Is Moriarty back from the dead in the new Sherlock trailer?

We think we've spotted Andrew Scott's villain alive and kicking

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Ever since he popped up at the end of Sherlock series 3 saying “Did you miss me?” on various screens around the world, fans have wondered whether Andrew Scott’s fan-favourite villain Moriarty could really have come back from the dead. 

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Did he fake putting a bullet through his head at the end of season 2? Did he somehow survive the injury? Or is this all just some prerecorded computer programme he set up to bother Sherlock in the event of his death?

For months, we just didn’t know – but that could all be about to change, thanks to a first-look trailer for Sherlock series 4 that apparently shows Moriarty back among the living. 

No, we don’t mean the bit at the beginning – that’s the prerecorded clip again – but rather a shot towards the end, which sees a rather familiar-looking figure walking along a beach towards what looks like policemen.

Check out that hair, and those ears – that HAS to be Moriarty, right?

Now, it could be that this is some sort of flashback explaining Moriarty’s posthumous plan rather than him back on the scene, or it could be one of Sherlock’s mind palace dreams, or it could even just be a very convincing back-of-the-head lookalike. It’s entirely possible that Moriarty is exactly as he seems – dead and buried.

But frankly, based on this evidence, we wouldn’t cut him from your Christmas card list just yet.

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Sherlock will return in early 2017