'Sherlock': Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch and Wanda Ventham's surprise cameo - video
The "Sherlock" Season 3 premiere had one particularly surprising meeting: Sherlock Holmes' parents. Knowledgeable fans, however, got an even bigger surprise: Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were played by Benedict Cumberbatch's parents, Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch and Wanda Ventham.
Both actors, the elder Cumberbatch and Ventham appear on screen for less than two minutes before their son dismisses them. The audience only finds out their identities when Sherlock mentions it in passing to Watson ( Martin Freeman). Needless to say, John is a little shocked by what he sees:
"I mean, they're just so ... ordinary." -- Watson
"It's a cross I have to bear." -- Holmes
Considering that the parents are rambling about lost glasses and such, they do indeed seem like a cross for Sherlock to bear.
As for the son of the actors, Cumberbatch told the Mail Online that working with his parents was "nerve-wracking" but "brilliant."
With this casting, "Sherlock" proves again that the show is something of a family affair -- Freeman's real-life partner, Amanda Abbington, plays his on-screen fiancee, Mary Morstan in Season 3. Could more familial cameos be coming?
"Sherlock" Season 3 continues Sunday, Jan. 5 in the UK and premieres Sunday, Jan. 19 in the US.