Sherlock was a smash hit of a series for the BBC back when it first premiered in 2010, and fans waited as patiently as possible over the years for new episodes. We finally got a Season 4 in early 2017, but it ended with no hint of a Season 5. Now, Sherlock writer and co-creator Mark Gatiss has weighed in on the future of the series and the big reason why it may be done for good, saying this:
I honestly don't know if there will be any more. It's incredibly difficult to get Benedict and Martin's diaries to align. And obviously we left it in a very happy place... if that's the end I'd be very happy where we left it.
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were somewhat well known before Sherlock hit the airwaves, but they've become big names in both TV and film in recent years, and they're evidently more in-demand now than they've even been. Both actors have movies in the works at the moment, and both have recently joined the wildly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. As long as Marvel keeps cranking out movies, Cumberbatch and Freeman may have work in the superhero sphere. Mark Gatiss' comments at the WhatsOnStage Awards (via The Sun) indicate there there simply might not be enough room in the stars' schedules to allow for more Sherlock.
While the news will undoubtedly come as a bummer to fans who were hoping for the announcement of a Season 5, we can at least take some consolation in the fact that Season 4 did not end on a cliffhanger. The first three seasons ended with the fates of our heroes in question, and so the hiatuses were pretty painful for those of us who were anxiously awaiting answers. The Season 4 finale felt like a pretty definitive end, complete with hauntingly beautiful musical montage in the final scene. Personally, I'd be open to a Season 5 and beyond, but I'm pretty satisfied with how Season 4 came to a close. If we never get any more of the adventures of Sherlock and John, I'll be okay with it.
Mark Gatiss' remarks about the difficulties of coordinating Benedict Cumberbatch's and Martin Freeman's schedules don't come as a huge surprise. Cumberbatch himself revealed in 2016 that although he'd be on board to revisit Sherlock at some point, he and the rest of the Sherlock team have other projects to focus on. Creator Steven Moffat has said that he's willing to carry on with more seasons, but he's "hardly the main draw" of the show. Neither Cumberbatch nor Moffat would rule out another batch of episodes; we still shouldn't start planning our Sherlock Season 5 watch parties.