'Sherlock' co-creator Mark Gatiss drops hints about the show's fourth season

There will be 'tragedy as well as adventure' on the show's upcoming fourth season, Gatiss said recently. For fans of the 'Sherlock Holmes' books, does that mean what they think it does?

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'Sherlock' stars Benedict Cumberbatch.

Will the new season of the British drama "Sherlock" have fans reaching for the tissues?

"Sherlock" co-creator Mark Gatiss recently said in an interview with Radio Times that "you can always expect tragedy as well as adventure, that’s just how it goes."

Gatiss also stars on the show about Sherlock Holmes ("The Imitation Game" star Benedict Cumberbatch) and his friend John Watson (Martin Freeman of the "Hobbit" films), which brings the characters to present-day London, as Sherlock's brother Mycroft.

(Speculation about the new season with spoilers from the book series follows...)

As fans of the "Sherlock Holmes" books know, the series includes the death of Watson's wife Mary (portrayed by Amanda Abbington on the show). However, Gatiss told the Radio Times, "Just because it’s in the stories doesn’t mean it’ll happen in the series because there’s an awful lot of changes and an awful lot of places to go and things to do. It should be clear by now that while, of course, Doyle is our absolute god, we have gone quite a long way away as well – we’ve introduced Sherlock and Mycroft’s parents, I don’t think they’ve ever been seen in any adaptation. So there are lots of surprises to come.”

The next season of “Sherlock” will be the critically acclaimed show’s fourth and according to the BBC, a single special episode will air before the full season premieres. Most seasons of the show have consisted of three hour-and-a-half episodes and Gatiss and co-creator Steven Moffat told the BBC that the new season will also consist of three episodes apart from the special.

According to the BBC, shooting for the special episode will begin this January.

The show is critically acclaimed – at last year’s Emmy Awards, “Sherlock” won the writing for a miniseries, movie, or dramatic special prize and Cumberbatch and Freeman won the lead actor and supporting actor in a miniseries, movie, or dramatic special awards, respectively.

The character of Sherlock Holmes has been having a moment in pop culture over the past few years. The BBC series debuted in 2010, while “Iron Man” actor Robert Downey Jr. starred as the character in the 2009 movie “Sherlock Holmes” and the 2011 movie “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” Meanwhile, the CBS show “Elementary,” which stars actor Jonny Lee Miller as another contemporary version of Sherlock, is currently airing its third season.

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