ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

I can't think of many other shows that have the same confidence and gaul as Sherlock. Coming and going only every year or two, and even then only rocking three episodes per season, just has the air of a rockstar who wakes up only to do a ten minute set before going back to his groupies. Sherlock can do no wrong, because it simply gives itself no space to screw up.

For those who like nice neat trilogies, Sherlock Season 4 will be extending the series into misshapen, perhaps dangerous territory. A show can rest on its initial premise for three seasons, but once it hits four, fans will expect a change, perhaps in theme, tone or narrative focus. Speaking as fans, what changes would we like to see made in Sherlock Season 4?

Moriarty in every episode

He's back? Kind of?
He's back? Kind of?

This is an example of something that would no doubt please a lot of fans, yet change the nature of Sherlock as a show. To include Moriarty as a threat in all three episodes of Season 4 would give the show a much more immediate feel, and almost give the impression of it being a chase movie, with two great minds constantly duking it out. Now, the only evidence we have that Moriarty could still be alive is the "miss me?" gif at the end of Season 3, which is a little flimsy if you ask me. Perhaps we could see Sherlock take on the "Moriarty collective" or at least the institution he could posthumously represent.

Leave Conan Doyle's stories behind

This one has already been done to a degree throughout Season 3. Sherlock has, for the most part, adhered to the original stories of Arthur Conan Doyle, whether in name, subject matter, or just loose thematics. Sherlock has however become such a symbol of its own, Gatiss and Moffat hardly need the prestige of the original stories for legitimacy. The best way to prove that Sherlock Holmes is translatable into the modern day is not just to change the setting, but ultimately to carry on his new adventures completely divorced from their roots. I'm pretty sure fans wouldn't mind, or perhaps wouldn't even notice.

A serial killer

People love serial killers. Well, that statement obviously needs a lot of contextualization, but you get the point. The image of a genius detective going after a relentless killer is one the public have become particularly endeared to. How would this work in Sherlock? Well it would liquidate the episodic structure for once, and I'm not sure if fans would enjoy the whole unstoppable force meeting an immovable object dynamic that Moriarty recently dominated. Still, an entirely new structure could be entertaining!

Fewer mysteries

Oh stop it, Sherlock!
Oh stop it, Sherlock!

Asking Steven Moffat not to indulge in huge narrative enigmas is kind of like asking the sea not to be wet. He just does it because fans churning with confusion and frustration for over a year is what he lives for. Sooner or later, the guy will have to realize that narrative mysteries make fans return through compulsion, not through a love for a show. Once we're done with solving how Moriarty could possibly be returning in Season 4, perhaps the show should rely on believable narrative progression that makes fans feel compelled to return next reason, rather than forced to.

A supernatural threat

So here's a suggestion that stretches plausibility a little. What if one of the mysteries Sherlock was faced with really had no explanation within the parameters of reality, and he had to adjust his methods to decipher a mystery that was beyond this realm? A supernatural threat could always be proven as bunk by the end of Season 4, but this suggestion essentially boils down to anything getting better with weirdness. Sherlock has always been such a clean cut, straight forward show, so it really couldn't hurt if its grip on reality loosened just a little in Season 4.

What kinds of storylines would you like to see in Sherlock Season 4? Write a post here on MoviePilot, vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!


What changes would YOU like to see made in Sherlock Season 4?


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