Mark Gatiss' response to a Sherlock critic is a true work of art

Updated: 

Sherlock producer and actor Mark Gatiss has made a poetic response to critics who have attacked the show's latest series for being too much like James Bond.

The star, 50, wrote a five-verse piece, complete with rhyme, explaining how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective had always been a skilled fighter.

Referring to some of the most famous Sherlock stories, Mark challenged his critics: "In hurling Moriarty over the torrent, did Sherlock find violence strange and abhorrent?

"In shooting down pygmies and Hounds from hell, Did Sherlock on Victorian niceties dwell?"

His composition followed an article in The Guardian, which claimed that the show's New Year's Day episode - in which viewers watched Benedict Cumberbatch's famous character get into some serious fist fighting and learned more about his friend Mary Watson's gritty history as an assassin - was too physically violent.

The article, by Ralph Jones, described Sherlock as "perversely morphing" into the typical 007-style action movie detective, rather than the science-focused "nerd" of Sir Arthur's stories.

Addressing his critic, Mark - who plays Sherlock's brother Mycroft in the series - wrote: "Here is a critic who says with low blow, Sherlock's no brain-box but become double-O.

"Says the Baker St boy is no man of action - whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction."

Sherlock gets shady.
Sherlock gets shady (BBC/Hartswood Films/PA)

Hitting back at the idea that the modern Sherlock Holmes of his and Steven Moffat's creation has become more akin to the suave, gun-toting Bond, he concluded: "There's no need to invoke in yarns that still thrill, Her Majesty's Secret Servant with licence to kill.

"From Rathbone through Brett to Cumberbatch dandy, with his fists Mr Holmes has always been handy."

Here is the full piece, in all it's literary glory:

Here is a critic who says with low blow
Sherlock's no brain-box but become double-O.
Says the Baker St boy is no man of action -
whilst ignoring the stories that could have put him in traction.

The Solitary Cyclist sees boxing on show,
The Gloria Scott and The Sign of the Fo'
The Empty House too sees a mention, in time, of Mathews,
who knocked out poor Sherlock's canine.

As for arts martial, there's surely a clue
in the misspelled wrestle Doyle called baritsu.
In hurling Moriarty over the torrent
did Sherlock find violence strange and abhorrent?

In shooting down pygmies and Hounds from hell
Did Sherlock on Victorian niceties dwell?
When Gruner's men got him was Holmes quite compliant
Or did he give good account for The Illustrious Client?

There's no need to invoke in yarns that still thrill,
Her Majesty's Secret Servant with licence to kill
From Rathbone through Brett to Cumberbatch dandy
With his fists Mr Holmes has always been handy.

- Mark Gatiss.