If one thing’s certain, it’s that the future of BBC’s Sherlock is anything but clear. When it first premiered all the way back in 2010, the series – which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman – garnered critical acclaim for its writing, visual design, and strong direction from creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, both of whom are well-known for their work on another BBC show: Doctor Who.
But despite a massive fanbase and soaring popularity, the series began to trip over itself. While the first three seasons were praised by most, the fourth didn’t enjoy the same success, thanks in part to a finale which many argue was convoluted, contrived, and poorly written. That being said, despite the most recent season’s stumbles, fans have been clamoring for the show to return. Unfortunately, however, things aren’t as simple as they seem, and the BBC itself still won’t confirm whether a fifth season is on the horizon.
As ScreenRant notes, the biggest problem that’s preventing a return to form seems to be scheduling. Series star Benedict Cumberbatch has a number of projects in the works, most notably, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is scheduled to release in 2021.
On the other hand, Martin Freeman (another MCU star, who appeared in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther as Everett K. Ross) has a couple of movies due out later this year, including The Operative and Ode to Joy. Worse yet, it looks like Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are equally busy with their upcoming Dracula miniseries.
“Supposing their schedules align in the near future once they have completed all their big projects, Sherlock season 5 could be released in 2022 at the earliest,” writes ScreenRant. “Another detail that could potentially push the release date back is BBC’s schedule, as they certainly wouldn’t want Sherlock to take the attention away from their other projects. If lucky, Sherlock could be back in 2022-2023 with the main stars and its two co-creators as intended.”
So far, it doesn’t look like a fifth season of Sherlock is out of the realm of possibility, though the biggest hurdle seems to be finding enough free time for the show’s main players to come together and work on it. In other words, we wouldn’t hold our breath for now, but if any updates should arise, we’ll be sure to let you know.