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The First SHERLOCK Series 4 Image is Here But Could Be the Last

Few things make us happier than the realization that we’re getting more Sherlock as early as January 2017. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman‘s take on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson quickly became one of the go-to depictions of the iconic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle characters, thanks to co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat‘s creative and tricky storytelling abilities. But all stories must end, and according to Moffat, there’s a decent (though in NO way confirmed) chance this fourth iteration of the detective duo may be their last.


Speaking with The Telegraph, Moffat explained that he “thought that once [Cumberbatch and Freeman] had become extremely successful, we would only get to do one more series.” But it is the actors’ love of the characters and the fans that has kept the series so afloat. “They haven’t needed to do these jobs for a very long time. They’re coming back because they want to.”

As Freeman and Cumberbatch’s star power continues to rise, however, the likelihood of additional seasons becomes increasingly slim. “I don’t know how long we can keep it going,” stated Moffat, who also said he’s willing to keep it going, though he knows it’s not about him. “I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show. But it absolutely could be.”

He still has hope, though, adding that, “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.”

Which may be exactly what we’re getting in series four, considering all the recent set images we’ve seen on other sites with Sherlock looking all sorts of scruffy. And there’s a veritable smorgasbord of stories from which to choose the duo’s next adventure—particularly the lesser known ones, which is the territory into which series four will tread. Lesser known stories that could, possibly, help answer to the biggest mystery of all: what the hell is up with James Moriarty? Is that MFer dead or what?!

Well! We’re heading into spoilerville here, but: In a new image released on Tumblr by episode one director Rachel Talalay depicting the crew gift she had made, a bloodhound and a shark are shown circling one another. And guess who just so happened to be nicknamed “The Shark” in the Conan Doyle stories? Oh, you know, that dude we know as Moriarty. Could he be returning at last, officially, finally?! The question feels elementary to next season’s adventure.


Talalay expressed difficulty in coming up with swag ideas because, “most ideas are spoilers, so I had to have permission to use keywords that were producer-approved.” So, again, we can’t help but wonder: is Moriarty actually not dead? And will we see him in season four? THE MIND, IT REELS!

Needless to say, I’ll be sure to bring this up with Moffat when he’s on our Nerdist TV panel at SDCC on Thursday, July 21st (RSVP here or here) and at the Nerdist and Geek & Sundry Conival interview Saturday, July 23rd! 

What do you think about the future of Sherlock? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: BBC

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist and creator/co-host of Fangirling. Find her on Twitter—no detective skills necessary!

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