In just a few weeks, fans of BBC’s Sherlock will finally be treated with a brand-new season of the show. Season 4 will kick off on January 4 after a prolonged hiatus, and the comeback will pit Detective Holmes against a terrifying new villain. Recently, the British series has been teasing fans with updates about the series to get them hyped for its return. And, now, a new photo from Season 4 has been unveiled right in time for the holidays.
The dark image shows the major players of Sherlock as they all sit in the living area of 221B Baker Street. Sherlock, who is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, can be seen lounging in his chair while Dr. John Watson sits across from him. Fans can see Martin Freeman is holding a newborn which signals the swaddled child is his character’s daughter with Mary Morstan. Detective Lestrade can be seen standing behind the new mother in the background while Mrs. Hudson is seen cradling a cup of tea. Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft is also featured in the photo as he looks down on Sherlock, and Molly Hooper is seen with her back turned to the camera.
The image also has a short phrase below the cast of characters which reads, “A time for friends, family, and those you miss the most.”
Of course, fans of the series will immediately catch onto the phrase’s double-meaning. At the end of Sherlock Season 3, a rather nasty villain made a surprise return in its finale. Moriarty appeared in the final episode in a nation-wide broadcast to ask the world if they had missed him. Clearly, most were pleased by his death, but his sudden comeback made authorities scared that Moriarty’s suicide was all a charade.
So far, it appears as if Moriarty is really dead. In the Sherlock holiday special, the consulting detective gathered his nemesis was truly dead but not at all forgotten. The psychopath’s plans continue to live on in others, and it seems like Moriarty will have one last surprise for Sherlock to unwrap in Season 4.
It seems likely that Sherlock’s confrontation with Moriarty’s legacy will come to a head in the final episode of Season 4. Last week, the BBC revealed the finale’s title to be “The Final Problem,” and the name caused a frenzy amongst fans.
Fans will remember the heart-wrenching episode that was “The Reichenbach Fall.” Back in Season 2, fans were left in tears after Sherlock was forced to commit suicide alongside the villain Moriarty in order to save his loved ones. During the episode, Moriarty tells Sherlock, “Oh, that’s the problem — the final problem. Have you worked what it is yet?” When the consulting detective remains quiet, Moriarty tsks, saying, “I did tell you, but did you listen? How hard do you find it, having to say, “I don’t know?”
So, what do you think? Do you feel like Moriarty’s game is still afoot? What do you want to see from Sherlock when the series returns on New Year’s?
Sherlock Season 4 debuts on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1 2016 on the BBC. Sherlock airs as part of PBS' Masterpiece in the United States.