Sherlock series 3 could air at Christmas says Benedict Cumberbatch

Could fans be treated to a modern-day take on seasonal adventure The Blue Carbuncle? asks Paul Jones

Sherlock fans already think all their Christmases have come at once, following the news yesterday that Benedict Cumberbatch and his co-star Martin Freeman have signed up for a fourth series of the detective drama. But another revelation from Cumberbatch could make the festive season even more exciting…


Cumberbatch says series three, which starts filming next week, could hit screens at Christmas.

“I think they’re talking about the winter [to show it]. Around Christmas but I’m not quite sure when,” Cumberbatch told

If he’s right, the timing could raise some interesting questions about the content of those upcoming episodes…

For many Sherlock Holmes fans, the combination of Christmas and the great detective immediately brings to mind classic Arthur Conan Doyle short story The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.

With its snowy London setting, the tale of a stolen gemstone and a Christmas goose is about as festive as it gets, but also includes some of the most satisfying examples of Holmes’s deductive reasoning, and some intriguing insights into his personality.

Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has confessed himself a huge fan of the story, telling in no uncertain terms back in 2011 “I love The Blue Carbuncle. I’d love to use it as the basis for a Sherlock Christmas special!”

Eagle-eyed fans may spot a potential problem with this scenario  Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s big reveal last year of the three words they claim will define the upcoming episodes.

How could Rat, Wedding or Bow possibly refer to The Blue Carbuncle? Well, the snivelling villain responsible for the theft of the priceless jewel could certainly be described as a rat, but beyond that I’ll let Moffat and Gatiss have the final words…

“[The three words] may be misleading, are not titles, are only teases or possibly clues, but might be deliberately designed to get you into a lather”  Steven Moffat


“We could change it completely… that’s the fun” – Mark Gatiss