Arriving via PBS Masterpiece/BBC, this announcement brings both the US and UK premiere dates in line with one another, which ought to minimize the risk of spoilers leaking onto the interwebs. What’s more, news comes in hand-in-hand with a new teaser image, showcasing Holmes’ prized violin resting against a wall. Could its broken string be a sign of a fractured protagonist? We’ll find out in due time.
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Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch is back as prickly arrogant sleuth Sherlock Holmes, starring opposite literal partner-in-crime Martin Freeman, who is back on board to portray John Watson – the calm yin to Holmes’ yang. Such is the stacked nature of both Cumberbatch and Freeman’s slates, it’s little wonder why there has been talk that season 4 will go down as the final outing for Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ detective series, with Cumberbatch teasing 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. 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.”
Whatever the case, “The Six Thatchers” will be followed up with “The Dying Detective,” and fans have speculated that the residents of 221b Baker Street will spend much of season 4 going toe-to-toe with the devious Culverton Smith (Toby Jones).
Promising “laughter, tears, shocks, surprises and extraordinary cases,” Sherlock season 4 will arrive via BBC One/Masterpiece on January 1, 2017. As with previous stints, it’ll run for three episodes in total, but if this really is to be the show’s swan song, what do you hope to see? Let us know in the usual spot down below.