Article and Photos by Annika Ahmed
CFM Contributor Annika Ahmed shares her experiences as one of “The Cumber Collective”
The Cumbercollective Comes to the TCAsFrom January 9, 2014 through January 23, 2014, the Television Critics Associations held their Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, CA. This press event spans two weeks and is held twice yearly, allowing television networks to showcase their current and upcoming projects, bringing forth their biggest stars to help promote them.Surprisingly enough, the first day of PBS’ press offerings, held on January 20th, brought forth nearly every journalist in town for the TCA’s Winter Press tour. Unsurprisingly, however, is the reason behind why this happened: the presence of rising star Benedict Cumberbatch on the “Sherlock” panel later that afternoon. Along with the show’s star, the panel also featured show co-creator Steven Moffatt, producer Sue Vertue, and new cast member, Amanda Abbington, playing the role of “Mary Morstan.”Of course, eager journalists were not the only ones excited about the day’s panel. News of Cumberbatch’s appearance spread like wildfire through social media, ensuring that a group of about 20-30 fans were camped outside the hotel for most of the day, some showing up as early as 6 AM for the chance to catch a glimpse of the actor.For the Cumbercollective, previously known as the Cumberbitches, this was par for the course, many of them having attempted to meet the actor many times before, with varying degrees of success. And as with any event like this, the probability of actually meeting anyone was slim to none; busy schedules, travel plans, and publicists usually putting the kibosh on any fan/actor interaction. However, word from the “Sherlock” panel filtered outside through Twitter, where Benedict Cumberbatch was quoted as saying he would be signing autographs for the fans outside as soon as his obligations were done.By the time 4:30 PM rolled around, many of the fans outside had been waiting for over ten hours, but when Benedict Cumberbatch came around and signed autographs and took pictures with everyone there, the waiting, all would say, was worth it.Giving weight to the adage, good things definitely come to those who wait.