While the Series 4 premiere of Sherlock is still a ways away, series co-creator Mark Gatiss is already hinting at what fans can expect.
“You can always expect tragedy as well as adventure, that’s just how it goes," Gatiss tells RadioTimes.com.
Gatiss was quiet on whether the tragedy might include Mary Watson, John Watson’s new wife. Martin Freeman, who plays Watson, has suggested previously that Mary, played by Freeman’s real life partner Amanda Abbington, would have to die “at some point.” This would be in keeping with the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, in which Mary dies.
Co-creators Gatiss and Stephen Moffat have largely followed the path laid out by Doyle, though they do it in their own way, making changes and additions, and combining certain stories as they go. The fact that Mary is still alive at this point is one example, as she dies during the period of Sherlock’s supposed death in Doyle’s original stories, which has now passed in the series. Also, Doyle didn’t mention anything about her being some sort of superspy.
Gatiss warns fans not to take anything about Sherlock for granted.
"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," he says.
"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.”
One such surprise was the apparent return of Moriarty in the Series 3 finale, after his apparent death in Series 2. His return certainly hints at bad things to come for Sherlock and Watson.
Fans have a while to speculate about Mary Watson’s fate and Moriarty’s return. Series 4 won’t air until early 2016, preceded by a Christmas Special in 2015, which begins filming in January.