‘Sherlock’ Creators Already Have Seasons 4 & 5 Plotted Out [Updated]

Published 1 year ago by

Sherlock The Sign of Three wedding photo Sherlock Creators Already Have Seasons 4 & 5 Plotted Out [Updated]

The finale of BBC crime drama Sherlock‘s long-awaited third season, “His Last Vow,” will air on the UK on Sunday, but a lucky few people got to see it early during a BAFTA screening and Q & A panel with writer Steven Moffat and producer Sue Vertue. The episode sees Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John (Martin Freeman) going up against nefarious blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen), “the worst man in London,” whom Sherlock hates with a passion.

The character is taken from one of the later Arthur Conan Doyle stories, titled “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton,” and the character has already made two brief appearances this season: once in a quick and sinister scene at the end of “The Empty Hearse,” and the second time in a telegram sent to John and Mary on their wedding day that was simply signed “CAM.”

Despite dedicating an entire episode to the aforementioned wedding, Moffat and Gatiss are apparently far from running out of ideas for the show. Bleeding Cool reports that Moffat repeated assurances during the Q & A that a fourth season is definitely on the way and added, “we’ve already plotted out series four and five.”

[Update: Radio Times now has a more complete transcript from this part of the Q & A]

“Rather excitingly, Mark and I, for no particular reason, we just got out of the rain and sat at the top of the [Sherlock] production bus… and we just started plotting out what we could do in the future. And we plotted out the whole of series four and five.

“So we have got plans – but our plans don’t tend to be ‘Let’s blow up the world or cast the most famous person in the world.’ They tend to be ‘What exciting twists and turns can we add to this?’ And I think we’ve got some crackers! The ideas we had that day, I thought were the best we’ve ever had.”

Lars Mikkelsen as Charles Augustus Milverton in Sherlock His Last Vow Sherlock Creators Already Have Seasons 4 & 5 Plotted Out [Updated]

One of the great things about Sherlock is that it has an enormous wealth of source material upon which to draw, with many cases that can be spun on their heads and reinvented for the modern world. While arch-villain Moriarty was thoroughly thwarted at the end of the second season, Doyle’s character dealt with many crimes and mysteries over the course of his career and any one of them could make for exciting television.

Pending any decisions to expand the length of each season, this only means that Moffat and Gatiss have plotted six episodes ahead. Still, since each episode is 90 minutes long that’s a whole lot of planning. Given the ever-growing success of the show it’s hard to imagine the BBC refusing to green light at least a couple more seasons but, as was the case with the recent hiatus, the real challenge will be making the filming fit into Freeman and Cumberbatch’s schedules.

Some of the more classic cases have already been worked into Sherlock‘s previous episodes, while others have taken place off-screen, but tell us in the comments which other adventures from Doyle’s stories you’re hoping have been included in Moffat and Gatiss’ plans.


Sherlock season three concludes in the UK with ‘His Last Vow” on Sunday, January 12, on BBC One. The season premieres in the US with ‘The Empty Hearse,’ airing on Sunday, January 19, on PBS.

Source: Bleeding Cool, Radio Times

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Sherlock
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  1. My biggest fear with this show was that with Cumberbatch and Freeman getting all these movie roles with blockbuster franchises that the show would stop but the fact that the writers have it planned for multiple future seasons is awesome!

    • The actors love the show. There’s no fear of the cast or writers leaving the show. Its all down to the BBC wanting it. Given the BBC controller gushing after seeing the final episode at the BFI tonight I think its safe to say we’ll see this for years to come.

  2. I’ve enjoyed series 3 more than I did the second, so I’m glad we’re getting more. They should at least give us 4 episodes though.

    • Yeah I agree, four would be nice because this series has already produce some CLASSIC episodes and its already over basically.

  3. In my opinion the format of this show should be used by other networks/production companies for other styles of shows, the number of episodes could possibly be increased to five per series although I like three for Sherlock. By the end of this series we will effectively have 9 films. Imagine if they had done this for the new Trek films just to pad out the universe. If they had gone for a three episode format and started aired them say in 2009 by now we would have 15 episodes of quality, as they do have the talent I believe at Paramount to get good scripts together, and this is preferable to 80 odd episodes of average. I also think that this format would be an interesting way to approach the new DareDevil series for Netflix. Also if they ever do the Star Wars live action series they should go for this format. Food for thought.

    On the news about series 4 and 5….. YYYYEEESSS!!!!!!

  4. Thanks for the spoilers. We don’t get it here until next week and you’ve already posted stuff about the second episode.

    • Well, at least US audiences get to find out what it’s like for us UK viewers who have to wait months for a show to air here when it’s already done for the season/been canceled in the US.

      That’s why I like the Sky Atlantic channel, they air shows the day after they’re aired in the US (Mad Men and Game Of Thrones mostly). Win all round for globally popular shows without one audience or another being spoiled in advance before they get to see it.

    • So? It’s not a problem when Screenrant posts spoilers for US Shows and we guys in the UK don’t get those at the same time as the US so why is it only a problem when it’s UK Shows being spoiled?

      • I’m not even sure what the spoilers are. Revealing that an actor in the show has appeared in the show? Mentioning one character sending another character a telegram?

        For what it’s worth, US viewers, those two snippets really don’t spoil anything at all. In fact, I missed the telegram thing completely until someone pointed it out to me a couple of days later.

    • well then why the hell are you here? don’t look at the details for seasons 4 and 5 if you’ve yet to watch the first episode of season 3..?

  5. I’d like them to film abroad in the next season. Gatiss hinted at Shanghai. Cumberbatch and Sherlock Holmes are very popular in China so I’m sure the country would work hard to accommodate filming.

  6. Wow they already have two more full seasons planned out!!! thats amazing! Six whole episodes! these people are on their A game!

  7. This season has been funny as hell. I am happy to hear about this news.

  8. I love this show the writing is brilliant and acting is superb but I hate that we only get 3 episodes per season. 9hrs per season is not enough!!! But I’m glad were getting 18 more.

  9. I honestly thought the last episode was the weakest I’ve seen from the show (saying this as someone who started from the very beginning in the New Year then saw season 2 last saturday online and caught up with season 3 this week on my TV planner so every episode is still fresh in my mind).

    I did think this show’s version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles was only just better because of the nostalgia factor (I was given a big volume of 4 Holmes stories as a gift when I was 9 years old, read them all – including figuring it all out before the characters did, which I’ve always preferred to do when I read stories, none of this spoon-feeding crap most books get away with – within a fortnight and my fave story from it was Hound).

    Looking forward to sunday’s episode though.

  10. Question is just when ???

  11. ohmygod i’m seriously so damn happy after reading this.I am addicted to this show.

  12. Please do not EVER get rid of this show. The actors and writers are just brilliant.

  13. Would love to see the creepy Solitary Cyclist or Speckled Band stories incorporated into an episode…

  14. I liked seasons one and two better. Too much of emotions in the last season. Love the series to the core but please enough of emotions. More of action, wit and the ‘surprise element’ expected in the upcoming seasons:D

  15. I hope this show has 30 seasons. I don’t mind waiting if they can promise me that.

  16. Living in the U.S. I get these episodes later on netflix. My wife and I are agonizing already over a two year wait for the next season. It will be worth it. The best show on T.V. anywhere in the world in my humble opinion.