Benedict Cumberbatch appears on the cover of British GQ this month in the run-up to the release of Marvel’s Doctor Strange. In his interview with the magazine, Cumberbatch quickly touched on Sherlock, and fans might not be happy with what he said.
Speaking of the forthcoming fourth season, 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. 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.
Cumberbatch’s statement isn’t that far off from what the show’s creator Steven Moffat said in an interview this summer:
I don’t know how long we can keep it going. I’m personally willing but I’m hardly the main draw. I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show. But it absolutely could be. We do have two film stars in the program. They haven’t needed to do these jobs for a very long time. They’re coming back because they want to.
Both star and creator seem to agree that there are other things Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman want to do right now besides Sherlock.
But that’s not to say we won’t ever see Cumberbatch and Freeman back in the roles again. Cumberbatch certainly left the door open for more in his GQ interview, saying “The idea of never playing [Sherlock] again is really galling.” And Moffat similarly thought the show would go on eventually, saying, “That’s why I think it’s unlikely that we’ve completely finished it. There would be nothing strange in stopping for a while. It could go on forever, coming back now and again.”
Sherlock has always had an erratic release schedule, just as a result of the nature of its format, but it looks like we might be seeing a bigger break between seasons four and five than we’re used to.