BBC’s Sherlock had its fourth season in 2017, with an ending that could very well serve as a series finale, but a fifth season is still a distant possibility. This modern take on the world’s most famous detective was very well received by critics and audiences – except for season 4.
Sherlock had Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character, with Martin Freeman playing his faithful friend and assistant, Doctor John Watson. Each season had three 60-minute episodes, all based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, though some more loosely than others. Sherlock's season 4 finale took more liberties than the rest and added a bunch of references to other cases that ended up hurting the season as a whole.
Still, a fifth season remains somewhat possible, with a lot of source material to explore as well as current social issues the series could address, but there are some obstacles in the way that could either delay or leave Sherlock season 5 in permanent limbo.
Sherlock Season 5 May Not Happen
Although series co-creator Mark Gatiss shared in 2017 that those involved in Sherlock – that is Cumberbatch, Freeman, Steven Moffat, and himself – are all willing to come back for a fifth season, their schedules are the biggest issue they are dealing with.
Benedict Cumberbatch has a number of projects lined up for the next two years, including his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, scheduled for a 2021 release. Martin Freeman has also been busy with the thriller The Operative and the romantic comedy Ode To Joy, both to be released this year. As for Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, they are currently working on the mini-series Dracula, making everyone’s schedules incompatible for at least two years.
Sherlock Season 5 Release Date
Supposing their schedules align in the near future once they have completed all their big projects, Sherlock season 5 could be released in 2022 at the earliest. Another detail that could potentially push the release date back is BBC’s schedule, as they certainly wouldn’t want Sherlock to take the attention away from their other projects. If lucky, Sherlock could be back in 2022-2023 with the main stars and its two co-creators as intended.
Sherlock Season 5 Story
As mentioned above, season 4’s final episode added a bunch of references to other cases to a story that left logic behind, making it a big mess that didn’t appeal to viewers nor critics. However, the final sequence showed Sherlock and Watson back at what they do best: solving cases brought to them by those in need, instead of being involved in one big messy problem. The sequence included references to some classic cases from the books, such as “The Case of the Dancing Men”. Sherlock season 5 could go back to the series' roots and have the detective and his friend solving cases as they did in the first season.
Hopefully, the cast and crew will find time in their busy schedules to bring one more series of Sherlock that will make things right after the not-so-successful season 4 – but fans should keep in mind that it will take a couple of years for Sherlock and Watson to get back together to solve new mysteries.