The BBC's modern detective drama Sherlock has enjoyed a huge amount of success since its debut in 2010, having garnered a passionate fanbase, received heaps of critical acclaim, and launched/re-launched the careers of its two leads, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Though the actors are keeping busy with other projects (Cumberbatch will star in Marvel's Doctor Strange later this year), they still take a bit of time out every year or so to return to the roles of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
Their friendship has definitely been tested over the past few years, what with Sherlock dying (and coming back to life), John getting married (and finding out that his wife used to be an assassin), and Sherlock temporarily traveling back in time to the Victorian era during a drug overdose (it's complicated). Things aren't likely to get any easier for them in the upcoming season, which will see the mystery-solving duo face off against the villainous Culverton Smith (Toby Jones).
There are just a few short months left now until Sherlock returns, and PBS has released a new promo image that gives us our first official look at John's season 4 style (no mustache, thankfully, and he's got a dapper new hairstyle). Check it out below:
The first trailer for Sherlock season 4 debuted at Comic-Con this year, and had a distinctly somber tone and sense of foreboding, with hints that Sherlock will be forced to confront his demons as he deals with Culverton and the lingering evil of Moriarty. It's currently unclear whether the ongoing drama will leave any time for a case-of-the-week structure (Sherlock seasons are made up of just three episodes, but each episode is 90 minutes long), and the traditional clue words for the upcoming episodes are "Thatcher,” “Smith,” and “Sherrinford" - make of that what you will.
Created and written by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (who also co-stars as Sherlock's brother, Mycroft), Sherlock is one of the BBC's most internationally-acclaimed prestige dramas. Though the quality has dipped on occasion, and the show can be a bit of an acquired taste (there's a fair bit of fan service, particularly in the more recent episodes), Freeman and Cumberbatch always seem happy to be back with each new season. Hopefully, fans can expect to see them as Holmes and Watson for many years to come.
Sherlock season 4 will air in 2017 on BBC One and PBS.