We’ve got our first official look at Sherlock series four! An image for the perennially hiatused show was released today, along with an interview with show co-creator Steven Moffat, which hints at some not-so fun information.
While fairly innocent, Sherlockians have grabbed on to the above image and are already putting their sleuthing skills to use. We already know Sherlock had an affinity to dogs at some point (namely: his mysterious childhood pet Redbeard), but the bloodhound here is likely a means to an end rather than a personal companion. In the Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Creeping Man, Holmes mentions “the uses of dogs in the work of the detective”, and Watson refers to bloodhounds as “sleuth-hounds” in response. Or, perhaps Sherlock is training a replacement Watson, should the latter become unavailable due to his impending fatherhood. The last piece of news we’ve heard regarding Sherlock‘s fourth series is currently the only piece of news we have: that Toby Jones would be playing a villain (who might be Culverton Smith from The Adventure of the Dying Detective).
In regard to the show’s future, the climate is equally uncertain. We have known for quite some time that due to the actors’ burgeoning schedules, hiatuses would become the norm, but that all parties involved were interested in seeing the characters develop as they aged.
Moffat’s latest comments ring a little more bleak, however.
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.
However, series stars Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch still remain dedicated. Moffat added that if the actors could not commit to another season, they would be willing to revisit the show in the future.
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…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.
The production team could be preparing us for an even longer hiatus to come: not counting this January’s special The Abominable Bride, the current break will reach three years by next January, the longest yet. Series four will likely air at the start of 2017, however, so we know the gap won’t be much longer than that.