It’s been two and a half years since Sherlock was on our screens, and ever since we’ve been told much the same thing from those involved with the show: don’t expect any more for a while. As time has gone on, we’ve understood that they really mean that. In fact, the latest word on the series’ future comes from Doctor Watson himself, Martin Freeman, who thinks that a fifth season shouldn’t happen unless it’s “really, really special.”
While speaking with Collider to promote his new movie Ode to Joy, Freeman was asked if there’d been any recent discussions between the cast and the crew about Sherlock season 5. The actor admitted that there hadn’t been due to how busy everyone is, and also explained the following:
“They’re few and far between, the discussions about Sherlock, just because Mark [Gatiss] and Steven [Moffat], the writers, and Benedict [Cumberbatch] and I, are all lucky enough to be not only working on stuff that we like and are interested in, but we know what Sherlock is. You don’t look that gift horse in the mouth ‘cause that sort of stuff doesn’t happen very often, in someone’s life. It’s a huge, huge, worldwide hit, and way beyond anything we could’ve imagined.”
Freeman went on to say that there’s no hurry to make more as season 4 left things on a note that allowed them to take some time away, if not end the series for good.
“The way the story went, in the last series, felt like, if not a full stop, then certainly a semi-colon or an ellipses. It felt like a pause. It didn’t feel like something where we could just pop up the next year and go, ‘Hey, folks, we’re back.’ It felt a bit more momentous than that. Not final, necessarily, but the truth is that I don’t know because me and Ben don’t write it. I’m a huge believer in stopping doing something when you want to. If you’ve said what you want to say, get off the stage, and really have the guts to leave it. I don’t know if it’s more they want to say.”
Fans will remember that season 4 concluded with a reset of Sherlock and John’s lives, with the dynamic duo splitting their time between solving mysteries and raising John’s baby Rosie with the help of their friends. That’s why Freeman is holding out for something “special” before he pushes for a Sherlock return.
“If it’s something really special, and if it’s something really meaty and interesting, then I think we’d all be open to that. Sherlock always sounds a bit like an event, anyway. We did three episodes [each season]. Albeit they were long episodes. They were 90-minute episodes, but they were quite few and far between, by television standards. Normally, you’re looking at 10 or eight episodes. We did relatively few, even though there was a lot of material. It always felt like an event, so if we do more, it has to be worthy of that. We couldn’t come back with something that was quite good. It would have to feel really, really special. It was that kind of show.”
If we won’t see Freeman and Cumberbatch reunite on Sherlock in the near future, then maybe we’ll see it in the MCU instead. The former’s just confirmed he’s returning for Black Panther 2, while Cumberbatch will star in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As for the show’s creators, Moffat and Gatiss have just wrapped on their upcoming Dracula series for BBC/Netflix.
What do you think of Freeman’s comments, though? Should a Sherlock season 5 happen? Sound off in the usual place, Sherlockians.