'Sherlock 4' may have a 2016 time stamp on it


***Caution: Sherlock 3 spoilers ahead***

It’s been a whirlwind month both in the UK and America. What fans of brilliant telly (im)patiently waited two years for is now over. What took a mere 12 days to play out on BBC One was stretched to a lengthy 14 days on PBS. Sherlock 3 is done. It’s like the parrot in the Monty Python sketch. It’s no more. It has ceased to be. While it will live forever on DVD’s and on peoples DVR’s, it has gone to meet the choir invisible.

Unlike the parrot, however, it’s just resting. There will be a Sherlock 4. When it will awaken, no one knows at this point. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the particulars in front of and behind the camera are not only brilliant at what they do, they are in high demand. One needs to look no further than the names of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss to understand why it took two years between series 2 and series 3 to produce the telly gold we all witnessed at the beginning of January.

Sherlock and Moriarty together again in Sherlock 4?

Even if the reports are true that both Moffat and Gatiss have begun to not only plan series 4 but to have also plotted out a series 5 storyline, there is an overwhelming amount of pre-production that needs to take place and schedules to work out. With everyone’s endless dedication to quality, we could be looking at early 2016 before we see how Sherlock will handle Moriarty after returning from his 6-month exile to Eastern Europe which actually lasted about 4 minutes.

In reality, each Sherlock episode is like a mini-movie. This isn’t your average bit of television even though it’s on the small screen. These are feature quality. Imagine trying to do three James Bond films in two years. Will never happen. That’s why, as hard as it will be to admit, I understand that it may be early 2016 before we see the next installment of Sherlock. Besides the logistical issues that exist, the schedules of both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are just north of crazy. Freeman is set to star in FX’s forthcoming series, Fargo and Cumberbatch is rumored to be a possibility for a part in a very time-intensive Star Wars: Episode 7 production. As great as that would be, it would only drive a nail in any possibility of a 2015 return of Sherlock.

Moffat is now knee-deep in the first season of Doctor Who with Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and, thankfully, has always said they would never sacrifice quality to get the show out quicker. In lieu of new episodes, fans will just have to be satisfied with periodic events such as the recent Meet the Filmmakers event at the London Apple Store on Regent Street. Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington did not disappoint. I think I’m ok with this. How about you?

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To listen to the podcast of the Meet the Filmmakers event in London, click here.