As Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have introduced a whole new generation of fans to Arthur Conan Doyle's detective tales. And according to showrunner Steven Moffat, the BBC's popular detective series would not continue without its leading men.
Speaking at the Ad-Lib event at Edinburgh's fringe festival, Moffat commented on the longevity of the show, making reference to his two stars and their increasingly successful film careers. "It's quite difficult at the moment," he admitted, thanks to the difficulty of judging various filming schedules. So what future would the show have if Cumberbatch and Freeman took the decision to move on? Could Sherlock and Watson follow in the footsteps of Moffat's Time Lord and "regenerate"?
"That show could not continue without Benedict and Martin. It's absolutely them," stated Moffat. Well, that's the end of that idea.
But any ardent Sherlock fans worrying that their favourite show could soon come to an end can be comforted by Moffat's next suggestion... "Benedict and Martin have been announcing on various red carpets that they're happy to come back and keep doing it. It would be quite nice to do it for a long, long time - let them age and become the normal aged Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson."
Benedict Cumberbatch playing Sherlock as a silver fox? We rather like that idea...