Finally, some Sherlock bytes to sink our teeth into! Earlier today, this photo:
was posted by BBC One, with the caption: “So this is what we’re doing today” (anything Sherlock-related beats the heck out of what I was doing). The special will kick off the Emmy-winning series’ fourth season, and these tiny crumblets are the few clues team Moffat/Gatiss (Moffiss?) has dropped along the web-trail:
1. The story will be “Devastating.”
So says Moffat (again). Wait, Series 3 wasn’t devastating enough? Sure, Sherlock was (SPOILER) never dead, and everyone but Watson knew, but Freeman’s palpable broken-hearted sadness almost killed us. I guess our tears didn’t quite fill Moffdaddy’s martini glass. “We have a plan to top it. And I do think our plan is devastating. We’ve practically reduced our cast to tears telling them the plan … we’re probably more excited that we’ve ever been about Sherlock.”
It’s so lovely to know our sadness fuels that man.
Gatiss wasn’t much more helpful: “You can always expect tragedy as well as adventure, that’s just how it goes.” Though Martin Freeman has assumed that as it happens in the books (book spoiler ahead, swipe to see): Mary dies, so will it happen on TV, Gatiss says that’s not necessarily so. “”Just because it’s in the stories doesn’t mean it’ll happen in the series because there’s an awful lot of changes and an awful lot of places to go and things to do. It should be clear by now that while, of course, Doyle is our absolute god, we have gone quite a long way away as well - we’ve introduced Sherlock and Mycroft’s parents [for instance], I don’t think they’ve ever been seen in any adaptation - so there are lots of surprises to come.”
2. The boys are going somewhere new…
…but not to the stars, and nowhere near the Doctor. “We’re going to try to take it somewhere we’ve never been before — and I don’t mean outer space…It will be [a] challenging place to go. We always start with a re-introduction that builds toward a darker climax — we might just be going darker.”
3. There’ll be a bit more of a female influence.
“A female perspective on that friendship [Molly (Louise Brealey) and Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs)] and on that man is incredibly telling, incredibly illuminating. So we’ve expanded hugely the part of Mrs. Hudson because she didn’t speak in the original. And we brought Molly in.”
4. Mary (Amanda Abbington) will also be back.
“I am coming back, but I don’t know in what capacity. We don’t know story lines yet. Well, we do know some things but aren’t allowed to say. What we do know is amazing.”
5. Outdoor filming will be much more limited due to #setlock.
During series 3 production, large groups of fans gathered, and reported the goings-on using the hashtag #setlock; crowds and spoilers abounded. Mark Gatiss: “When we were filming Baker Street exteriors last time, the fact you’ve got about 300 people behind crash barriers is…interesting. We have factored in trying to minimise large scenes outside. If you’re just drawing up in a taxi and running through a door, it’s easier but large dialogue scenes outside are quite tough.”
Production on the “very, very special” special begins in January, is expected to wrap in the spring, but the air-date is still unknown. Series 4 proper may be delayed due to Benedict Cumberbatch’s film schedule.
6. And here’s your first series 4 peek at our ever fashionable, very special boys:
Hmm, they look pretty good to me.
In amusing retaliatory move, BBC 2 tweeted back “@BBCOne might get the moustache but we have Martin Freeman’s full beard (with Brian Pern aka Simon Day):