Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman‘s odd couple Sherlock and Holmes have been eagerly anticipating the newest series of BBC’s wildly popular show Sherlock since 2014, and a small hint of what we can look forward to in 2017 has finally been revealed according to Vulture. The creators of the show and the BBC have released the titles of the first two episodes in the fourth series, and we can now start the game of determining what they could mean. Just yesterday, they tweeted this:
What we do know is that there will be three episodes in the season and that the first two will be titled “The Six Thatchers” and “The Lying Detective.” If all goes as it has in the past, these titles will correlate directly with one of the stories that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in the nineteenth century. In series one, “A Study in Pink” could trace its inspiration to A Study in Scarlet, and season two had titles that directly matched with those of very famous Sherlock Holmes stories as well as a very historic villain.
There are 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories that the creators of Sherlock could be drawing inspiration from, but it would make quite a bit of sense for “The Six Thatchers” to perhaps be referencing The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, a short story from 1906 that involves a Napoleon bust-smashing criminal and murder. “The Lying Detective” most likely references The Adventure of the Dying Detective which was collected in His Last Bow in 1917. I mention His Last Bow because it would make sense that a story from this collection would somewhat follow the final episode of series 3, “His Last Vow” so directly. However, “His Last Vow” is actually based on The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton which was published in 1906. The Adventure of the Dying Detective is a tale of spies and has strong themes of patriotism – unsurprising given its publication on the eve of World War I. Given the themes that Moriarty’s story explored with shadow conventions of thieves around the world, and the promise of a new villain for series four in Toby Jones, perhaps we are in for further stories of the worldwide network of bad guys with exciting new stories.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Amanda Abbington will all return for series four of the hit show. It is set to premiere in January 2017. You can watch the trailer for the new season below.
If you have any theories you simply must share on what these new episode titles could mean, please tweet them to us at @nerdist! We need to details to stew over in the coming weeks.
What do the writers have to say about the upcoming season?