Benedict Cumberbatch

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Name: Benedict Cumberbatch
Also Known As:
Occupation: actor
Medium: TV, movies, stage
Works: Sherlock (BBC), Frankenstein, War Horse, Cabin Pressure, The Hobbit, Star Trek into Darkness, Rumpole of the Bailey, Doctor Strange
Official Website(s): none; Benedict Cumberbatch page on Wikipedia
Fan Website(s): Cumberbatchweb, Benedict
On Fanlore: Related pages

Benedict Cumberbatch is a British actor beloved by fandom mainly for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the 2010s BBC series Sherlock.

He also appears as the dragon Smaug in the Hobbit films, as Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek Into Darkness, as Peter Guillam in the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the titular character in the MCU's Doctor Strange. He plays the young Rumpole of the Bailey from a series of radio plays of the same name in which Timothy West plays the older version of the character.


A fandom developed for the BBC radio comedy Cabin Pressure, in part, because he voices one of the roles: Captain Martin Crieff.

In RPF, he is frequently paired with his castmate in Sherlock and The Hobbit, Martin Freeman. However, on AO3, fics of Cumberbatch/Reader are even more common.

He is also a subject of tinhatting, as a contingent of his fans believe that his marriage and baby are fake.

His role as Doctor Strange makes him part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Interactions with fandom

In a 2012 MTV interview, Benedict said that Martin Freeman had introduced him to Tumblr and to slash of their Sherlock characters:

"I don't go seeking it, but Martin Freeman, who was an absolute luddite on the first series, suddenly came back from New Zealand having done a little radio short drama called "The Hobbit," he came back and he had this beautiful Mac [computer] with him and said 'Hey, look at this Tumblr.' And I said, 'What? Tumblr? What?' He knows more about it than I do and he was showing me some of them. Some of it is really racy, un-viewable even on MTV. It's cool.

I suppose my bodily proportions are quite flattering. I'm ripped, doing something I wouldn't normally do with my body, or having done to it, involving Watson. So that's as far as I'll hit about that one, but it's all there on the Web if you want to find it. I was amazed at the level of artistry; people have spent hours doing it. And there's some really weird cross breeding stuff that goes on. The news got out that I was playing Smaug in 'Hobbit' and suddenly there were lots of dragons with purple scarves flying around so it's crazy, it's crazy.[1]

Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch Meme

screencap of the original photoset, used with permission

There are a lot of Benedict Cumberbatch fans on Tumblr. Case in point: Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch. On March 19, 2012, the fan Redscharlach posted a photoset comparing several photos Benedict's expressions to photos of otters.[2]

This quickly garnered thousands of likes and reblogs and became its own meme, leading to comparisons of Martin Freeman to hedgehogs, Andrew Scott to rabbits, and so on.


A widespread meme even among non-fandom-specialized communities is the ability to mispronounce "Benedict Cumberbatch" in various absurd ways and still be understood.

While this meme has likely been around since the premiere of Sherlock in 2010,[3] it seems not to have gained much traction outside of Tumblr until 2013, probably due to Sherlock series two and the multiple popular movies Cumberbatch starred in in 2013 (Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County, The Desolation of Smaug).

In 2013, Tumblr user wandaventham published the Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator; later that year, Gretchen McCulloch at The Toast published an article explaining the linguistics of mangling Bonaparte Cumbercooch's name.

Examples include bonkyhort Cutiebunch (link now defunct); Bendydick Cumberslut; Bomberman Calamitysplat; Burntisland Cowdenbeath, "Blueberry Cabbagepatch", and a host of other variations.



Journal Communities:



  1. ^ Kara Warner (May 2, 2012). "Benedict Cumberbatch Flattered By Racy 'Sherlock' Fanfic". MTV News. Archived from the original on 2021-09-30. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch". Archived from the original on 2022-05-17. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  3. ^ The editor's own memories; receipts are more difficult to find