Four new episodes of Sherlock confirmed by BBC

News Louisa Mellor 2 Jul 2014 - 14:25

A Sherlock special, followed by a three-episode series four, have been officially confirmed by the BBC...

"Miss me?" #Sherlock, the hit drama, will return for a Special, followed by a series of three new episodes. #221back

That was the Tweet Sherlock fans worldwide had been counting down to ever since the BBC started the #221back hashtag last night. At precisely 2.21pm today, it was confirmed that not only would Sherlock be returning for series four, but also a special episode due to begin filming in January 2015 with filming on the series to follow later that year.

Steven Moffat called the four new episodes "a record-breaking run!!", with co-creator Mark Gatiss adding, "Series Four! At last! It's always special to return to 'Sherlock' but this time it's even more special as we're doing...a Special! Not only THAT, we'll then be shooting three more episodes which will take Sherlock and John Watson into deeper and darker water than ever before..."

Executive producer Sue Vertue said, “It’s taken a little while to get the dates sorted as none of the boys are exactly sitting back twiddling their thumbs but there was unanimous goodwill to make this work so we’re thrilled that 221b is going to be inhabited again.”

The game, as they say, is afoot...


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Happy Days!

All of the joy!

Wonderful news!

Big deal

brilliant but since each episode is sort of feature length specials, what will be special about the special?

So Martin Freeman was right about that Christmas Special! I assume that we will get the special at Christmas 2015 and that Series 4 will air at the beginning of 2016.

They should just stop. I'm not sure series 4 can recover with the almost parody that was Series 3. It was like watching a violent version of the Sarah Jane Adventures. I'm still annoyed that a) Sherlock murdered b) the silly Moriarty reveal and c) turn the plane around bit. Plus the "as if" Watson assassin wife, Sherlock getting shot and ... Oh everything really. Flamers? Medium rare please.

They'll wear Christmas jumpers.

Sherlock will have to solve a mystery involving some actual pigs in blankets.

You say that they should stop, and you are entitled to do so.
I posit, however, that they should not stop. The arrival of new episodes will make lots of people very happy, and those who were unsatisfied with the last batch are not obliged to tune in.

I do pay my license fee though. I would rather they spent the money on a new series of Duncan Dares or No Place Like Home.

Wheres that Richie guy gone?

More UK shows should be like this.

It is a well written, well acted, well produced, polished piece of television.

You can tell that time and effort goes into every episode and I can't for the boys to tackle the famous 'Santa Clause and the Case of the unexplained Reindeer' story.

Are you suggesting that inkwash doesn't, or that the bbc should only cater to your taste?

If it's a Christmas special maybe it'll be based on 'The Blue Carbuncle'.


I will happily send you a cheque for the portion of your license fee which funds the development of this series!

PS What's the worry about Sherlock killing someone?

Yes! Four episodes in a year! It'll be like Eastenders at this rate!

I would suggest you get medical treatment, but I don't think they can reverse lobotomies.

I'm not a big fan of this show, but I have to say it does show good will from them that they're making a special as well as a three-part series. They could easily have just kept it to the three, but they've acknowledged that people want it and instead of fleeing from it they're embracing it.

I doubt that - that'd just be a 4 episode series starting at Christmas. I would bet on season 4 being autumn 2015, then a break of a couple of months, then the Christmas show - I also doubt they would resolve the season 3 cliffhanger in a Christmas special - that'll be standalone surely?


If you can't see the worry, I can't explain it to you .

Not my taste, more an artistic taste. The American short hand is that Sherlock jumped the shark. This began in the last episode of series 2 when Andrew Scott discovered his character had been transformed from a shadowy master criminal working with a kind of Nolan sense of dramatic realism to the kind of bad guy who'd appear in an out and out fantasy. The scripts veered into smug self referential nods to the most rabid elements of the fan base who clapped their hands in delight and dutifully blogged their approval. But the jarring shifting of gears from mystery, to comedy to realism to farce to utter fantasy didn't work and I think over time will be commonly accepted as a failure. By breaking all of the rules he set up and giving in to almost fan fiction type whims the Moff did all this himself. Elementary, the USA series has to wear the creatively restrictive formulaic straight jacket of the American series genre but has managed to create far more realistic three dimensional characters than Elementary. Watching our dear old Watson having to react to the guff of Holmes return; his wife's laughable reveal as an assassin as well as Holmes getting shot? Well it was good practice for the Hobbit because it was about as realistic.

Spotted a typo I meant to say "more three dimensional characters than Sherlock"

Gosh. That Oscar Wilde style put down really put me in my place

You could have a go, couldn't you? Is it just a facet of the character you don't like?

John Watson killed someone in the very first episode.

Sherlock's fine!

I think you're wrong.If they were going to do that then they would likely film the series first, not the special as they are doing. Also the Xmas special would be much more standalone than "season 4 episode 1".

I agree that the special is not necessarily a Xmas thing, though. That said, I imagine it will be since Xmas is the usual time for specials and Freeman did say it the other day.

It wasn't as if Sherlock thought to himself 'Oh well, time to cap a motherfucker'; Magnussen very obviously pushed him to the absolute limits of his morality, and killing him was literally the only thing he could do to protect John and Mary.
Plus he had most of the civilised world by the balls with his knowledge and blackmailing skills, Sherlock did the world a massive favour.

I will not flame you - I salute you! The first series was ok, but it ran out of ideas in series 2. However, I don't think Sherlock should just stop. So far, the further it's gone on, the stupider it's got. The more episodes they make, hopefully, everyone will see it for the crap it is and stop touting Moffat as the genius he so obviously isn't. I won't be tuning in for Series 4 - they may get my licence fee but they won't get my viewing figures.

Something I still don't get on that point - how can you blackmail somebody when you don't actually have anything to blackmail them with? Magnussen might have had the knowledge but without any proof, I'd say the civilised world's balls were quite safe.

Magnussen had what appeared to be an eidetic or photographic memory, able to recall every piece of information he read about someone. He pretended to have a massive blackmail vault called 'Appledore', in which he stored files on every person of note, listing their various secrets, weaknesses, and skeletons in the closet.
In actuality, his position as a media mogul most likely gave him unprecedented access to thousands of people's lives, a position he used in tandem with his perfect recall abilities to blackmail his way through high society.

I feel it's necessary to recount most of the episode to you, as you were clearly shitfaced when you watched it first time around ;)

Lols! Exactly! But even if the plot had been tighter I still hated him murdering him in that way.

I wasn't keen, to be honest but the context was more self defence in that case. In both cases, but especially the last episode of Series 3 Sherlock lost. Was out thought. I don't like the moral ambiguity of it. The Irene Adler episode where (again in shark jumping territory) he rescues her and it implies he kills also disappointed but was so ridiculous I found it hard not to laugh really.

It's more than a facet. I find the heavy handed rudeness a facet to dislike, but like Hugh Laurie's House you forgive it. That he murders I find a betrayal of the character Doyle intended. The villain wasn't even that threatening. The recent news editor found ogioltu of phone hacking had a similar power. Would we justify murdering him? Of course not. Moff does like the short term pow of the shock value but rather dislikes dealing with the mess of the consequences. Dr who can regenerate himself (and the cast out these plot mishaps), it will be far harder for Sherlock Series 4. Watson is now the only character with any kind of emotional resonance and realistic credibility left and even that was eroded by the silly subplot of his assassin wife. I'm sure we're all waiting with baited breath for the third Holmes boy to pop up. Sigh.

You're arguing that your licence fee should only be spent on shows you enjoy. Which is rather like claiming that your tax money should only be spent on public projects you approve of.
Good luck with that. It's an impractical way to run a democracy.

You doubt that they will resolve the cliffhanger at Christmas? You do know that the production is headed by Stefan Moffat who also does Doctor Who. Doctor Who only resolves things at Christmas these days. All the post-2005 regenerations are at Christmas.
But the don't need to set it at Christmas because it airs at Christmas. Just like Iron Man 3 was a summer movie that took place around Christmas.

Best way to watch it. It might make sense then.

Mmm. Okay. :-)

I made a licence fee joke about Duncan Dares and no place like home and listed artistic criticisms of series 3 which makes any more undesirable. I don't remember telling the bbc not to make it. Commercially it makes sense but for reasons I've already described the law of diminishing returns is hitting Sherlock.

I don't remember discussing broader political capital spending...

You used Duncan Dares and No Place Like Home to set the artistic bar in your reply, think we might have differing opinions of what is artistic taste. Especially as Sherlock has widely been considered to be one of the best produced shows on British TV in recent years. While I agree there are some valid criticisms of the last series, one bad series doesn't mean they can't turn it around.
Elementary did have some interesting character developments. But series two was one hours worth of interesting development surrounded by 22 hours of pap (admittedly enjoyable pap).

Don't remember telling the BBC not to make it? Read the first sentence of your own post again.
And no, you didn't discuss capital expenditure, I brought it up as an analogy because the logic is the same. And, in my view, flawed.

I always did like no place like home.

A Christmas Special? If they are filming in 6 months time, then surely this would mean it would be ready for next Easter? Then we wait until Christmas / New years for series 4 - which I would imagine would be the last.

Any 'spooky' Holmes stories that could be a Halloween special? Just sick of Christmas specials.

I'm pretty sure they've announced that shooting for the Christmas special starts this coming January, with the remaining 3 episodes being shot later that year.
So Christmas special first.

Ah I wondered if that's where you were coming from, which was why I was interested. For me it seemed very much in character from Doyle. It is, in my reading at least, very much the situation with Moriarty in the Final Problem. Unable to outwit him, Holmes finally finds himself with the option to attempt to kill Moriarty in order to remove his evil influences from society. Holmes is positively cheerful about this approach in the note he leaves for Watson and, following this clear intent, goes onto to do just that, in killing Moriarty.
I also think it is worth noting that Holmes shows little compunction about killing in other stories. Whilst more indirect, he notes that his conscience won't be troubled by his role in the death in the Speckled Band and, elsewhere, Holmes also makes it clear that he would be happy to kill in revenge, if the character in question had gone through with his threat to kill Watson.
So, I don't think it's an unsupported reading (and thus certainly not a betrayal) to see Holmes as a character willing to kill.

Christmas Special:
The Doctor Who pattern continues to assert.

You have a point. But Moriarty is the yang to Holme's ying and as they plunge to their deaths it's almost like the solving an equation. There is also the self sacrifice aspect. Doyle was bullied into bringing him back and if he'd been left alone that would be that.
The villain of the week that Sherlock dispatches is hardly in the same league. In the short story Holmes restrains Watson from saving him, which is, I guess morally grey. My problem more than anything else is that I felt there was a kind of intellectual petulance in Sherlock killing him in the adaptation. Magnussen, after all was exposing a kind of hypocrisy in all of the characters he was blackmailing, and I didn't really feel that Watson's assassin wife deserved saving as she, by her own admission done some pretty appalling things.
I also loathed the Christmas with the Holme's family that was just so horribly written. Anyway. That's me done on Sherlock now. I've really enjoyed chatting about it. Thanks everyone!

You have to read more than the first sentence sometimes to get the full gist. It was quite clear that I was saying that they should stop for artistic reasons rather than they shoud stop because I said so. You're analogy makes no sense to what I was originally saying. There are a number of public projects supporting things that I might not necessarily be interested in but that doesn't mean that I don't support the getting funding for the greater good of the communit. Your clumsy comment on democracy is well clumsy. Still, it's a sunny day. I'm off out for a run!

I agree that there is a symmetry in the Final Problem but I'm not sure that impacts particularly on the central question of whether it is in or out of character for Holmes to be willing to kill.

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