Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC’s hit series “Sherlock,” is his own one-man Beatle. A fan club called “The Cumberbitches” has formed, comprised of 37,000 members and obsessively dedicated to, in their words, the “high-cheekboned, blue-eyed sex bomb.”
Though Cumberbatch has been slowly rising to prominence — with supporting roles in 2011’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “War Horse,” the roles of the Necromancer and Smaug in the upcoming “Hobbit” films, and even a rumored villain part in “Bond 24” — it’s “Sherlock” that has boosted him into the heartthrob stratosphere. The show resituates the classic Conan Doyle character as a tech-whiz wise in the modern-elementary ways of texting and GPS. His ambiguous sexuality is also highlighted, especially opposite Martin Freeman’s Watson in the first episodes of Season 1.
The Cumberbitches have their own Twitter, Facebook page and multiple Tumblrs. The group has even reappropriated internet memes to fit their Cumberbatch love: For example, the hashtag “first world problem” is substituted with “Cumberbitch problem.”
When asked about the specific appeal of Cumberbatch, bestselling author and Cumberbitch member Alexandra Sokoloff attributes it to the nerd factor, saying that Cumberbatch winningly doesn’t share either “George Clooney’s rugged handsomeness or Brad Pitt’s chiseled features.” (Despite the group’s “high cheekboned” creed.) Also: the name. “We know what he must have gone through with that name, and now that he’s come out of it, it’s Revenge of the Nerds and Revenge of the Geeks.”
Cumberbatch himself is aware of the Cumberbitches, and inclined to agree with Sokoloff’s assessment: “I wish my 15-year-old [self] had known about my allure to the opposite sex!”
“Sherlock” Season 3 reportedly begins filming in early 2013.