Fourth season of Sherlock may be last

Sherlock season 4 photoThe next season of Sherlock may possibly be its final one, according to showrunner Steven Moffat.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Moffat discussed the future of the hit BBC adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. He admitted being “amazed” that they were able to film the season while fitting into the hectic schedules of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who have been enjoying tremendous success in their film careers. Both were part of The Hobbit trilogy with Freeman playing the title character. Now, they are both involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Freeman having appeared in Captain America: Civil War and Cumberbatch starring as the title character in the upcoming Doctor Strange.

Moffat said:

“I don’t know how long we can keep it going. I’m personally willing but I’m hardly the main draw. I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show. But it absolutely could be.”

Each season of Sherlock consists of three feature-length episodes, focusing on various cases of the renowned consulting detective. The third season aired in 2014 and a Victorian-era Christmas special called The Abominable Bride aired on New Year’s Day this year. Sherlock was nominated for 6 Emmy’s last week.

Discussing the format of the series and the schedules of its stars, Moffat added:

“We do have two film stars in the programme. They haven’t needed to do these jobs for a very long time. They’re coming back because they want to.
“I’m amazed that we’ve got this far. I thought that once they had become extremely successful, we would only get to do one more series.
“There’s never going to come a time when we do a longer run, because this is what the series has become. It’s an occasional treat where you get three movies. It’s how it works.”

A new promotional image for the fourth season was just released, with Sherlock posing beside a bloodhound. Toby Jones was also announced as the villain for the upcoming season. Speaking about the source material for this season, Moffat said:

“There are stories that we are making use of in different ways. We’re using stories that people don’t know so much. Now we are getting into equally good, but far less well known, Conan Doyle stories.”

And while this may be the last season of Sherlock for a while, this is by no means the end, according to Moffat. Even with the actors’ busy schedules, the show may continue even several years later. Moffat commented:

“That’s why I think it’s unlikely that we’ve completely finished it. There would be nothing strange in stopping for a while. It could go on forever, coming back now and again.”

Moffat and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss will be at San Diego Comic Con to promote the show.

Sherlock season 4 will air in 2017.

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