakness there, but of course Mycroft Holmes would never admit it, give it any due deference. Quite the contrary. He had shown John just enough so any half-decent army doctor could see his injury but then had twirled his support like a child's plaything. The message was clear: see how you rely on your crutch, Doctor Watson, and how little I do mine.
Slightly more than six sentences, but I've never been a great fan of rules.