Sherlock TV showrunner Steven Moffat says a fifth season of the mystery drama could still find its way to PBS Masterpiece and BBC One. For months we’ve come across (and reported on) stories that it is possible there will be no season five. EW pinpoints star Benedict Cumberbatch’s earlier comments as the source of the idea that Sherlock will end with season four.
Back in October, we reported Cumberbatch said it felt like the end of an era. Admittedly, the actor’s comments were not definitive. He certainly allowed for additional seasons of Sherlock on PBS and BBC One. Cumberbatch said he would love to keep revisiting the modern-day adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting detective stories. Sherlock also stars Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, Mark Gatiss, Una Stubbs, Louise Brealey, and Amanda Abbington.
Steven Moffat Discusses the Possibility of Sherlock Season Five
Moffat suggests editing skewed the meaning of Cumberbatch’s words. Here is more from EW:
“It might be the end of an era,” [Cumberbatch] was quoted as saying. “It feels like the end of an era, to be honest. [Season 4] goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately. We never say never on the show. I’d love to revisit it, I’d love to keep revisiting it, I stand by that. But in the immediate future, we all have things that we want to crack on with and we’ve made something very complete as it is, so I think we’ll just wait and see. The idea of never playing him again is really galling.”
But now showrunner Steven Moffat tells EW the Doctor Strange star was misquoted. “This is really worth saying because it’s getting exhausting for us all,” Moffat says. “That’s not what Benedict said. That’s what someone edited his words into the meaning of. It seems to be impossible these days not to be misquoted. He was quite specific about being keen to carry on. He went on to say he’s hard to get us all together. We want to keep the quality up. We haven’t even seen this [season air] yet. We don’t know. We haven’t sat down with the intent to anything yet. But we’re always aware that it could be over. But the fact is Benedict did not say that.”
Meanwhile Martin Freeman Says Sherlock Could End with Season Four
The EW report goes on to quote remarks Martin Freeman made last week, in a radio interview (so there’s no misquote issue). Dr. John Watson’s alter ego told the Jim and Sam Sirius XM radio show:
“Life does sometimes have a way of telling you, ‘This is probably it now,’” Freeman told Jim Norton & Sam Roberts when asked when Sherlock would end. “This last [season] did have a feeling of — I don’t know whether it has a finality to it — but it certainly had a feeling of a pause. It definitely had a feeling of that. And I am never ever afraid of things ending. I mean I am not looking forward to life ending or love ending, but things that we make should end.”
Will There Be a Sherlock Season Five?
The truth is, nobody knows. After all, it’s not only Cumberbatch and Freeman’s comments fueling the rumor that Sherlock is drawing to a close. Back in April of 2016, the BBC issued a press release when production began on Sherlock‘s fourth season. That release quotes Moffat and Mark Gatiss saying: “This is the story we’ve been telling from the beginning. A story about to reach its climax.” The fact that the season four finale will also screen in movie theaters seems to point to this being the final installment of Sherlock — at least for a good long while. Also, consider the finale’s title: “The Final Problem.”
Additionally, in July 2016, Moffat himself admitted he didn’t know how long they would continue to make Sherlock. The Telegraph quoted Moffat as saying, “I don’t know how long we can keep it going. I’m personally willing but I’m hardly the main draw. I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show. But it absolutely could be.”
Final Thoughts on Sherlock‘s Future
As fans know, Cumberbatch and Freeman’s careers have really taken off since the first season of Sherlock premiered on BBC One (and later PBS). That’s why while Sherlock season three premiered in 2014 on PBS, we have had to wait three years for season four. The stars are in hot demand.
Moffat and Gatiss began developing their Sherlock Holmes adaptation, on the train to Cardiff, where they worked on the Doctor Who TV show production. Sherlock is a labor of love for them and for the cast. They will make more of it, if and when they can see the way clear to do so, so long as there is demand. It’s elementary.
What do you think? Do you expect there will eventually be a fifth season of the Sherlock TV series? Do you plan to watch season four on PBS Masterpiece or the BBC? Sound off, in the comments.