If the fourth season of Sherlock is really remembered as its last, blame scheduling.
Since “The Final Problem” premiered almost six months ago, the show’s immediate future has been the topic of heated debate online, as viewers deliberate over what’s next for Benedict Cumberbatch’s eponymous sleuth beyond 2017. A fifth season has been floated numerous times in the past, but it’s “at least two years away,” according to series stalwart Andrew Scott (Moriarty).
That’s largely because of Cumberbatch’s (and indeed Martin Freeman’s) stacked slate, but there’s also the very real concern that series showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss will become too tied up with other TV projects. Case in point: Dracula, a new take on Bram Stoker’s horror classic that has already set up shop at BBC America. All of this has led many to believe that Sherlock has been placed on an indefinite hiatus, which is something Gatiss addressed while appearing on UKTV podcast A Stab in the Dark (via Digital Spy).
Gatiss, who plays the part of Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft, began by stressing that the current air of uncertainty swirling over the hit BBC drama is not for lack of trying. Said he: “It’s not lack of will – it’s a nightmare to schedule.”
It was very, very hard to schedule the last series, because of Martin [Freeman] and Benedict [Cumberbatch]’s availability. And Steve [Moffat]’s and mine. There is always that Fawlty Towers principle of, ‘Let’s just leave it’. We’ve had the keys to Baker Street for a while, but one of the wonderful things is that they’re always shared. They were shared while we were making it. There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘That was our version, [now] somebody out there go and do their version’.
Truth be told, Sherlock fans are well conditioned to long intervals between each new season, but if nothing else, Gatiss’ comments suggest that Baker Street may shut its doors for a longer period of time before all involved reunite for that fabled season 5. Perhaps Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss will deliver another festive-themed spinoff in the vein of “The Abominable Bride” between now and Sherlock‘s next outing? Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this one as the story develops.
Next up for Benedict Cumberbatch is the back-to-back punch of The Current War and Avengers: Infinity War, while Martin Freeman also has a role in the latter conflict as U.S. State Department employee, Everett Ross.