Is the first 'Sherlock' season 4 photo the beginning of the end?

sherlock season 4 first photo final
BBC
Just when it looked like the BBC was throwing a bone to impatient Sherlock fans with the release of season 4’s first photo, Steven Moffat, one of the series creators, hit us with a dire warning: The beloved series could be coming to a fast end. The writer and producer suggested in an interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph that star Benedict Cumberbatch may be ready to move on.

“I don’t know how long we can keep it going,” he said. “I’m personally willing but I’m hardly the main draw.”

Moffat’s comments indicated Cumberbatch continues to play the quirky Sherlock Holmes for the fans rather than out of any real need to do so. There is certainly no denying that the actor has reached a point in his career where he could move on and have his pick of roles — he has been much in-demand in recent years, helped along by his critically acclaimed portrayal of the iconic detective. Fortunately, there is still a chance that he isn’t ready to take off his deerstalker.

It’s not entirely reassuring, but Moffat said he would be “moderately surprised” if season 4 was the last and admitted that this isn’t the first time he’s thought the series could be reaching its end. Since both Cumberbatch and his co-star Martin Freeman — who plays Holmes’ sidekick, Dr. Watson — became famous, Moffat has been expecting them to hang up their hats. Yet, “they’re coming back because they want to,” as he pointed out.

As a multi-part miniseries, Sherlock gives the actors freedom that the stars of many regular series don’t have. They have more time for other projects between seasons — as we’ve seen with Cumberbatch’s decision to headline Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange and Freeman’s turn as Lester Nygaard in FX’s Fargo, for example — and the show is less dependent on continuity. If they can have a Victorian special like The Abominable Bride, there’s no reason they can’t return to the show years down the road if they have to, as Moffat suggested.

In the meantime, little has been revealed about what to expect in Sherlock season 4. The new photo shows off Holmes with a bloodhound on the streets of London, so evidently, he’ll make a new friend of the four-legged variety. It still isn’t clear which of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories the season will tell, but whoever the villain is, he’ll be played by Toby Jones.

Sherlock season 4 is expected to premiere in 2017.

Movies & TV

Star Wars series 'The Mandalorian' adds 'Deadpool' actress Gina Carano

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

One popular character won't be returning for 'John Wick 3: Parabellum'

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Music

The best movie soundtracks of all time, from 'Star Wars' to 'E.T.'

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' will seem muddled to mere muggles

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald brings magizoologist Newt Scamander back for more adventures, but the sequel to 2016's Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes a very deep dive into Potter-verse lore.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Movies & TV

Is the end near for Pied Piper? ‘Silicon Valley’ season 6 delayed, might be the last

Season 6 of Silicon Valley might not premiere until 2020, as HBO has delayed production on the season until summer 2019 due to showrunner Alec Berg's work on another HBO series, Barry. Season 6 could be the final one for the show.
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice.
Movies & TV

More cast members join Jordan Peele’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ reboot

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the cast for the first season is filling out with some familiar faces.
Movies & TV

‘Moonlight’ film studio A24 to produce movies for Apple

Indie movie studio A24 has entered into an agreement to produce films for Apple. The studio is best known for bringing Oscar-winning drama Moonlight to audiences, as well as Room and Ex Machina.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.