Steven Moffat: ‘Sherlock may not survive’

The writer teases this weekend's series finale

Sherlock creator Steven Moffat has hinted that the detective could die in this weekend’s series finale.

BBC1’s hit update of Arthur Conan Doyle‘s detective stories concludes on Sunday (January 15) with The Reichenbach Fall, and the writer has refused to be drawn on whether a third series will be made, simply teasing: “If he survives.”

In an interview with, Moffat said of a potential third series: “If he survives… there’s a whole bunch of details that have never been mentioned before in any film – stuff that we love. The meeting [between Sherlock and John] – I think it’s maybe, in the 200-odd Sherlock Holmes dramatisations, it’s maybe the third time it’s been done. And it’s a great first meeting – it’s a flatshare. It’s flatshare detective thriller comedy – how can you not do that?!”

Any third series would not emerge for some time, since Martin Freeman (Watson) is currently filming The Hobbit and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) is about to shoot Star Trek 2.

This week’s episode sees the return of arch enemy Moriarty. Talking about updating the villain, Moffat added: “If we did Moriarty [in the style of the novels] now, he would look like a hoary old take-off of a super-villain. That’s not going to work – it’s been done brilliantly too many times and spoofed too many times, we couldn’t do that. So we just thought, what would really scare Sherlock Holmes?

Andrew Scott became a star – which he absolutely deserves to be – on the basis of being in the last three or four minutes of Sherlock. His screentime was tiny but it’s a measure of that man’s extraordinary talent that he’s become such a big deal so quickly. He’s a genius.”

Talking about the success of the second series, Moffat continued: “There’s a new spring in the step of the show. I think, particularly with Benedict. As brilliant as he was, suddenly he knows he’s a star. Same thing happened with Matt Smith – you saw it in last year’s [Doctor Who] Christmas special. It was the first time Matt had played the Doctor knowing that he was a hit. You’re seeing Benedict flourish into it, and just being such a star.”