Between Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Sherlock, there’s no denying that the popularity of British TV series around the world has been on the rise the last five years. So much so, in fact, that the actors on those series have become increasingly in demand, leaving many of them with the decision to either stay on their current series or make the leap across the pond for greater success in Hollywood.

Luckily, Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have made the choice to continue filming their hit BBC series abroad while also pursuing their careers in the United States. Freeman currently stars in FX’s new series Fargo, and both he and Cumberbatch will next appear in the recently renamed The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

So for the moment at least, there seems to be little time for the two actors to film the highly anticipated season 4 of Sherlock. Yet, thanks to Cultbox, we know that in an upcoming appearance on British talkshow Alan Carr: Chatty Man, Freeman hinted there could still be hope for fans to see something sooner rather than later

Here’s what Freeman said:

“Mark Gatiss may beat me up, but there is an idea for this one-off special that’s such a good idea, and as I was listening to it I thought ‘we’ve just got to do this.’ And I don’t know when we are going to be able to do it, unfortunately. It’s a fantastic, really mouth-watering idea. But I really don’t know when we are going to get to do it.”

The plan had been to begin filming the fourth season of Sherlock this fall for 2016, but just last week, Freeman admitted to The Guardian that the idea had “fallen away” due to scheduling issues. It’s also likely those episodes haven’t been written yet since creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have been busy with other projects, even though they said earlier this year that the next two season are already planned out.

Moffat also recently told reporters he saw no point in creating a Sherlock movie when he could instead make three feature-length episodes that could be shown in theaters. It’s safe to say this special, basically a TV movie, doesn’t exactly fit that criteria. At this point, as long as it doesn’t delay or hinder the next season, I think fans will agree some Sherlock is better than none until the actors are able to put in more time.

What are your thoughts, Screen Rant readers?

Sherlock season 4 is currently scheduled for sometime in 2016.

Source: Cultbox (via IGN), The Guardian