Sherlock Holmes isn’t generally pop culture’s go-to for a dashing hero, but once upon a time, neither was Benedict Cumberbatch. Now, Sherlock creator Steven Moffat jokes that even Cumberbatch’s mother thought he was wrong for the part, also providing an update on those ever-swirling final season rumors.

Time Out London had a chance to check in with Moffat before the January 4 premiere of Sherlock Season 4 opener “The Six Thatchers,” in which Moffat marveled at how wide Cumberbatch’s fandom has grown in the age of Tumblr. As it turns out, even Cumberbatch’s mother (who herself appears as Sherlock’s mother) has a sense of humor about her son’s otherworldly looks:

Benedict’s mum didn’t think he was good-looking enough to play Sherlock. Nobody did. He never thought of himself as good-looking and everyone casually agreed with him. He still regards it as preposterous that he’s become this sex symbol.

In all seriousness, at least Moffat was once again willing to debunk suggestions that Season 4 could be the last we see of Sherlock’s handsomeness:

‘We never said this is the last series of “Sherlock”. Both Benedict and I have been interviewed recently and in both cases we said we were quite keen to continue. The clickbait era has done nothing for truth. Perfectly reasonable things I say are mashed up, added to and misquoted. I wish it would stop.’

In the meantime, so reads the first official synopsis for January 1 return “The Six Thatchers,” itself an update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.”

In episode one of this new series, written by Mark Gatiss, Sherlock waits to see where Moriarty will make his posthumous move.

One mysterious case in particular baffles Scotland Yard - but Sherlock is more interested in a seemingly-trivial detail. Why is someone destroying images of the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher? Is there a madman on the loose? Or is there a much darker purpose at work? Something with its roots deep in Mary Watson’s past…

Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman as John Watson, Mark Gatiss as Mycroft, Rupert Graves as Inspector Lestrade, Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson, Amanda Abbington as Mary Watson and Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper.

“The Six Thatchers” was directed by Doctor Who and The Flash director Rachel Talalay. While we wait, watch the newest Sherlock Season 4 trailer below, and stay tuned for more.