We may have had to wait three years since the last series, but the excitement eventually arrived with Sherlock Series 4 earlier in 2017, which returned to BBC ONE in January with a premier on New Year’s day. Having impressed with The Abominable Bride Christmas special, which was one of the most-watched TV shows during the winter holidays in 2016, the series was bigger than ever, with fan boys, Cumberlasses and Holmes hounds chomping at the hormonally-charged bit for more Sherlock and Watson action.
Cameras started rolling for the production in spring 2016, which is no small effort in itself considering how busy the team behind it are with all of their other pursuits. It’s not just Benedict Cumberbatch’s schedule that makes it so difficult, although the fact that he had Black Mass, Zoolander 2 and Doctor Strange in his recent credits didn’t make it easy getting Series 4 underway. Martin Freeman has also been busy with both Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Captain America: Civil War, Mark Gatiss has had Dad’s Army to keep him off the streets and then Steven Moffatt has been torn between Sherlock and Doctor Who since the very beginning of the show.
However, now that it’s all done and dusted, here’s our episode recap for the latest outing of the modern day reincarnation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant detective. Series 4 added three new feature length episodes to BBC 1 in 2017 and with all the talk of the story coming to a climax, there’s a lot of speculation that it may well be the final series for the show.
Sherlock Series 4 story overview
Where Sherlock: The Abominable Bride took us back to Victorian London via Holmes’ mind palace, the three new episodes brought things back to the modern day for Sherlock. It picks back up with the duo just as Watson and his wife Mary are about to have their first baby together, and while Holmes is undoubtedly the worst person to go to for child rearing advice, they all had to figure it out together, with things getting very complicated for them all.
In addition to the promise of a closing shot for the story that Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have been telling since the beginning, the BBC has also leaked news that ghosts of the past will resurface in Series 4. Whether this means Moriarty rising from the ashes, much like Sherlock himself, isn’t for us to say, but however it all played out it’s bound to be as scintillating as it always has been.
Episode 1 – The Six Thatchers
In yet another bizarre episode, busts of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are being destroyed, linked vaguely to a mysterious death being investigated by Scotland Yard. However, when a connection to Mary’s past starts to emerge, events take a wild detour, throwing them all in a dangerous direction.
Episode 2 – The Lying Detective
With Holmes and Watson reeling from the events of The Six Thatchers, Sherlock comes face-to-face with a new deadly foe in Culverton Smith, who’s sinister secret gets wiped by a memory inhibiting serum.
Episode 3 – The Final Problem
Sibling rivalries run cold in The Final Problem as Sherlock and Mycroft get tackled by their own secret past.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, Una Stubbs, Louise Brealey, Amanda Abbington and Andrew Scott all reprise their roles from previous series as Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mycroft Holes, Mrs. Hudson, Molly Hooper, Mary Watson and Jim Moriarty. Scott’s role is more of a haunting phantom that keeps popping up following his death at the end of Series 2.
In an early update, the BBC also confirmed that Toby Jones will be putting in an appearance as the villain in The Lying Detective, Culverton Smith. The 4th season also saw guest appearances from Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham (Benedict Cumberbatch’s real life parents) as Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, along with Sean Brooke as Eurus Homes, and Sacha Dhawan (Irion Fist, Marvel’s The Defenders, The Boy With The Topknot) as Ajay.
Moffat and Gatiss have once again penned the series and this time around Rachel Talalay will be in charge of the director’s chair, having done the same with Mofatt recently for Doctor Who. Created by Hartswood Films, Sherlock Series 4 will be produced by Sue Vertue, with Beryl Vertue, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for Hartswood Films, Bethan Jones for BBC Cymru Wales and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece as the executive producers.
We’re thoroughly expecting another mind fluffing series from the show, especially if the “climax” references are anything to go by, although this could be as much about flogging a dead body with wild abandon or flirting with sex sirens as it is about the infamous Moriarty. However, with so many big names involved in the show, the question remains will it continue beyond Series 4, or is this going to be Sherlock’s final game.
If that isn’t enough intensity, you can check out the Sherlock Series 4 trailer to see how dark, devastating and action-packed the fourth installment is going to be.