One of the co-creators of Sherlock thinks the time may have come to “just leave it.” Strange as it may seem, Sherlock has been on the air since 2010. Not many series which are seven years old have only four seasons with a combined 13 episodes. But than, Sherlock has never been like other series. The show has only three episodes per season — with each episode being a full 90 minutes long. When every episode is the length of a movie, it’s a little less surprising how few episodes there really are.
In spite of the unusual schedule, Sherlock was popular right out of the gate. Fans have enjoyed the modern twists on the detective’s most popular stories. The series also turned both its leads into superstars. Previous to Sherlock Martin Freeman was best known as a comedic actor — thanks to his roles on the British version of The Office and in films such as Hot Fuzz, Love Actually, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. His co-star Benedict Cumberbatch was only just starting to get noticed, thanks to supporting roles in the movies Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl. Now both men are superstars, with Cumberbatch starring in multiple movies a year and Freedman playing the title role in The Hobbit trilogy and starring in the first season of Fargo.
And according to Sherlock co-creator — as well as the actor behind Sherlock’s older and smarter brother Mycroft Holmes — Mark Gatiss, that is exactly the problem. Digital Spy is reporting that Gatiss recently told the podcast podcast A Stab in the Dark — in an episode that will be released on Wednesday, July 5 2017 — that the impossibility of scheduling Sherlock might mean there won’t be any more new episodes being filmed.
“It was very, very hard to schedule the last series, because of Martin [Freeman] and Benedict [Cumberbatch]’s availability. And Steve [Moffat]’s and mine.There is always that Fawlty Towers principle of, ‘Let’s just leave it’. We’ve had the keys to Baker Street for a while, but one of the wonderful things is that they’re always shared. They were shared while we were making it.
“There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘That was our version, somebody out there go and do their version’.”
This is not the first time Gatiss has expressed this opinion, only a few months ago he said something very similar about the potential future of Sherlock, or lack thereof.
Gatiss is not kidding when he mentions how little availability Freeman and Cumberbatch both have. Both actors have major roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — Cumberbatch as hero Doctor Strange and Freeman as Everett Ross — who might be a friend or a foe depending on which side you were on in Captain America: Civil War. Both have upcoming appearances in future MCU movies, and numerous other roles as well.
Gatiss is rather busy himself. He is an in-demand actor and writer, with a role on Game of Thrones and numerous books and TV episodes on his plate. And while his co-creator Steven Moffat may be stepping down as the showrunner on Doctor Who, he is another writer who is constantly working. With these schedules, it’s almost impossible to imagine these four men having time to sit down to a meal together, much less write and film four and a half hours of new content.
Still, fans of Sherlock might not be ready to say goodbye yet. Especially without the final episode being planned. Only time will tell if Gatiss is right about now being the time for it to end, or if Sherlock and Dr. Watson will find themselves solving a few more mysteries some time in the future. Whenever they can schedule it.
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