The Cast of Sherlock in Season 4

Will ‘Sherlock’ Season 4 Episode 3 Be Its Last? Season 5 May Never Happen, Creator Suggests

Sherlock Season 4 concluded on Sunday night, with the season well received by both critics and fans. With that in mind, it would be easy to assume that the BBC would want to renew Sherlock for a fifth season. However, the show’s creator, Steven Moffat, has suggested that may never happen. Whilst the most recent three-episode run has been airing on television, Moffat, who also serves as showrunner for Doctor Who, has been discussing the future of the show with reporters.

According to Den of Geek, Moffat described the show’s most recent episode as “a very, very finale finale.” Whilst Moffat’s words are somewhat cryptic, they suggest that he personally has no plans for further episodes of Sherlock beyond Season 4. What’s more, Moffat’s comments echo those of star Benedict Cumberbatch, who cast doubt over the show’s future last year, saying, “It might be the end of an era. It feels like the end of an era, to be honest… we all have things that we want to crack on with and we’ve made something very complete as it is.”

Furthermore, sources within the BBC appear to be preparing for Sherlock to at least take a break. According to the Radio Times, a “well-placed BBC source” confirmed that there definitely won’t be any new episodes of Sherlock next January. However, given there have previously been at least two years between Sherlock seasons, that not a huge surprise.

Ultimately, information about Sherlock’s future appears to be pretty muddled and following a press screening for “The Final Problem” in London, Moffat still failed to clarify the situation. According to Deadline, when asked about the show’s future, he replied by saying, “If this is the last time — and I’m not planning on it to be, but it might be — it is possible that we could end it [with this episode]. We couldn’t have ended it on any of the previous series because there was what have been great cliffhangers.”


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Sherlock was created by Steven Moffat, alongside Mark Gattis. Moffat is best known as the current showrunner of the immensely popular BBC sci-fi drama Doctor Who. Gattis also works under Moffat as a writer for Doctor Who, whilst juggling an acting career, making appearances in high profile shows like Game of Thrones.

Sherlock has always faced difficulties when it comes to scheduling, not only because of the busy schedules of Moffat and Gattis, but also the show’s leading stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who play Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson. Alongside their work on Sherlock, both Cumberbatch and Freeman are movie actors, which is why the series has only aired inconsistently in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017, with one special episode airing on January 1, 2016.

What’s more, the most recent season of Sherlock consisted of just three episodes, thought to be because of scheduling conflicts. The show’s main star Benedict Cumberbatch most recently played the main character in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, but is perhaps best known for his role in The Imitation Game.

Freeman, on the other hand, is best known for his role as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy, which concluded in 2015.

If Steven Moffat and fellow creator Mark Gattis do decide to go ahead with Sherlock Season 5, they may instead choose to recast the roles of Holmes and Watson in order to prevent scheduling delays. On the other hand, Season 4 Episode 3 might have been the last fans will ever see of Sherlock.

[Featured Image by BBC America]