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Friday, December 4, 2020

‘Sherlock’: everything we know about season 5

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Three years ago the premiere of the fourth season of ‘Sherlock’ and fans of this British series are still waiting for the arrival of the fifth. The funny thing is that those responsible commented after the launch of the third that they had already thought the plot for both the fourth and fifth, but everything suggests that the plans have changed a lot since then.

Then we will review everything that is known so far of the fifth season of ‘Sherlock’, from how the news has evolved in this regard to the current state of a new batch of episodes that we may never see. Meanwhile, we have the version of ‘Dracula’ that those responsible for ‘Sherlock’ have just released.

Early confirmation and subsequent doubts

As we pointed out further, Steven Moffat took advantage of the then imminent premiere of the last episode of the third season to unveil his plans for the future:

Mark Gatiss and I have begun to elaborate the plots of what we could do in the future. We have drawn all the plots of the fourth and fifth season. The ideas we had that day I think are the best we have had.

Then there were certain problems to organize the agendas of all those involved, which led to the realization of a special episode that aired on January 1, 2016, premiering the fourth season just a year later. It was then that doubts began to arise about the fifth batch of episodes following Moffat’s statements:

If this were the last time, we have not planned that so but it could be, it is possible , we could end there. We could not have finished the series in any other of the seasons because they always ended up with incredible cliffhangers.

Of course, just a few months later he said he was still working with the idea that ‘Sherlock’, although Andrew Scott, who plays Moriarty in the series, also stressed that the series would not return for at least two more years to keep it fresh. The deadline is over and, unfortunately, we still have no concrete news that they have already started to work.

In fact, Gatiss and Moffat have been quite busy during this time with ‘Dracula’, a series in which they started working in mid-2017, although the definitive momentum came at the end of 2018 when BBC gave the green light to it. We will have to see if their release now leaves them free to think again about ‘Sherlock’, if they prefer to continue with ‘Dracula’ or if they simply focus on a new project.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most requested actors of recent years, so finding a place in his agenda is always going to be complicated, but Martin Freeman does not lack work either and does not get along very well with fame, but especially with the demands of the fans.

In March 2018 he came to declare that “it has stopped being fun ” to make the series because of the pressure he felt on the part of the fans, being answered shortly afterwards by Cumberbatch quite bluntly:

It’s pretty pathetic if that’s all it takes so you don’t want to have contact with your reality. For the expectations? I dont know. I don’t necessarily have to agree … There is a level of obsession where [the fans] take over the franchise even though it is we who are doing it. That simply does not affect me in the same way, I must say.

Hopefully, that apparent dispute has been resolved amicably, but certainly does not invite you to think that Cumberbatch and Freeman are looking forward to working together again. In addition, the second made it very clear in an interview granted in August 2019 that it was not going to be precisely easy to convince him to do a fifth season:

If it’s something really special and it’s something really juicy and interesting, then I think I’d be open to it. (…) It has always been like an event and if we do more, it has to be up to par. We cannot return with something that is not very good. It would have to feel like something very very special. It’s that kind of series.

It does not close the door, but it may also be a way to look good so that it is not indicated to him as responsible for no more ‘Sherlock’. For its part, Cumberbatch has to start filming soon the expected sequel to ‘Doctor Strange’ and has several more confirmed projects but has always sounded more willing to return to Baker Street than Freeman.

To kill the bug

If you can not wait to see new cases of ‘Sherlock’, you always have the option to see one of the many other adaptations of the mythical character created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Lovers of television series have several options, from ‘Elementary’, which was undoubtedly made by the enormous popularity achieved by the series of Moffat and Gatiss. Starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, it has seven seasons and 154 episodes that, without a doubt, will keep you busy for a long time.

However, no one on the small screen had associated both Sherlock Holmes and Jeremy Brett, even today the favourite of many. His debut came with ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ in 1984, recovering the character in another handful of short-lived series, the last of the ‘The Memories of Sherlock Holmes’ in 1994. His death just a year later left us without more cases investigated by Brett.

On the big screen, we have to go back a few more years until 1939 to find ‘The Dog of the Baskervilles’, the first of the many occasions in which Basil Rathbone got into the skin of this charismatic detective. Already in 1959, it was Peter Cushing who offered a memorable interpretation adapting the same story – recovering the character in 1968 for a television series – but if you are looking for a different but fascinating approach to the character, do not even think about letting the magnificent ‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’.

The last memorable cinematic approach to the character came from the hand of Guy Ritchie in 2009 with Robert Downey Jr. In front of the character. With a more modern approach, it is a great hobby that led to a much lower sequel. From time to time there is talk of a possible third instalment that is currently in the hands of Dexter Fletcher, responsible for the recent ‘Rocketman’.

If you are looking for you will find more versions, from direct adaptations – eye to the infinity of silent short films between 1921 and 1923 with Eille Norwood stuck in the skin of the unstoppable detective – to free versions of the most different from each other. From the wonderful ‘The modern Sherlock Holmes’ led by Buster Keaton to the unforgettable Doctor House played by Hugh Laurie.

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