According to Steven Moffat, Sherlock fans probably shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the show to return any time soon.
If you’re holding your breath waiting for word on another season of Sherlock, maybe it’s time to relax. According to creator Steven Moffat, the show isn’t coming back any time soon.
Speaking at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival in London, Moffat predicted that Sherlock “could be off the earth quite a long while now”.
The show’s absence is not out of a lack of desire to make more, though. According to Moffat it’s a simply an issue of quality control.
"“Neither Benedict, Mark or Martin are against doing more Sherlocks. We have a great time making them, it’s a very, very nice bunch of people and we enjoy our reunions very much. And that means two things, we’d never want to do it if we didn’t think we could do it as well as we used to. It also means, we’ll come back to it when we feel we’ve got the right idea.”"
(You can feel free to insert your own joke about the quality of Season 4 here.)
The other major issue is that stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are both increasingly popular actors. They have a ton of other non-Sherlock related projects going on. Scheduling the two of them has to be a monster task.
On the bright side, Moffat did reiterate that he “would be surprised, as I’ve said before, if we never made any more Sherlocks.”
Of course, the show doesn’t officially have a Season 5 renewal yet. (It’s not really that much of a problem. The BBC would greenlight more Sherlock at the merest hint that the folks involved would make it.) But, the fact that there isn’t an official order for another season means we’re probably even further way from it than you think.
The real question here is: Do we even need more Sherlock?
Season 4 wrapped up by tagging the end of the series’ worst episode with a montage about how Sherlock and John became crimefighting legends. It felt pretty final. And though all signs certainly point to the series’ continuing at some point, after the relatively brutal reception Season 4 received, it might be best for everyone if it took a break for a while. A long while.
The Sherlock production schedule is notoriously difficult. The stars’ schedules are becoming increasingly crowded, as they take on various new projects like Marvel movies. And the show was already on a two year production cycle already, give or take a few months here and there. But, as this latest Moffat interview attests once again, everyone on Team Sherlock still seems keen to make more.
What seems most likely, is that Sherlock morphs into something simpler. Perhaps instead of a three-episode season every two years, we’ll see a one-off special every five. Despite the narrative disaster that was Season 4, the show is still a huge hit for the BBC. Unless the stars flatly refuse to participate ever again, we’ll make it back to Baker Street someday. Sherlock and John just might be quite a bit older by the time we do.