‘Sherlock’ returns for a full series for the first time in nearly three years on New Year’s Day – but the growing Hollywood success of its chief stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman means that the new fourth series could be the last.

That is, at least, according to the BBC One drama’s co-creator Mark Gatiss, who told reporters at a recent screening that while everybody involved was enthusiastic to make more episodes, the increasing difficulty of getting them in the same place at the same time was placing the future of ‘Sherlock’ in jeopardy.


“We would love to do more, but we’re genuinely not lying this time, we absolutely don’t know,” Gatiss told journalists and fans at a screening of the new series’ first episode. “It’s up to all kinds of factors, scheduling. Willingness to do it is all here, but we are just not sure.”

40 year old Cumberbatch made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Doctor Strange earlier this year, and he’s due to reprise the superhero character in two more upcoming films, Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War.

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Freeman had long been a star in Britain, but his international profile rocketed after starring in ‘Sherlock’ in 2010, becoming the lead actor in The Hobbit trilogy subsequently. Furthermore, Gatiss and co-creator Steven Moffat also have other things on their plate, namely fellow BBC One show ‘Doctor Who’ for which Moffat is the current showrunner.

Moffat himself interjected after Gatiss had finished, with another, even darker teaser. “Who’s to say if all the characters make it out alive of this series? You’ve not seen the last episode yet so anything could happen.”

Nooo!! Don’t kill Sherlock! 2016’s been bad enough, don’t start 2017 like this!

The first episode of ‘Sherlock’ series four, titled ‘The Six Thatchers’, airs on BBC One at 9pm on January 1st.

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