‘Sherlock’ Season 4: What We Know So Far

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Riding the wave of six Emmy nominations announced yesterday, Sherlock released a new teaser photo was released for Season 4. January’s special The Abominable Bride received Emmy nominations for Best TV Movie, Best Actor in a Limited Series for Benedict Cumberbatch, cinematography, visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing.

Creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are also heading to San Diego Comic-Con next week, and will surely bring more information to go along with this new snap of Holmes communing with bloodhound.

In the meantime, fans are engaging in a little artful speculation — specifically zeroing in on the reference to a bloodhound in Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Adventure of the Creeping Man. The Sherlock Holmes caper follows the astute detective solving the mystery of a university professor who suddenly starts acting quite out of character. Will Season 4 feature a similar story? Only Holmes knows for sure. But here’s what we do know about Sherlock Season 4 so far:

1. The fourth season might be the last. 
In an interview with The Telegraph, creator Steven Moffat said, “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.” To be fair, Moffat has said similar things since Season 2, after the two leads started receiving high-profile film roles.

Related: ‘Sherlock’: Ranking All 9 Episodes, From Worst to Best

Cumberbatch is now an Oscar-nominated actor for his turn in The Imitation Game, and he’ll next be seen entering the Marvel universe this fall in Doctor Strange. Freeman has also entered the Marvel world as Everett Ross in Captain America: Civil War, and starred as the main character Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy.

2. The next three episodes will feature Conan Doyle’s lesser-known detective stories.
In the same interview with The Telegraph, Moffat also let it slip that the plots of the episodes will draw from less-famous Conan Doyle stories: “We’re using stories that people don’t know so much. Now we are getting into equally good, but far less well known, Conan Doyle stories.”

It makes sense that Moffat is turning towards some Conan Doyle b-sides, since the author’s most famous tales were featured in the first three seasons. Sherlock has already recounted A Study in Scarlet, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Hounds of Baskerville,and The Reichenbach Fall, four of the most well known Sherlock Holmes adventures.

3. Toby Jones will star as a villain, and it seems like that villain is Culverton Smith. 
A couple months ago, Toby Jones announced that he was cast in the fourth season ofSherlock. In an interview with RadioTimes, he revealed that he was playing a villain that confronts Mr. Holmes: “About the only thing I’m allowed to reveal is that I’m indeed a baddie. I think that even, I’d say, I’m really bad.”

Related: Your Complete Guide to TV Panels and Events At Comic-Con

Nothing has been confirmed, but through some extensive digging, a fan was able to find on Jones’ CV that he is playing Culverton Smith. IMDB confirms the news on the homepage of the second episode of the fourth season. Smith appears in the story The Adventure of the Dying Detective, who attempts to cover up the murder of his nephew but is foiled by Holmes and Watson.

4. Jim Moriarty will return. 
As fans of the show will know, the reappearance of Jim Moriarty was inevitable. Andrew Scott is returning for the third episode of the fourth season, but not much has is known about his arrival. As for new faces, Sacha Dhawan (Doctor Who) is joining Sherlock in a mystery role (heh heh). Perhaps Moffat will shed a little more light on both at next week’s Comic-Con panel. The game is afoot!

Although the premiere of the fourth season of Sherlock has not been confirmed, it will most likely hit BBC and Masterpiece on PBS in early 2017.

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