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BBC 'Sherlock' Season 4 Air Date & Premiere: What Fans Can Expect From the Hit Series in the Future

First Posted: May 18, 2015 01:55 PM EDT
"Sherlock" Series' Co-Creator Mark Gatiss Says "Expect Tagedy as Well as Adventure"

Photo : Sherlock Facebook

"Sherlock" fans worldwide suffered simultaneous heartbreak when it was announced that filming for the fourth season of the series wouldn't begin until Spring 2016, which concurrently pushed back the air date to early 2017.

With the upcoming season likely hitting airwaves January 2017, fans want to know what they can look forward to after the extensive break.

The three-year gap between the third and fourth season -- which is the longest break in the series -- will only be interrupted by the standalone Victorian special that will broadcast Christmas this year...lest there are unforeseen delays.

Steven Moffat made the announcement last week that shooting wouldn't begin until spring 2016. Like the second and third season, the shooting schedule will likely inch into the summer days. Also, while the air date hasn't been confirmed, past broadcast patterns suggest that first episode will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, and the second and third episode will appear on January 8 and 15.

For the fourth season, the series' co-creators are more tightlipped than they've ever been. Rather than releasing a trio of teasers to tempt fans (as they've done in the past), mum has been the word regarding upcoming plot points. That said, the dark and devastating season will be one of reckoning for many character who'll be confronting consequences.

"Chickens come to roost," Moffat said in a statement. "It's dark in some ways -- obviously it's great fun and a Sherlock Holmes romp and all that -- but there's a sense of things coming back to bite you."

There's major speculation in the air. Some suggest that a time jump might occur, bringing Jim Moriarty back into the equation after his death during the finale of third season. Also, in spite of Mary and John Watson impending adventures in parenthood, some venture that they'll be facing some dark times. As will Sherlock, who'll receive his own fair share of devastation as he faces the consequences for some of his own past dealings.

The series may be a long way off, but fans can take solace in the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are in it for the long haul, and they're thoroughly committed to the irresistible series, so at least there's that. The episodes are few and far between, but fans can look forward to the screen leads appearing as Holmes and Watson for many years to come -- when they aren't appearing in the latest blockbuster, stage production or passion project, of course.

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