Steven Moffat

Steven Moffat on The Unfriend, Sherlock and Inside Man

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The writer would pen Season 5 of Sherlock “tomorrow” if stars Cumberbatch and Freeman agreed to return. 

Writer Steven Moffat is out promoting his play The Unfriend.

First performed as part of 2022’s Chichester Festival, the play is directed by his Sherlock collaborator Mark Gatiss and it has scored an impressive West End transfer.

The acclaimed production, which is the writer’s first stage play, garnered numerous 5-star reviews. Starring Reece Shearsmith (Inside No. 9), Amanda Abbingdon (Sherlock) and Frances Barber (Doctor Who), it’s a dark comedy about a holiday friendship with deadly consequences.

Steven Moffat play The Unfriend

Here’s the synopsis for The Unfriend:

After twenty years of marriage, Peter and Debbie are enjoying a cruise as a break from their annoying teenagers. Peter can’t resist exchanging views on Donald Trump with an American fellow passenger. There’s something slightly unsettling about the eagerly friendly Elsa Jean Krakowski – but there’s no point in rocking the boat when you’re about to get off it.

Back home, an email arrives from Elsa, followed by Elsa herself. And when Debbie googles their house guest and turns up some hair-raising evidence, their good nature is challenged as never before. What kind of danger have they allowed to take up residence in their spare room? And can they bring themselves to say anything about it? Sometimes, the truth is just too impolite.

The Unfriend takes a hugely entertaining and satirical look at middle-class England’s disastrous instinct always to appear nice. Manners can be murder.

The Unfriend runs between 15th Jan and 16th April at London’s Criterion Theatre.

Other Steven Moffat projects

Promoting the West End run on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, talking to presenter Nick Robinson, he also answered the inevitable Sherlock question:



While his and Gatiss’ modern version of the famous detective last aired in 2017, the writer is ready to go again. He said:

“Look, I’ll start writing Sherlock tomorrow if Benedict and Martin will show up.”

But as he rightly points out:

“Sadly, they went on to bigger and better things and left us behind. Cry. But Benedict, Martin, please come back!”

Inside Man

Inside Man

Things sound more encouraging for a second season of the melodramatic BBC/Netflix thriller Inside Man though. We won’t spoil anything if you haven’t seen it, but there’s certainly potential for the show, which starred David Tennant, Stanley Tucci, Dolly Wells and Lydia West, to go further.

With positive viewing figures from international partner Netflix, conversations have begun about a second run.

We’ll keep you posted.