It feels like it's been forever since we've learned anything about Season 4 of BBC's Sherlock. Sure, we were given confirmation when production finally began, and we got a teaser last month, but Season 4 has still felt like it's a very long way off. Now, the first promotional image has hit the web, and it's definitely gets us jazzed for the new episodes. Check it out!

The boys will be back soon! Here’s the first official picture of #Sherlock and John from Series 4.

Posted by Sherlock on Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The first image of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson from Season 4 was posted on the show's Facebook this morning. After only six hours online, it has already accumulated more than 314 thousand likes, nearly 50 thousand shares, and over 13 thousand comments. Folks are already plenty excited about what this first look at Season 4 means, and why not? We haven't gotten a new episode of Sherlock set entirely in the present since way back in February of 2014. The Victorian special earlier this year was an entertaining departure from the normal Sherlock format, but it wasn't the best for whetting the appetites of waiting fans.

Of course, the single image doesn't tell us a whole lot about what Sherlock and John will face in their next set of adventures. We shouldn't expect that the first episode will be called "The Case of the Drooping Curls" or "The Mystery of the Slicked-Back Hair," although I personally wouldn't mind an explanation behind John's new 'do. He looks like he just watched a Harry Potter marathon and decided to give the Draco Malfoy look a try. Hopefully the positioning of the boys doesn't mean that they'll spend much of their time in conflict. Sherlock looks as inquisitive as ever; John doesn't look especially enthusiastic.

Actress Amanda Abbington has already revealed that Season 4 will be the darkest to date, and star Benedict Cumberbatch himself has teased that the show will be more intense than ever before when it finally returns. It's really no surprise that Sherlock and John don't look too happy in the promo pic. Their new big bad certainly doesn't sound like he'll be a barrel of laughs when he makes his debut in the second of the three new episodes.

Frankly, the picture could be much plainer and still be worth celebrating. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have been so busy over the past few years that the biggest obstacle in the way of Season 4 has been their schedules. Cumberbatch has starred in a variety of projects, ranging from the 2014 film Imitation Game to the National Theatre Live: Hamlet TV movie. He landed the role of Dr. Stephen Strange for the upcoming Marvel movie Doctor Strange, which means that he'll be a key figure in the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe when the project premieres in November. For his part, Martin Freeman was busy in the world of Tolkien as leading man of all three Hobbit films, then went on to help turn the FX series Fargo into a hit. Interestingly, he also landed a role in the Marvel universe. Freeman appeared as an interrogator in Captain America: Civil War. We're lucky that the two actors found the time to film three new episodes of Sherlock.

Unfortunately, everybody still has a while to wait until Season 4 hits the airwaves. The premiere will debut in the U.K. in January 2017, but there's no confirmation just yet of when the U.S. will get it. Years past have seen episodes air on PBS shortly after their BBC premiere; hopefully American fans won't have to wait too long for the next mystery facing Sherlock and John. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to watch in the meantime.

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