Steven Moffat managed to give us a brand new show that had the whole world hooked on it. It was a modern retelling of the classic Sherlock Holmes tales that blew everyone away. It wasn’t just because of Benedict Cumberbatch’s brilliant acting or Martin Freeman’s perfect portrayal of John Watson. In fact, it was about the wonderful way in which the showrunners added a fresh new lens by which we got to see our favorite detective solve crimes. While it was new, it still stayed true to Arthur Conan Doyle’s vision for who Sherlock was.
For these reasons, fans are always anxiously waiting for any news for a Sherlock season 5. The latest season gave us quite a shocking twist where we learn that Sherlock actually has a sister who is actually pure evil.
Creators Want To Make Sherlock Season 5
The creators of Sherlock, Steven Moffat, and Mark Gatiss are both working on another BBC drama Dracula. They’ve started production for a long time now and it’s taking up a lot of their time.
Though, creators have shared that they are interested in returning to their Sherlock show. While talking to Radio Times, Steven Moffat stated:
We’ve never said necessarily goodbye to Sherlock. No, we’ll see!
Though, fellow creator Mark Gatiss also mentioned:
One thing at a time. Dracula occupies a lot of headspace.
Furthermore, these two creators shared that writing for the Count Dracula role brought them memories of when they were penning the modern-day Sherlock.
What can we make from this information? Well, Sherlock season 5 is definitely happening! We don’t really have answers on the how and when of this. Though, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate.
When Would Sherlock Season 5 Probably Start Production?
Show Runners Schedule
Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat, the two instrumental people in bringing to life BBC’s Sherlock, are currently busy with their Dracula series. Moffat is also producing a movie Jekyll, meanwhile, Gatiss is busy acting in The Father. As of now, there are only three episodes of Dracula coming out. If they are following their Sherlock schedule, the more episodes of Dracula would probably come after a year.
So, there’s a time period after 2021 when the show creators would be free. But what about the main leading actors?
Main Cast Schedule
Both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now. Currently, Cumberbatch is going to reprise his role as Stephen Strange in the sequel movie titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which has to come in 2021. Apart from that, he has recently worked on movies Louis Wain (2020), Ironbark (2020), 1917 (2019). He’s also filming two movies The Tiger Who Came to Tea (2019) and Prisoner 760. Benedict Cumberbatch’s movies of Rio (2021) and The Power of the Dog (2021) are in pre-production. Apart from the MCU movie, he has two other projects announced: Rogue Male and Magik. So, let’s just assume Benedict Cumberbatch won’t be able to do the BBC Sherlock series until after 2021 ends.
What about Sherlock’s confidante and partner, John Watson (Martin Freeman)? Freeman starred in MCU’s Black Panther which has a sequel coming out in 2022. He would be busy doing that. Recently, he worked in TV Series Breeders where he also served as executive producer. Other than that, Freeman is a free man (see what we did there?)
Martin Freeman has said this about returning to his John Watson role:
“If it’s something really special, and if it’s something really meaty and interesting, then I think we’d all be open to that. Sherlock always sounds a bit like an event, anyway. We did three episodes [each season]. Albeit they were long episodes. They were 90-minute episodes, but they were quite few and far between, by television standards. Normally, you’re looking at 10 or eight episodes. We did relatively few, even though there was a lot of material. It always felt like an event, so if we do more, it has to be worthy of that. We couldn’t come back with something that was quite good. It would have to feel really, really special. It was that kind of show.”
Andrew Scott’s character Professor Moriarty did die in the series but he comes back for flashback scenes so he may come back too. He only has one major project lined up and that is the Ripley series which will probably come in 2020.
Supporting Characters Schedule
Unfortunately, Mary Watson (Amanda Abbington) died trying to save Sherlock’s life. Though she has no movies or TV series lined up in the coming years so she might come back for a flashback scene or a crazy video beyond the grave. Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) has a clear schedule as well. Lestrade (Rupert Graves) is filming Seacole and Emma in 2020 but after that, he’s free to join the BBC Sherlock series. If they bring back Sherlock’s sister Eurus (Sian Brooke), they would have no problem because she currently only has one movie project Body of Water. Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) has a clear schedule too.
Hypothetical Production and Release Date of Sherlock Season 5
So, looking at all the information we have, Benedict Cumberbatch is the busiest of them all. The showrunners would have to wait until their main lead is free before they could get started on production. Though, it’s clear that the showrunners do not have any scripts for Sherlock season 5 planned as of now. After they are done with their Dracula series and other respective movie projects, they could get started on the script at the end of 2021. It may take them a year or two to finalize it.
The showrunners started working on Sherlock season 1’s script in 2008 and then the show premiered on BBC in 2010. The second season came in January 2012, while Sherlock season 3 came in 2014. There was a Sherlock special episode that came out in 2016 but the latest Sherlock Season 4 came in 2017.
So, judging from their pattern, they take about two years to finalize one season which usually contains 3 episodes.
If all the cast members and showrunners are free and the stars align in our favor, then they could start production of Sherlock season 5 by the end of 2022 or early 2023. Then we could see Sherlock season 5 release date fall sometime in 2025 or late 2024.
Let’s hope our estimates are correct! Though, if I’m wrong, I hope that’s because everyone decides to bring the season at an earlier date.
If you can’t wait to see Sherlock on your screen, you can find some hope with a different cast as there’s Sherlock Holmes 3 movie coming out in 2021!