So everyone's been pretty worried about the future of the BBC smash hit Sherlock as of late, and it's not difficult to point out the underlying concerns there. Heck, co-show runner Steven Moffat himself pointed out recently that the series can only last as long as the titular character actor, the increasingly busy Benedict Cumberbatch, is available and interested.
Moffat: "Once Benedict Cumberbatch gives up Sherlock, what are we going to do? We are going to stop, that’s what we are going to do. Most shows have a built-in mortality."
Well, it pretty much goes without saying doesn't it? So much of the show's popularity is down to Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman's portrayal of the central characters Sherlock Holmes and John Watson and the dynamic created between the two, what would Sherlock be without one or the other?
The (three year!) delay between Seasons 3 and 4 of Sherlock can be blamed on nobody but ourselves perhaps as both Cumberbatch and Freeman have experienced a boost in their work schedules as of recently, particularly Cumberbatch who has experienced an almost dizzying rise to fame since Season 1 first aired back in 2010.
Despite the fact that Sherlock was renewed for Season 4 nearly a year and a half ago there's still little news about when production will begin. Moffat has confirmed that it's set to start "April-ish" of next year, presumably once Cumberbatch has wrapped on the currently filming Doctor Strange, and Cumberbatch recently reaffirmed that production will begin in the spring.
But still the worry remains; will his increasingly busy schedule preclude him from devoting enough time to Sherlock (not to mention the fact that he's become a recent husband and father)?
Well, in a recent interview with The Independent Cumberbatch was asked the million dollar question: how determined is he to keep making time to work on the show that made him a household name? His response was... quite comforting to say the least:
"Pretty determined. I'm still enjoying [Sherlock]. We'll see how the next series goes, but I'd love to keep ageing with him. It would be an interesting experiment to do. Martin and I started this relatively young compared to other Holmes and Watsons, so why not?"
Well, that's fairly positive I'd say.
Okay okay, so he did say "we'll see how the next series goes" which does cast a bit of a shadow over things, but the fact that he's prepared to put time aside in his schedule for Sherlock says volumes. Especially given that it was upon the shoulders of his Sherlock popularity that he's been boosted to A-list stardom, it's nice to see a popular Hollywood actor remembering their roots and the role that fans first loved them for.
But of course it may be out of his control, juggling all those business and family priorities gets difficult, especially now that Cumberbatch is involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Doctor Strange: a character likely to become a big player in upcoming films...
Whatever happens let's hope that we get at least a few more seasons before putting the critically acclaimed show to bed, for now though we'll be happy just with Sherlock Season 4. Shame it's not due until 2017 though...
We'll see Sherlock next in The Abominable Bride, airing New Years Day 2016.