In terms of the filming, it’s completely different. People turn up, particularly if we’re shooting in pretend Baker Street. There's a whole line of people with cameras waiting to get a glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch. And, when we were out shooting the first year, and my wife knows more about this than I do, but it is that people would recognize Martin Freeman from “The Office.” He’s quite a big star in Britain and is about to be an even bigger star all over the world, of course, [with "The Hobbit"] but not have the have the faintest idea who Benedict Cumberbatch was. He was as anonymous as me and possibly more so. Then, suddenly, in the space of 90 minutes, when that first episode went out, and he of course became the hottest actor in Britain, which was extraordinary.
So how would you compare Sherlock as a character to the Doctor?
Ah, the old, old question. I sometimes wonder do they really even have to be compared. But, actually, the big thing they’ve got in common is that they’re quirky and they're so of anti-heroes, I suppose. But beyond that is there much? They’re hugely clever. They're both hugely clever.
But the Doctor is lovely. He’s a lovely, lovely alien, at least on the surface and quite a long way underneath, he’s lovely. The line I always come out with is the Doctor is like an angel who aspires to be human, whereas Sherlock Holmes is like a man who aspires to be a god. So they’re tunneling in different directions and have different ambitions. Sherlock disdains all the business of humanity and wants to grow past it. The Doctor wants to go to a fairground and have fun. He loves all that. Sherlock is in love with his super intelligence, and, of course, the Doctor is even more super intelligent and is completely indifferent to it, in a way. He doesn't really mind. He just wants to have fun and help people and lark about.
You can read what Moffat told me about the upcoming season of "Doctor Who" and his plans for the 50th anniversary at this previous post: "Doctor Who" shockers