Showrunner Steven Moffat has confirmed that filming will begin in spring 2016, with the release of season 4 planned for some time in 2017. So the fandom that waited will continue to wait. But at least this time we have a Christmas special to look forward to! And Moffat was kind enough to share a few details about the upcoming special.
"The episode will reportedly wrap up the Moriarty story arch, which was introduced in the last few minutes of the third season."
Okay, so we assumed from the promotional and leaked set photos that the entire episode was going to be a period piece (the return of the Watson 'stache kind of gave it away). So how will Moriary fit into this? And does this mean he won't be a part of the fourth season? It seems like a waste of a perfectly good twist.
Maybe, maybe not? If Moriary is an important player, why haven't any images of him surfaced? We know for sure Mary is back, and it seems like she and Sherlock are having a blast!
The recent filming details created speculation that the series will be going back in time. According to Moffat's interview with Entertainment Weekly before his South by Southwest conference, this will be the case. “The special is its own thing,” said Moffat. “We wouldn’t have done the story we’re doing, and the way we’re doing it, if we didn’t have this special. It’s not part of the run of three episodes. So we had this to do it – as we could hardly conceal – it’s Victorian. [Co-creator Mark Gatiss] and me, we wanted to do this, but it had to be a special, it had to be separate entity on its own. It’s kind of in its own little bubble.”
So, the showrunners are making extra canonical fanfiction... of their modern day au Sherlock Holmes fanfiction. This is too meta you guys.
Mary looks really amazing in that costume though. I'm glad to see her on the set. Here's to hoping she'll have an active role to play. She was pregnant when we last saw her, so maybe John is going to be a stay-at-home dad while Mary Watson solves cases with Sherlock. That would be so cool!