‘Sherlock’ Season 5 Canceled? Benedict Cumberbatch Headlines New BBC One Drama

Sherlock Season 5’s fate is still up in the air. Although BBC One has yet to cancel it, the chances of Sherlock returning with Season 5 look bleak because of the busy acting schedules of its lead actors, including Benedict Cumberbatch. The actor, however, is returning to BBC One soon.

Benedict Cumberbatch is headlining BBC One’s new drama The Child in Time. Based on Ian McEwan’s award-winning novel of the same name, the one-off drama will see Sherlock actor playing the role of a successful children book author, Stephen Lewis, according to Deadline. Benedict Cumberbatch is also executive producing The Child in Time.

Julian Farino is directing the 90-minute drama from a script written by Stephen Butchard. Speaking of his new project, Benedict Cumberbatch said that he had read the book years ago and found it profound, moving and beautiful.

“I read the novel years ago and it stayed with me — profound, beautiful and very moving. Only Ian McEwan could write about loss with such telling honesty.”

In The Child in Time, Benedict Cumberbatch’s role is nowhere close to his quirky detective role in Sherlock. His character, Stephen Hill, will be seen struggling with an all-consuming grief after his daughter suddenly goes missing, according to the plotline.

“The film will explore the dark territory of a marriage devastated by the loss of a child. Her absence sets Stephen and his wife on diverging paths as both struggle with an all-consuming grief. With the passage of time, a balance of sorts returns, until hope surfaces and triumphs unexpectedly.”

Benedict Cumberbatch’s production house, SunnyMarch TV, and Pinewood Television will be producing the drama, and Masterpiece will be co-producing it.

Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton said that it would be a gratifying experience to co-produce Benedict Cumberbatch’s production house’s first television drama.

“[Materpiece] has been proud to showcase Benedict’s work for many years, and of course Sherlock has been a fantastic gift to our audience. To co-produce the first television drama out of his shop, SunnyMarch TV, with Pinewood Television is very gratifying.”

BBC One has yet to announce the release date for The Child in Time. Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch is currently filming The Current War, and later this year in November, he will be seen in Thor: Ragnarok. He is reprising his Doctor Strange‘s titular role in the Disney-Marvel movie.

When will he begin filming Sherlock Season 5? Not anytime soon, and probably never. With his burgeoning acting career and a second child on the way, the British actor might never have the time for the series.

(L-R) Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Amanda Abbington and Mark Gatiss at an event.
Sherlock Season 5 continue to be uncertain thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman's busy acting schedule. [Image by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images]

Sherlock Season 4, which premiered on January 1, concluded without a cliffhanger, and co-writer Steven Moffat said to Radio Times after the season finale that there is a possibility that there might be no Season 5 of Sherlock.

“If this was the last time – we’re not planning it, but it might be, it’s possible – we could end it there. We couldn’t have ended it on any of the previous series because they always ended up with whopping great cliffhanger”

In September 2016, Benedict Cumberbatch told GQ that Sherlock Season 4 might be the end of an era.

“It might be the end of an era. It feels like the end of an era, to be honest. It goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately.”

He also said that he would love to revisit the series, but it was unlikely to be possible in the immediate future.

“I’d love to revisit it, I’d love to keep revisiting it, I stand by that, but in the immediate future we all have things that we want to crack on with and we’ve made something very complete as it is, so I think we’ll just wait and see. The idea of never playing him again is really galling.”

And if all the actors involved agree to do three more feature-length episodes and BBC One decides to greenlight Sherlock Season 5, the series would be returning to its factory setting, and Sherlock and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman), as expected, would be seen solving crimes, according to Moffat.

[Featured Image by John Phillips/Getty Images]