A fifth series of Sherlock is no closer to fruition than it was back in 2014, when co-creator Steven Moffat said that he and longtime writing pal Mark Gatiss had planned out the bones of it in the first stages of series 4. Now that series 4 is more than two years in the rear-view, is it time to give up on the possibility of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman coming back to reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson? Not necessarily.
“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,” Freeman explained in a new interview with Collider. “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 feels that series 4 pretty much left everyone involved with Sherlock in a holding pattern, at the very least:
“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.”
But the actor also says they haven’t closed the door on more Sherlock:
“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.”