Sherlock IV - Are people fed up and cynical?

I know The Abominable Bride divided opinion but....

...the news of the filming of Sherlock series four has triggered cynicism that I find worrying.

It seems that the polarisation started by series three and, you could argue, entrenched by the special, has become even more stark since filming commenced.

While most people appear to be delighted at the commencement of filming the numbers who don't care and are vocal about it appear to be rising. Positive posts that I've seen about the filming inevitably contain a proportion of "who cares?" "it'll be rubbish like the special" "they're too clever for their own good" and so on.

Now I was no fan of the special - I wanted a true one-off Victorian episode - and I thought series three lost its way; yet I remain hopeful for the coming series. Despite Gatiss and Moffat being quoted as saying that series five is already plotted out there are an increasing number of articles on-line speculating that series four will be the last. Talk from Moffat and Gatiss about the story reaching its climax this series have only served to fuel that notion.

If series four does indeed contain some kind of climax that the previous series have been working towards what will our duo be doing in series five? Will we commence a new multi-series story arc or will we revert to the more traditional format of self-contained adventures that previous Sherlocks have enjoyed?

I guess we'll have to wait and see as the one thing we have clearly learned over the years is that we can trust nothing that we hear about Sherlock regardless of who says it.

Written by Alistair Duncan Buy my books here


  1. I think Mofftiss have only themselves to blame for the cynicism you mentioned. In a day and age where it's as easy as it never was before to keep tabs on fans and know what they like/dislike every showrunner disregards their fans at their own risk.

  2. I was disappointed with the special too. I also wanted to a genuine period-set story.

  3. It is interesting that the length between the short series that at first was a huge boon to fan-engagement is now becoming a bit of an Achilles's heel. Series One was was a hit and the brevity of episodes and the hiatus allowed fans to make it their own thing. By making Series Two the battle between Sherlock and Moriarty culminating in Sherlock's "death" gave the fans plenty to speculate. But by the time of Series Three, fan headcannon became fanon and showrunners failed to engage a portion of fans because the showrunner's fan-service episodes failed to meet fan expectations or desires. For some fans, headcannon has become so real that anything Moffat and Gatiss presented would fail. With ABOM, the rules of storytelling and meta-storytelling were broken; anything can happen because the writers put it in the script, not because it is organic to the characters and plots that came before. ABOM works best as the show that lets the viewer know that the previous series were not reality but stories playing in the mind of a drug addict who thinks he's Doyle's Holmes living in the modern day without a per-existing analog--a sort of "They Might Be Giants". Anything can happen in Series Four because the previous series are a house of cards. I have no expectations of whether Series Four will be good or bad, but the unevenness of the previous ten episodes and the seeming lack of coherence between them make me wonder where the showrunners are going, and am I going to like the destination?

  4. And again I totally agree with Mr O'Leary.