Benedict Cumberbatch hints that next ‘Sherlock’ series could be the last

He and Martin Freeman return for a new three-episode run in January 2017

Benedict Cumberbatch has hinted that the next series of Sherlock could be the last.

He and Martin Freeman return for a new three-episode run of the detective drama in January 2017, joined once again by Amanda Abbington as Mary Morstan, as well as by a new villain played by Toby Jones. Largely because of the actors’ busy schedules, this will be only the fourth series of Sherlock since the show debuted in 2010.

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.”

The BBC has 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”. Watch a trailer for the new series below.