Martin Freeman on a Sherlock return: “It would have to be really, really special”

The Watson star has said he'd return to screen with Benedict Cumberbatch's detective if the story was "something really meaty and interesting"

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock series 4

An update on Sherlock Holmes and the case of a possible fifth series of his BBC drama now. And – you guessed it – it’s about how the hit show probably won’t be revived anytime soon.


At least that’s what we can gather from recent comments made by Martin Freeman, who played John Watson alongside Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular super-sleuth.

Speaking about the potential for more Sherlock episodes to Collider, the actor said there had been few talks about reviving the show as the cast and lead writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat were busy with other projects (see: Dracula).

“They’re few and far between, the discussions about Sherlock, just because Mark [Gatiss] and Steven [Moffat], the writers, and Benedict [Cumberbatch] and I, are all lucky enough to be not only working on stuff that we like and are interested in, but we know what Sherlock is,” he said.

“You don’t look that gift horse in the mouth ‘cause that sort of stuff doesn’t happen very often, in someone’s life. It’s a huge, huge, worldwide hit, and way beyond anything we could’ve imagined.”

Freeman also added that he would only want Sherlock – which was last on screens in January 2017 – to return if a new series could be “something really special”.

“If it’s something really meaty and interesting, then I think we’d all be open to that,” he explained.

“Sherlock always sounds a bit like an event, anyway. We did three episodes [each series]. Albeit they were long episodes. They were 90-minute episodes, but they were quite few and far between, by television standards. Normally, you’re looking at 10 or eight episodes.

“We did relatively few, even though there was a lot of material. It always felt like an event, so if we do more, it has to be worthy of that. We couldn’t come back with something that was quite good. It would have to feel really, really special. It was that kind of show.”

While it looks like we’ve got a long wait to see Watson and Sherlock back on our screens, creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss say they would be surprised if they never made any more Sherlock.

“Nobody has ever closed the door on Sherlock – we just say the same thing all the time and it gets quoted different ways,” Moffat previously told

“We haven’t got an immediate plan, but I would remain surprised, given the collective enthusiasm we have for it, if we didn’t do it again.”


In other words, there might be a huge delay, but the game could still be afoot.