The third series of the BBC’s “Sherlock” ended with a surprising coda – despite his having committed suicide last season, Moriarty’s visage popped up on every screen in London asking “Did you miss me?”.
Is Holmes’ nemesis still alive? Mark Gatiss, the show’s co-creator, producer, writer, and our hero’s on-screen brother Mycroft Holmes, tells Radio Times that next year’s upcoming standalone special of the show will “completely” solve the mystery of Moriarty’s supposed reappearance leading to a new story arc for the full fourth series.
That arc is also set to take a darker tone than last series as Gatiss teases “you can always expect tragedy as well as adventure”. Despite the stories themselves undergoing a LOT of changes in their adaptation to the screen, the show itself is following the general arcs of Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters. This would suggest that John Watson’s wife Mary (Amanda Abbington) is eventually going to met an unhappy fate. Gatiss, however, says only to expect the unexpected:
“Just because it’s in the stories doesn’t mean it’ll happen in the series because there’s an awful lot of changes and an awful lot of places to go and things to do. It should be clear by now that while, of course, Doyle is our absolute god, we have gone quite a long way away as well… so there are lots of surprises to come.
As for Moriarty, will we ever see him again after the standalone? “Well, it’s very hard to put a lid on Andrew Scott.”
Filming on the special begins in January ahead of a late 2015 airing. The fourth series will begin shooting later in 2015 ahead of an early 2016 premiere.