Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh Steven Moffat, how you toy with the emotions of the fans that love you. It'd be bad enough if it was just Doctor Who, but now it's Sherlock, too, and well: it just stinks to have our emotions preyed upon like this. You're tearing us apart with the news that, yes, despite previous rumblings, it might just take another 2 years for the esteemed Mr. Holmes and his good buddy Watson to appear on screen together again.

While speaking with IGN at the Television Critics Association winter tour, Moffat provided some insights into his process, the (spoils, kids) possible return of Moriarty as revealed in the season three finale episode, “His Last Vow”, and why the series sticks to its incredibly spread out schedule. Asked point blank about the return, Moffat stated point blank: "I have no idea,” before adding “Sue's working on the schedules right now.”

Certainly working on a schedule is a good — nay, great — thing, but not so fast. “If people have to wait two years, they'll have to wait two years.” Ultimately, the timeline of the series does make sense (she stated begrudgingly), considering the caliber of not only the stories — intricacies which no doubt take ages to work out, both on the page and on the screen — but also the actors involved. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are hot commodities these days. Freeman is set to star in the FX-based, television adaptation of the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, and Cumberbatch is becoming, well, one of the most buzzed-about and sought after movie actors in the game. Heck, even the show’s other creator, Mark Gatiss (who also plays Mycroft) as a bunch going on: including a role on another epic series, HBO’s Game of Thrones. Those three factors alone could push the series production back years.

Ultimately, Moffat’s most important consideration is that the show remains the brilliant, clever, and beloved series that it is whenever it returns — and if that means it takes years, so be it. “You know, we'll do what we can, but with no sacrifice in quality — that's the thing … it's not that kind of show that turns up all the time. It's just not,” Moffat declared, breaking our collective heart a little bit with his rationed and reasoned response. We are not in such deep want that we’re willing for Moffat and co-creator Mark Gatiss to cut corners on the show’s brilliance. A show like Sherlock only succeeds when the folks involved love and are excited by it.

Luckily, it seems like everyone involved is of that ilk. “But the good news is, that probably means it will turn up sporadically for a very, very long while." See? Patience is a virtue, you antsy little Sherlockians.

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