Sherlock’s super awaited fourth series is set to land on our screens soon, and we’ve got all the deets to help quell your impatience. And what’s more, in the meantime, if you want to catch-up on the detective’s latest adventures, Sherlock series 3 is available to watch on demand!
What’s the deal?
If you’ve been living in a cave - or avoiding all screens for the past five years - welcome back! Sherlock is the BBC’s modern take on the famous detective’s story, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (do Google him) and Martin Freeman. The show’s had three, three-episode series so far, plus a Christmas special which aired last year. And it’s plain awesome. We all love Sherlock’s impatient, brilliant, totally socially awkward persona, his heart-breaking bromance with Dr Watson, and the show’s mind-boggling plotlines.
Fans have been dying to know when the next series is airing (series 3, like all the others, kinda ended on a cliffhanger) and so finally, they have their answer.
So. When IS it airing?
After a long wait (the last episode of the last series aired in January 2014!), the BBC has finally confirmed that the first episode of the fourth series will air on January 1st 2017. Hurray! That’s your new year’s day sorted.
But why did we have to wait so long?
The much touted explanation is that its two stars, Freeman and Cumberbatch, now have packed schedules and struggle to fit the show in. Both are however thoroughly committed to keep making it work - perhaps because Sherlock is what propelled them both to fame - and likely also because they look like they have such fun doing it.
So while Sherlock keeps on going, there are inevitably larger and larger delays between its seasons. After all, Martin Freeman commented in an interview in the Independent: “It's so intermittent. That's what for me makes it do-able.”
Okay. So what’s this new season going to be all about?
Well, we know that the first two episodes will be titled The Six Thatchers and The Lying Detective. These were both announced at a Sherlocked UK fan event in September.
There’s speculation that The Six Thatchers will be a loose adaptation of the original Arthur Conan Doyle short story The Adventure Of The Six Napoleons, which is all about a mysterious man smashing busts of the former emperor in search of a treasure hidden within.
The second episode, The Lying Detective, we know for sure will be based on the short story The Adventures Of The Dying Detective. In this one, Holmes pretends to be dying of a tropical illness in order to catch villain Culverton Smith (who was actually trying to kill him by infecting him with a disease.)
Toby Jones has been cast as Culverton Smith and the character is said to be the overall villain of the season. You can see him here taunting Sherlock in the teaser trailer…
The overall tone of the series seems to be darker, with show writer/producer Steven Moffat hinting at major changes for our beloved duo: “It’s dark in some ways… there’s a sense of… things… coming back to bite you. It’s not a safe, sensible way [for the characters] to live. It’s hilarious and exhilarating some days, but some days it’s going to be bloody frightening.”
But what about Moriarty?
Well, the villain is meant to have died a while back, but made a surprise televised appearance at the end of series 3. Sherlock does however say that Moriarty is dead - but also, confusingly, that he’s back, at the end of the Christmas special The Abominable Bride.
Our guess is as good as any, but we bet Moriarty either “did a Sherlock” and also staged his own death - or that he left a complex plan behind him, which would get set into motion if he died. And Culver Smith might be one of the actors making it happen. Or something like that.
The rumour mill
One of the biggest rumours surrounding the show is this picture. Yup, the internet went absolutely ballistic after it was posted during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The snap shows Mark Gatiss (who plays Mycroft, Sherlock’s brother), Amanda Abbington (who plays Mary, Watson’s wife) and Tom Hiddleston (swoon) and is captioned “blud”.
With hints in the show that the third Holmes brother might soon be making an appearance, speculations went wild as to whether Tom Hiddleston might be the man to play the part. Is this photo meant to be a hint?
Separately, given the dark tone of the teaser trailer, fans have also been left wondering whether they should expect a dramatic death, perhaps of Mary, or even of Mycroft.
Will this season be the last?
There have been indications that this series may be the last, and Benedict Cumberbatch has (rather unhelpfully) in turn fed and disproved those rumours: “It feels like the end of an era, to be honest,” he said in an interview in GQ, adding that the series “goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately.”
While that sounds rather final, the actor may have said more than he intended, because he later commented on BBC Radio 2 that "We won't be doing one immediately after this one airs. That's all I meant. We never ever say never on that show. We love doing it."
That’s all the dish we have on the new season for now, and we can’t wait! We don’t know about you, but until 1st January, we’ll be scrutinising Sherlock’s last few episodes for any further clues.
Find Sherlock in On Demand > Box Sets > Drama
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