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Seasons Four and Five of Sherlock Are Already “Plotted Out,” Will Hopefully Air Before 2050

It’s been a little over a week since the BBC’s Sherlock was last on hiatus, and in a few more days it’ll be on hiatus again. Sorry to reopen barely closed wounds, Sherlockians. But thankfully it looks like the next hiatus might not be quite so long as the two-year stretch between seasons two and three, because showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have already planned the twists and turns of the next two seasons.

American viewers who are waiting to watch season three until it comes out (legally) in the US, be ye reassured: There are no spoilers behind the jump.

At an advance screening of the season three finale “The Last Vow,” Moffat opened up about the future of his wildly popular show, saying:

“Rather excitingly, Mark and I, for no particular reason, we just got out of the rain and sat at the top of the [Sherlock] production bus… and we just started plotting out what we could do in the future. And we plotted out the whole of series four and five. So we have got plans – but our plans don’t tend to be ‘Let’s blow up the world or cast the most famous person in the world.’ They tend to be ‘What exciting twists and turns can we add to this?’ And I think we’ve got some crackers! The ideas we had that day, I thought were the best we’ve ever had.”

That comment about famous people throws a bit of cold water on fannish hopes and dreams that Doctor Who alum Matt Smith might put in an appearance on the show. It was always unlikely: The source of the speculation is Moffat saying he’d be open to casting Smith if the role was right, but he wouldn’t want to stunt cast him. So basically “There’s nothing to say I actually will cast him, but I know people want to hear that I might.” Make whatever critiques you want of Moffat (and oh, we have), but dude knows how to do press.

As always, when a season of Sherlock comes out depends on the availability of its two leads. The Hobbit movies are all but done, which will probably leave Martin Freeman with a hole in his schedule that, as of yet, is only being filled by FX’s Fargo miniseries. But for Benedict Cumberbatch the end of being the world’s vainest dragon probably won’t make much of a difference, because he just keeps picking up projects.

Step it up this time, please. I saw how stir-crazy the fandom’s been these past few years. I’m not sure they can handle that again.

(via Metro)

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  • R.O.U.S.

    Eh, we’re pros and handling long waits! I don’t mind waiting if the confirmation is there that we’ll get it eventually. It’s kind of delicious, the anticipation.

  • Miss Cephalopod

    I’m always amused at “the fandom that waited”. I mean, 2 years? Yes, that’s quite a chunk of time, but it’s not THAT much. Try the manga X, for whose conclusion fans have been salivating for 12 years now. (And it stopped with an emotionally tragic cliff-hanger too.)

    Anyway, I’m a bit skeptical concerning Moffat’s “bigger and better” policy. He just likes scaling things up bigger and bigger and bigger and while that can be fun, the sense of scale can get lost. I feel a little anxious about this season’s villain already – hardly any decent build-up so far, very little plot. (Although the second episode was full of laughs at least, it was very entertaining.)

    The problem is that it’s very hard to upstage Moriarty, who has always been meant to be society’s biggest criminal fear of the time. With ACD it was such thoroughly organized crime, with Moffat it is the unpredictability and disregard for self-harm that is typical of our fear of terrorism à la 9/11. Like Moffat’s Dr Who monsters (= targeting childhood fears) but for grown-ups. It’s just hard to one-up Moriarty with this much attached to him as a fearful figure, you know?

    By all means, I tip my hat to Moffat if he actually pulls it off though.

  • Travis

    I hope they keep Mary Watson significantly involved. Her interactions with Sherlock are easily the best part of the new season.

  • Anonymous

    She died in the books. Just sayin’! ;-)

  • Anonymous

    The big problem I have with many Sherlock Holmes adaptations: Somehow everyone thinks that they need Moriarty as if he’s the only impressive baddie. But that’s only one character of MANY. He appeared in persona only in one short-story of 56!

    There other villains who could be successfully employed in Holmes movies, TV series, etc., e. g. Culverton Smith, Baron Gruner, Colonel Sebastian Moran, Dr. Roylott and many others. I never understood why everybody was limiting himself to Moriarty. THAT IS ONLY ONE EVIL IN HOLMES WORLD.

  • Amy W

    People always say this like she was only around for the course of two stories or something. She had a major role in Sign of Four and was there for at least the entirety of the stories collected in The Adventures of S.H.– my canon reading doesn’t extend much beyond the Mary-less Study in Scarlet and Hound of the Baskervilles beyond that so I can’t say how much more of her there is in the rest (as for non-canon reading, Nancy Springer’s delightful middle-grade Enola Holmes mystery series also contains a fair amount of Mary-being-relatively-awesome and a complete lack of Mary-being-dead. That’s my rec for you all as a children’s librarian. The mysteries are relatively simple from an adult’s standpoint and sometimes you just want to shout at Enola for MISSING THE OBVIOUS, but otherwise the books are just so much FUN that I recommend them for adults, too). I’m not saying she won’t end up dead eventually, just that there’s no need, canonical or otherwise, to kill her off RIGHT AWAY. HEAR THAT, MOFFAT??? So, count me as another one hoping she hangs around for at least ONE more season…

  • Anonymous

    Well, I don’t think they will kill her off because this series takes the Holmes stories (like all the other Holmes adaptations out there) only as inspiration they don’t really follow them. Book-wise I can say she played only in “The sign of four” a role. After that Watson would only mention “his wife” here and there but that was it.

    In the book “chronology” “The sign of four” happened before Holmes left for three years and when he returned Watson speaks of “Holmes having heard of my sad loss”. But much later Watson speaks of his wife again which was probably a mistake of Doyle (who never really cared much for continuity, among Holmesians it’s still a debated subject for example where Watson’s old war wound is (arm, leg, back?)) but that made Watson canonically wise a – at least – two times married man (Conan Doyle first wife also died of an illness and he married again).

    This just for information.

  • Anonymous

    I’m struggling to think of any major beats in the Holmes stories they won’t already have covered by tonight?

    The canon itself was more a series of standalone stories of course. You could have one story where something huge happened and it didn’t feel weird that in the next story it would be a much smaller case. But ‘Sherlock’ (like many other adaptations) has opted to turn the material into more of an arc-based series. While there are plenty of good cases in the Holmes canon left to choose from, I can’t think of anything canonical you could turn into story arcs now…

    I guess Holmes’ retirement could be one (but the actors are far too young)? Or Watson’s personal life (but I really hope they don’t kill his wife/wives)?

    Probably Moffat and Gatiss are talking about completely original arcs which fills my heart with fear: they’re OK when they’re constrained by an existing canon. With the freedom of writing completely original stuff – ala Doctor Who – I find Mofftiss productions pretty unwatchable.