‘Sherlock’ Readies Return, But Is It The End?

By December 21, 2016

There is a mystery that might be enough to stump even Sherlock Holmes. Is this upcoming fourth season the end of Sherlock on BBC and PBS?

Benedict Cumberbatch says yes. Showrunner and co-creator Steven Moffat tells Entertainment Weekly the actor was misquoted. And now co-star Martin Freeman says it could be it, too.

So what is the fate of Sherlock? One thing seems for sure: Unlike past seasons, this one has a finale – which will be featured in movie theaters – that is far more conclusive, and without a major cliffhanger.

That’s probably what had Cumberbatch talking about the “end of an era” in the first place.

Season 4 “goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately. We never say never on the show. 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.”

Martin Freeman, who plays sidekick Dr. John Watson, agrees that it would be sad to not continue the series. But then again, all good things …

Life does sometimes have a way of telling you, ‘This is probably it now.’

“This last [season] did have a feeling of – I don’t know whether it has a finality to it – but it certainly had a feeling of pause. It definitely had a feeling of that.

“And I am never ever afraid of things ending. I mean I am not looking forward to life ending or love ending, but things that we make should end.”

Moffat, however, wants to make sure no one believes this fourth season will indeed be the last. In fact, he tells EW’s James Hibberd that debunking this talk has become “exhausting for us all.”

“That’s not what Benedict said. That’s what someone edited his words into the meaning of. It seems to be impossible these days not to be misquoted. He was quite specific about being keen to carry on.

“He went on to say [it’s] hard to get us all together. We want to keep the quality up. We haven’t seen this [season air] yet. We don’t know. We haven’t sat down with the intent to [do] anything yet. 

“But we’re always aware that it could be over.”

With Cumberbatch’s film career blowing up, and Freeman’s really not that far behind, the time between seasons has gradually grown larger and larger for Sherlock. When the fourth season premieres Jan. 1, it will be the first non-holiday special of the show to air since Feb. 2, 2014.

And in case you missed the clue in the previous paragraph, Sherlock debuts its next episode, “The Six Thatchers,” on New Year’s Day on both BBC and PBS.


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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.