Release Dates: 2017
Number of Episodes: 3
Since 2010, the BBC has presented the reimagined adventures of Sherlock Holmes set in modern-day London starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. It may sound facile, but after watching this fourth season, I wish the show had stuck with telling stories of two men solving mysteries. It seems that this show has gone from being about a man with remarkable abilities in gritty, everyday London to being a show about a man with superpowers in a fantasy world paralleling our own.
The purpose of each episode in this series seems to be to put a character through emotional and physical torment and see how they react – Mary (Amanda Abbington) in “The Six Thatchers,” John in “The Lying Detective,” and Sherlock in “The Final Problem.” It’s a credit to the acting talent of these actors (and others in supporting roles) that the show remains compelling to watch, but the absence of story (and mystery and adventure) is clearly missing in this series. That the series is a set of three 90-minute “feature-length” episodes doesn’t help as the emotional and character arcs would be developed better over a longer series.
The end of the series appears to be resetting Sherlock to its original “Holmes/Watson solve a mystery premise,” while at the same time rumors are swirling that the show is now at an end. I do hope it returns, because it is still a compelling show to watch, but I hope the showrunners and writers take some time to rest and reconsider before creating another series.