Three years will have passed for Sherlock when Season 4 picks up in January (to say nothing of The Abominable Bride in 2016), and fans have been well-warned that the Benedict Cumberbatch-Martin Freeman series could return intermittently in the years to come. Cumberbatch himself seemed to suggest that Season 4 might be the last for some time, if ever, but creator Steven Moffat isn’t quite so sure.

Where previously Cumberbatch had suggested that Season 4 “feels like the end of an era,” both for the characters and ability to go back before cameras within any immediate future, Steven Moffat tells Entertainment Weekly the actor’s words were misconstrued:

This is really worth saying because it’s getting exhausting for us all. That’s not what Benedict said. That’s what someone edited his words into the meaning of. It seems to be impossible these days not to be misquoted. He was quite specific about being keen to carry on. He went on to say he’s hard to get us all together. We want to keep the quality up. We haven’t even seen this [season air] yet. We don’t know. We haven’t sat down with the intent to anything yet. But we’re always aware that it could be over. But the fact is Benedict did not say that.

Then again, EW goes on to note that Martin Freeman echoed Cumberbatch’s words in a radio interview with Norton and Friends:

Life does sometimes have a way of telling you, ‘This is probably it now.’ This last [season] did have a feeling of – I don’t know whether it has a finality to it – but it certainly had a feeling of a pause. It definitely had a feeling of that. And I am never ever afraid of things ending. I mean I am not looking forward to life ending or love ending, but things that we make should end.

There’s every reason to think that Sherlock could continue intermittently, as previously suggested, but does the implied conclusion of Season 4 finale title “The Final Problem” cement this as Sherlock’s final year? Check out the latest Season 4 trailer below.

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