‘Sherlock’ Bosses Tease A Darker (And Possible Final) Season Of The Benedict Cumberbatch Series

Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are talking about what fans can expect from the series, as the Season 4 premiere looms overhead. The Sherlock bosses promise a darker version of the themes seen in previous seasons, though Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will be back in their usual roles as Sherlock Holmes and his friend and partner, Dr. Watson. The Sherlock bosses go into depth about the story arcs from the coming season, as Benedict Cumberbatch and Freeman face a new threat from the world beyond.

Sherlock Bosses Answer “Will This Be The Final Season?”

Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman
'Sherlock' faces an uncertain fate, as Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman struggle to free up time to shoot more episodes. [Image by BBC Worldwide.]

Previously, Sherlock has teased Season 4 as a “story about to reach its climax” and, as Newsweek interviewed the series showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, that detail was at the top of the list, as far as questions for Season 4 are concerned. While that might have been a carefully chosen phrase to tease an exciting new story arc, many Sherlock fans are taking it to heart to mean that this would be the end of the series.

In response, Moffat says Season 3 of Sherlock had been assumed to be the end, but everyone involved in the series was still invested in going forward with another installment of Sherlock.

Likewise, Mark Gatiss says the actors and crew are all excited about carrying on with Sherlock. The problem lies with arranging everyone’s schedule in a way that will allow them to shoot the Sherlock episodes.

“It’s difficult,” Moffat says about getting Cumberbatch and Freeman on set at the same time. “It’s not impossible because we don’t need that much time from anyone. But it’s finding the right gap. If Benedict or Martin get a life changing film offer and it’s standing in opposition, not to Sherlock [as a whole], but to [season] three, four, five—you think, well, Sherlock ‘s done its job. It’s a tribute to their loyalty and to the vitality of show that they do it at all.”

Sherlock Will Go Dark With A Suspenseful New Mystery

Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are to face new villains and darker story arcs. [Image by BBC Worldwide.]

Talking with Entertainment Weekly, Mr. Moffat remarks that the light, jovial mood which the Sherlock lead characters experienced by the end of “The Abominable Bride” from Season 3 will be a short-lived euphoria. The Sherlock boss points to the fact that everything is going well for Holmes and Watson, but, as usually the case in real life, change is inevitable.

Before things go awry, Watson becomes a family man with Mary and their new baby, and deviating from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle source material, Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is happy for his friend and not at all jealous of Watson’s bride.

Moffat says things will change for them all, but only because it’s in their nature to seek out mystery and excitement.

“They’re all adrenaline junkies and that’s bound to go wrong,” says the Sherlock boss. “You can’t live your life like that and have it work out forever. There will be consequences for that. You know, it’s not a fairy tale. There will be a darker side for rest of the [season].”

While Sherlock fans are eager to know if Toby Jones will be brought back as Holmes’ famous nemesis, Professor Moriarty, Moffat suggests that particular villain has seen his last days, adding that there’s no suspense left in pitting Moriarty against Sherlock. He says there’s much more excitement in bringing out other, lesser-known, villains from the source material, as there’s more mystery and suspense to introducing villains who remain largely unknown to fans of the television adaptation.

“When you introduce a new villain there’s more mystery about them — what’s their point going to be? What are they up to? How is Sherlock is going to defeat them? You can’t have the Batman vs. The Joker every week, you get depressed when the arch-enemy never seems to notice that they always lose,” says the Sherlock co-creator. “It just becomes predictable. There’s a whole host of less-famous ones in the stories that have never been touched.”

The Season 4 premiere of Sherlock will air on January 1, 2017, on BBC.

[Featured Image by BBC Worldwide.]