Anyone who has ever done any creative writing knows that it's not something that can be done effectively in moderation. Inspiration comes in fits and starts, and when it does you have to ride it out and write down as much as you can.
The rule holds true for Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the show runners and producers of the BBC's "Sherlock". Speaking during a BAFTA screening this week for the third series finale to air in the UK on Sunday, Moffat revealed one such rush of inspiration has led to grander plans being built:
"Rather excitingly, Mark and I, for no particular reason, we just got out of the rain and sat at the top of the [Sherlock] production bus… and we just started plotting out what we could do in the future. And we plotted out the whole of series four and five.
So we have got plans – but our plans don't tend to be 'Let's blow up the world or cast the most famous person in the world.' They tend to be 'What exciting twists and turns can we add to this?' And I think we've got some crackers! The ideas we had that day, I thought were the best we've ever had."
Radio Times posted the quote transcript. This basically suggests the next six telemovies are mapped out, or at least their source material inspirations and story arcs have rough outlines at this point.
Where it will go from here though is anyone's guess. Though titles, character names and references to key moments from Doyle stories are still there, the series continues to chart its own original narrative course with recent episodes veering further away from the individual Doyle stories.