‘Sherlock’ co-creator hopes to continue show for ‘as long as we can’

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will return for a Victorian special later this year

Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has reassured fans there are no plans to call time on the BBC’s hit detective drama.

The show will return later this year for a self-contained special set in Victorian England, followed by a new series of three episodes, which is due to start shooting in early 2016.

Conceived as a contemporary take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective stories, Sherlock launched on BBC One in 2010 and its most recent episodes aired in early 2014. Despite the popularity of the series created by Gatiss and Doctor Who‘s Steven Moffat, relatively few episodes have been made, partly because of the difficulty of aligning the busy schedules of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

“We had high hopes for it – and we were very proud of it – but we had no concept it would [become such a hit]. We’ve only made 10, and the 10th one hasn’t even been on yet!” Gatiss recalled in an interview with Digital Spy. “But it’s extraordinary, the extent to which people have taken it to their hearts, and again, it’s a BBC world beater! An absolutely amazing thing to have done and to be part of.”

“So yeah, we’re all constantly thrilled, and amazed again by people’s enthusiasm for it – and we hope to carry on as long as we can,” Gatiss concluded.