The season four finale episode of Sherlock, "The Final Problem," aired last night and brought another chapter in the saga of the "Baker Street Boys" to its conclusion. Could it be the final chapter?
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are both actors in demand in Hollywood. Both actors starred in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, and both now have roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. Cumberbatch and Freeman's busy schedules contributed to Sherlock's long absence between seasons 3 and 4 and has caused some speculation that "The Final Problem" may be the show's final episode.
However, the Sherlock producers seem to have a measured optimism about the series' future.
"If this is the last time — and I'm not planning on it to be, but it might be — it is possible that we could end it," co-creator Steven Moffat tells Deadline. "We couldn't have ended it on any of the previous series because there was what have been great cliffhangers."
"It may be the final problem, you never know." added co-creator Mark Gatiss. "I think what has actually happened is we have now done the story of how the Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson that you've always known became those men. It's actually a backstory and we never intended it to be, but the reason to leave it at that place is that actually if we do come back — and we'd love to come back — then we could have it absolutely start with a knock on the door and Sherlock saying, 'Do you want to come out and play?'"
"If we never come back and we never do another panel on the show, which is improbable, there is one thing I would like to say and that is, and it's not said enough and it sort of goes by unnoticed, is that the boss of Sherlock, the No. 1 person sitting in front of you right now is not me or Mark, it's the person to whom I'm married," Moffat said of his wife and Sherlock executive producer Sue Vertue. "It is absolutely true she is the person who runs all of Sherlock. She's the person who either kicks us up the arse or restrains us depending on whether we're being insane or lethargic. It has been her project from the very beginning. She's the general, the chief executive officer, the absolute ultimate boss of this show. If you love Sherlock, the person you have to thank the most isn't Benedict, Martin or Mark or me. It's my wife Sue Vertue."
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The future of Sherlock remains in flux but, while the creators seem to feel "The Final Problem" could serve as a stellar stopping point, they seem to have every intention of bringing the series back in the future.