Well, this never happened with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
Sunday wasn't the first time Sherlock fan endeavors were used to torment Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Apparently the panel discussion after the BFI premiere of Sherlock season three, however, crossed new lines of humiliation for both the actors and fans, especially the writer of the fan fiction in question, as the actors were asked to read a particularly kissy scene between their two characters. The reaction in fan world was strong enough to get reported in The Telegraph, which, like the reason for the incident to begin with, was probably just there because nobody's reporting what was actually in the long-awaited resurrection episode.
Usually we tend to think of old school Sherlockians who just don't get full implications of our modern world, but I think this particular incident demonstrates that even the next generation isn't entirely ready for our newfound technological powers.
I mean, the poor humiliated fan in question published her fan fiction on the internet. Remember the internet? The very public internet? Where, if I write how much I hate Elementary in great detail, week after week, I shouldn't be surprised if a producer from CBS television walks up to me and goes, "So, I hear you don't like Elementary." Which did happen in one mildly uncomfortable moment. Not nearly as uncomfortable as having your demonstration of fondness for a characterization of Holmes used to ruin the moment of the person who helped create that characterization, of course. And not even the most uncomfortable moment I've had being read by anyone who gets pointed this way.
But here's the thing: as much of a (insert your preferred profanity here) as Sunday's BFI panel discussion's chairperson was being by mocking someone's Sherlock creative effort, there's a side to this that was hitting the fandom lottery. At the end of the day, once the emotions have lost their potency, somebody got their words read by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and has that story to tell for the rest of their life. There's a reason we have the phrase, "We'll laugh about this one day." Because what else are you going to do? Live in a bell tower the rest of your life?
Nobody wants to be the cautionary tale for the rest of the Sherlock fan universe, 'tis true. But there is a cautionary tale to be seem there. Anybody can read our stuff on the internet. Our friends, our foes, utter villains who may use it in ways we never could have conceived of. It's something we all have to consider as we put electronic words to server.
Because we're playing a whole new game these days, boys and girls. Some of it may seem like the same stuff that's been going on for decades, but there's these wrinkles to it we ain't never seen before.