Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman's Doctor Watson return to BBC One on New Year's Day.

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A cryptic new teaser for Sherlock‘s new series aired on BBC One tonight (November 30).

The clip features a still of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman’s Doctor Watson with the teasing caption: “It’s not a game anymore.” Watch below.

Sherlock‘s return was confirmed for January 2017 last month with a surprise trailer that also aired on BBC One. The first episode, airing on New Year’s Day, will be titled ‘The Six Thatchers’.

The show’s last series aired in 2014. Cumberbatch and Freeman first played Doyle’s iconic characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in 2010.

The BBC previously revealed that series four will begin with Cumberbatch’s title character “back once more on British soil as Doctor Watson and his wife, Mary, prepare for their biggest ever challenge – becoming parents for the first time”.

Benedict Cumberbatch has hinted that the next series of Sherlock could be the last. Discussing the new series with GQ, Cumberbatch said: “It might be the end of an era. It feels like the end of an era, to be honest. It goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately.”

However, the actor also said: “We never say never on the show. I’d love to revisit it, I’d love to keep revisiting it, I stand by that, but in the immediate future we all have things that we want to crack on with and we’ve made something very complete as it is, so I think we’ll just wait and see. The idea of never playing him again is really galling.”