It’s been a long wait for fans of Sherlock, with hopes for a fifth season lingering over the four years since the fourth run ended. Benedict Cumberbatch has recently commented on talk of a return for the series, with it still seeming to be a possibility, albeit if his busy schedule can be organized to fit in shooting. And co-star Martin Freeman has now added his thoughts on the subject, and looks to be in agreement with his fellow actor.
Discussing his FX series Breeders, Freeman had this to say:
“Yeah, I think it is possible. It might be more likely, yeah. I think we’ve all left it so that it’s not a full stop, it’s just a big ellipsis or a big pause. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to say, ‘Oh, it’s a full stop.’ I’m not sure. To be honest, I’m a big believer in not going past your sell by date, in anything, really. Don’t outstay your welcome. So, I suppose we would have to see if we have outstayed our welcome, when the time comes, and whether people have moved on to something else. So, I don’t know. I really liked doing it. I’m very proud of the show. It’s one of the best written things I’ve done. It’s one of the best directed things I’ve done. I really enjoy doing it, but I don’t know. It’s been awhile now. It’s four years since a new one was on. So, yeah, maybe the more likely thing is a one-off.”
It does appear that the star is more cautious about bringing Sherlock back, especially if the result is a dip in quality. The difficulty of getting the cast together to produce the existing episodes was such that we only received thirteen stories between 2010 and 2017, making it an occasional treat rather than a semi-regular staple of the BBC’s output like Doctor Who.
As with Cumberbatch’s suggestion of a movie as one way to go with Sherlock, the standalone special idea is something that’s been brought up in the past, and used on a few occasions by the production team to get around long gaps in filming. Indeed, what’s more encouraging for audiences is that no one ever really rules out Sherlock coming back, even in a limited form, although the continuing success of Cumberbatch and Freeman’s careers does make it a challenge.
As well as his role as Dr. John Watson, Freeman turned up within the MCU as part of Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther, while also steadily working on other television projects, including Breeders and crime drama A Confession. Though Sherlock seems to have been a positive experience for the performer, any comeback may now have to be patient for several more years, or at least until its two leads have a decent stretch of time to commit to appearing together again.