By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood July 2, 2014 at 11:31AM
In an exciting bit of news for "Sherlock" fans, the BBC announced today that the show's fourth season will be filmed next year.
It gets better: not only will the fourth season have the usual three episodes that the first three seasons have, it will also contain a special episode, which will begin filming in January. Productions for the other three episodes will take place later in the year.
The rub here, of course, is the schedules of the show's two stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who are both hot commodities in the film world these days. Both actors are part of Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy and have several additional projects in the pipeline as well. "It’s taken a little while to get the dates sorted as none of the boys are exactly sitting back twiddling their thumbs," Sue Vertue, the film's producer, said, "but there was unanimous goodwill to make this work so we’re thrilled that 221b is going to be inhabited again."
Freeman told Entertainment Weekly recently that the special episode is likely to debut around Christmas 2015 (a mini-episode was released around the same time last year), so we may not see the full season four until 2016. Here's what the film's co-creators had to say about the news:
Steven Moffat: "A special, plus a new series of three episodes--it’s a record-breaking run! Of course, it’s far too early to say what’s coming, but we’re reasonably confident that the very next thing to happen to Sherlock and John, is the very last thing you’d expect..."
Mark Gatiss: "Series Four!” wrote co-creator and actor Mark Gatiss. “At last! It’s always special to return to Sherlock but this time it’s even more special as we’re doing...a Special! Not only THAT, we’ll then be shooting three more episodes which will take Sherlock and John Watson into deeper and darker water than ever before…The whole ‘Sherlock’ team are terrifically excited to return for four new adventures. The Game is on--again!"