Sherlock Holmes is coming back, and not just to television screens. A new 40-second teaser trailer for the BBC’s Sherlock television series is live on Masterpiece PBS’s Youtube. The trailer contains brand new footage of the fourth season of the series, which premieres January 1, 2017, on PBS Masterpiece Theater in America and on BBC One in the United Kingdom.
— Sherlock (@Sherlock221B) October 26, 2016
The Sherlock trailer heavily emphasizes the presence of the new villain Culverton Smith, portrayed by veteran actor Toby Jones. Culverton Smith appears in the original Sherlock Holmes stories in “The Adventure of the Dying Detective.” In it, Sherlock Holmes intentionally contracts an illness in order to prove the guilt of Mr. Smith in the death of his nephew. The thrill-seeking nature of Sherlock Holmes is on display in the story, hewing close to Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the character as well.
Smith isn’t the only nod to the original stories in the new series. Earlier this year, the titles of the first and second episodes were revealed by the BBC. The Sherlock Season 4 premiere is titled “The Six Thatchers,” which references the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.” In that story, Sherlock aids Detective Lestrade in discovering the motive behind a man who is smashing up plaster casts of the French conqueror. The second episode is titled “The Lying Detective,” undoubtedly a reference to the aforementioned Sherlock Holmes story in which Culverton Smith appears.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) October 26, 2016
The title of the last episode is sure to draw plenty of speculation. Entertainment Weekly reported yesterday that the Sherlock Season 4 finale is titled “The Final Problem.” The episode shares its title with that of the infamous short story in which Sherlock’s rival, Professor Moriarty, is introduced. The story concludes with both men plummeting to their alleged deaths at Reichenbach Falls.
Sherlock has already done a version of the character’s death and resurrection—the Sherlock Season 2 finale is even titled “The Reichenbach Fall”—so the Season 4 finale title might, as Radio Times speculates, refer to some of Moriarty’s living assistants. (Sherlock’s Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott, was confirmed dead by last year’s Christmas special, “The Abominable Bride.”) There’s no confirmation on who wrote “The Final Problem,” but BAFTA-nominated director Ben Caron posted a Sherlock slate on his Instagram in late June, which strongly suggests him as the director.
Rachel Talalay directed “The Six Thatchers,” which, per the BBC’s official summary page, was written by Mark Gatiss, while Nick Hurran is the director of “The Lying Detective.” Hurran also directed the Sherlock Season 3 finale “His Last Vow.” Both directors are veterans of Doctor Who, and Talalay has also directed for the CW’s DC Comics television series such as The Flash and Arrow.
Entertainment Weekly’s report on the title also includes some grand cinematic news. For the second time in the show’s history, Sherlock will be screening in movie theaters in the United States. Sherlock‘s fourth season finale “The Final Problem” will screen in select theaters on January 16 and 18. Tickets went on sale on December 9.
BBC Worldwide North America and Fathom Events are teaming up for the special event; in addition to bringing Doctor Who episodes to theaters for the past three years, they’ve also brought Sherlock‘s Christmas special “The Abominable Bride” to theaters last year (and again earlier this year). In addition to the finale, the event will also feature 15 additional minutes of Sherlock extras.
Are you excited for Sherlock‘s return?
[Featured image by BBC]