The very next day after Martin Freeman let slip that a Sherlock Christmas special may be in the works for 2015, BBC confirmed the news at the clever time of 2.21pm (221b, get it?) via their twitter page. They teased some big news regarding Sherlock and then had their twitter briefly taken over by Sherlock’s nemesis Moriarty to break the special news as well as a Sherlock season four announcement. Afterwards the BBC avatar returned donning a deerstalker cap in honor of the show.
Not only will filming start on the special in January 2015 for a Christmas release, but work on Sherlock season four will also start later in the year for an unconfirmed airdate. The loose lipped Freeman also previously teased that the production team has an amazing idea for a special that he was eager to do, but didn’t know when or if this would happen. Whether this amazing idea is the basis of the newly announced Christmas special or not is impossible to say, but at least we know that Moffat and Gatiss aren’t at a loss for ideas.
Amanda Abbington is also set to return as Watson’s wife Mary, who as we last saw is set to bring Baby Watson into the world at any time. Freeman also mentioned the fact that in the original Conan Doyle stories that Mary does eventually die, leaving Holmes and Watson to restart their life together at 221B Baker Street, and that Moffat and Gatiss very generally follow the flow of the books on these matters. That is not to say that Mary will die in Sherlock season four, or maybe even not at all, but Freeman seems to believe that it will happen eventually, one way or the other.
The even better news is that everyone involved is keen to continue churning out seasons as schedules permit, so we’re very likely to see a season pop up every couple years or so for the immediate future, regardless of Cumberbatch and Martin’s growing fame and demand. Dedication like this to a television show, when its leads are increasingly famous, is rare indeed and quite a treat for fans who hope that the series will continue long into the future. There was a time when we were unsure there would ever be a season two, let alone a third, and now we have more that we could have reasonable hoped for sooner than seems possible. I, for one, am not complaining. In my view, every season or special that we get is a gift from the gods, and that everyone’s continued goodwill towards the show is most fortunate indeed.