As fans eagerly wait to find out just how Sherlock faked his own death in the hit BBC1 drama, Mark Gatiss has been explaining the show’s enormous popularity.
“What can’t we get enough of?,” he says in an interview with the Sunday Times. “It’s the friendship, but also the deduction.
“He’s a superhero for adults. He has achievable powers. We can all try to be him and think, ‘Oh if only I were a little clever, a little more observant.”
In the interview, Gatiss adds that he is keen to develop new projects beyond the two successful TV reinventions he is most associated with - Doctor Who and Sherlock.
"I am often asked 'what are you going to bring back next?' and I shudder," he says.
"Sherlock and Doctor Who are great, but they're both very successful reinventions. The biggest problem you have is trying to get anything new off the ground.
"What I would really like to do is to make new stuff that people can be nostalgic about in 30 years' time. It's hard but there is such a pressure to go with brands that people already know."
Sherlock will return to our screens on Wednesday 1 January 2014, with the following two installments of Sherlock series three showing on the show's traditional primetime Sunday evening slot.
This means fans will have to wait just four days for the second feature length episode, The Sign of Three, on Sunday 5 January, with the third and final part, His Last Vow, set to air on Sunday 12 January.
The events of the third season are still being kept under wraps by Gatiss and Steven Moffat even though the opening episode has been shown in preview and explains how the sleuth survived his plummet from the roof of St Bart's Hospital.