Benedict Cumberbatch Talks Sherlock Series 3

After news that Sherlock gave nearly 9 million viewers a tellygasm on New Year’s Day (beating EastEnders and the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) in the process, the show’s star has spoken of the ‘difficulty’ of a prospective third series.

Fans who’ve read Conan-Doyle’s stories will know what to expect at the end of next weekend’s series finale ‘The Reichenbach Fall’, the plot of which was also woven into Guy Ritchie’s recent movie.

“You might see that it’s quite hard for me to make it back, after the end of the last episode,” said Cumberbatch at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour. “There’s a lawyer telling me not to say anything. I’m only going to tease you with the fact that I’d like to.”

Mark Gatiss – who wrote this Sunday’s episode ‘Hounds of Baskerville’ – was also tight-lipped about the future of the show in an interview with Digital Spy this week. When asked if we could expect a third outing, he replied: “Well, you have to see if they’re going to survive this one!”

But he also admitted that there were ‘millions’ of Conan-Doyle’s ideas that he wants to bring to the screen. “One of the joys about doing this show, from the start, is that for something that’s a 120-odd years old and has been filmed so much, there are huge chunks of it which have never been filmed.”

“You come across them all the time – there are lots of famous stories, lots of less famous stories. But what we’ve done from the beginning is have this kind of ‘magpie’ approach to it, like the Basil Rathbone films. We say, ‘We’ll have that bit, and that bit, and that bit’, [because] some of the stories have tremendous openings and very perfunctory endings.”