Sherlock Season 5: Will The Series Return? Here's What To Expect

This article contains spoilers from the fourth season of Sherlock. Read on at your own risk.

The fourth season of BBC's acclaimed show Sherlock ended this Sunday. And while the season finale also tasted like a series finale, one of the show's creators and writers, Steven Moffat, says that he would very much want to make a fifth season with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, although he can't say for sure if he will. Moffat spoke of his plans during BFI's special screening of the season finale, titled "The Final Problem."

"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. We couldn't have it ended it on any previous series because they always ended on walloping, great cliffhangers."
Sherlock season 5 rumors
A promotional picture for the season finale of Sherlock [Image by BBC]

And what Moffat has said is very much true. All of the acclaimed series' previous seasons have ended with tantalizing cliffhangers. The end of Season 1 introduces Sherlock's arch-rival and one of the show's most mesmerizing characters, Jim Moriarty. Season 2 ends with Moriarty killing himself and Sherlock jumping from a building, also presumably killing himself. Season 3 ends with a mysterious message from the presumably dead Moriarty, which forces Mycroft to abandon plans of exiling Sherlock. The finale of Season 4, however, while answering a lot of questions from the earlier seasons, leaves the viewer with sort of a complacent message, the type that is characteristic of an end to a movie or a TV show. This, so much so that should the show actually return with new episodes that are anything less than spectacular, a massive amount of viewers are sure to be detached from the show.

But fans will be fans, and many are hopeful that the show will return with spectacular new stories. Moffat has made similar comments before, saying in July that the show could very well end but he wouldn't be surprised if it returned for a fifth season.

"I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show. But it absolutely could be."
Sherlock Season 5
Behind the scenes (Season 4). [Image by BBC]

Much of this uncertainty for Sherlock's future comes from the busy schedule of the show's two main actors, the talented Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Both Freeman and Cumberbatch have enjoyed massive success in Hollywood, having made box office hits such as The Hobbit and Doctor Strange. And with offers pending for both actors, not to mention the ongoing projects, it's only natural to assume that the TV show that started it all will be hanging it up at the end of its fourth season. But speaking in a recent interview, Benedict Cumberbatch said that he can see himself doing more episodes in the future if all works out well.

"We love doing the show and all I'll say about it is that we're all very busy… For now, it's not going to happen again at the same regularity that it has been happening. But we'll see, we'll never say never and when it's right, and if it's right, we'll do more."
When asked the same question, Martin Freeman said that he believes the fans need to be more patient, enjoy what they have now and let the future work itself out.
"Truly, I don't know how long it will go on. But these days we want everything yesterday, we're never sated, we want what's next, what's next, what's next. And I think, 'Wow, there's hours of telly you haven't watched yet,' you know? So let's just enjoy them."
The finale for the fourth season, while attracting the least audience in the show's history at less than 6 million, definitely answered most of the show's earlier questions. One can speculate anything after that episode, my personal favorite being the idea that Moriarty shot himself because Eurus "programmed" him to. But will we be seeing more of our favorite Detective and Doctor duo? Was that what the ending of the finale was trying to suggest or was that merely an emotional goodbye by the show to its fans? One can tell by looking at the show's broadcast history, that it will not be returning in 2018. But 2019 maybe? Like Freeman suggests, let the future sort it all out.

[Featured Image by Facebook/Sherlock]