When Is Sherlock Season 5 Coming? [2023 Updates]

Sherlock Season 5


Sherlock Holmes is eponymous with great detective minds, super sleuths, and analytical and logical thinking. Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes is a rare breed of logical thinker and analytical deducer.


However, we are not talking about the novel Sherlock Holmes, but about the series Sherlock that was aired on BBC One, starting in 2010.


Sherlock is fashioned around the same character from the novel, yet he is set in modern-day London. He is an uber-cool detective.


He is a ‘consulting detective’ and works along with his flatmate, Dr John Watson. Most of the original characters have been brought into this new series, but they have a slightly modernized role to fit into the fabric of modern society.


Between 2010 and 2017, there were 4 seasons of Sherlock, with a total of 13 episodes. By the time season 4 was telecasted, even a hermit living under a rock would have heard and become a fan of the eccentric detective and his loyal sidekick.




Everything we know about Sherlock so far


If you are one of the unlikely ones who has not heard about or followed Sherlock.


Here is everything you need to know about the show to get you up to date.


As portrayed in the novel, Sherlock is a consulting detective with an eccentric streak and a super analytical brain that does not miss any detail.


He lives at 221B, Bakers Street, with a flatmate, Dr. John Watson. Watson is an army medic with the Royal Army Medical Corps, and he has just returned from Afghanistan.


He assists Sherlock in his detective work and helps in solving cases. He also writes an online blog about these cases and indirectly gives credibility and fame to Sherlock.


Metropolitan Police Service detective Greg Lestrade also works along with them. He and his team are initially very sceptical about Sherlock.


Over time they recognize his genius and work along with him. To assist the daring duo of Sherlock and Watson, we also have Molly Hooper, a pathologist at St Bart’s Hospital.


And, of course, the notorious archnemesis, Jim Moriarty.


The first season (2010)

It was aired in 2010, and it had 3 cases, A Study in Pink, The Blind Banker, and The Great Game.


In the first case of A Study in Pink, we are also introduced to the character of Mycroft Holmes, who is the elder brother of Sherlock.


As part of the third and final case of The Great Game, Jim Moriarty makes an appearance.


He sets up seemingly unrelated crimes for Sherlock to solve within a deadline. The first season ended in a stand-off between the both of them.


The Second Season (2012)

This time, the writers took up three of the most famous works of Conan Doyle and adapted them into the show.


The 3 cases were A Scandal In Belgravia, The Hounds Of Baskerville, and The Reichenbach Fall.


Each of the three writers wrote the 3 cases for this season. In the first case, a dominatrix trades information from her rich and powerful clients.


The second case is of Henry Knight, whose father was ripped apart by a gigantic hound in Dartmoor.


In the finale of this season, Moriarty is back to try and discredit Sherlock. This season ends with a cliffhanger as well.


We see Sherlock jump off in what appears to be a suicide.


The Third Season (2014)

Sherlock was renewed for seasons 2 and 3 simultaneously based on the ratings of the first season.


So the show creators ended the second season ambiguously without confirming the fate of Moriarty.


At the start of season 3, we see Sherlock returning to London with the case of The Empty Hearse.


The next episode was The Sign of Three, where Watson gets married to Mary Morstan.


In the finale episode of The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, it is disclosed that Mary Morston may have been a secret agent.


Milverton is a devious man who is blackmailing Morstan. He was shown as the anonymous bad guy in the first episode of the season.


While attempting to protect Mary, Sherlock shoots him. In the finale, after Sherlock has killed Milverton, Mycroft arranges for him to be exiled by the UK in an attempt to protect him from the murder case.


However, Moriarty resurfaces at the final minute, and Sherlock is forced to come back.


The Fourth Season (2017)

By this season, all the lead cast was finding it difficult to make time in their busy schedules.


This delayed the production and airing. It was supposed to have started by 2015 but it was finished by 2017.


The three cases covered in this season were The Six Thatchers, The Lying Detective, and The Final Problem.


Before the fourth season was telecast, a special was aired on 1st January 2016. This episode was independent of the ongoing series and cases.


It was set in Victorian London, with the entire cast working on a crime in the same setting as the actual works of Conan Doyle.


You could also get a peek into behind-the-scenes work with the cast and the production crew.


The TV-special movie won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding TV Movie.




Sherlock Ending Explained


The premise of the fourth season was that Jim Moriarty had returned, and the government had to call back Sherlock to handle the problem.


The team from Scotland Yard and Detective Lestrade are sifting through various minor cases, looking for any clue from Moriarty.


They stumble upon an incident where the bust of Margaret Thatcher has been destroyed. They identify 6 other similar incidents, and Sherlock apprehends Mary Watson for this crime.


Mrs Watson discloses that she was once a part of a spy agency called AGRA.


The information about her past is stored in a memory stick in the bust. Ajay, another agent from AGRA who was presumed dead, is trying to eliminate her along with the evidence.


In the end, Ajay manages to kill her, leaving Watson distraught. Watson blames Sherlock for her death, and both of them get estranged.


While working on another case, Sherlock befriends a girl named Faith. She says that her father is a serial killer, but now, Sherlock cannot locate her.


Watson starts to visit another therapist and makes progress. However, she reveals herself to be Faith.


Faith is Eurus, who is the mysterious sister of Sherlock and Mycroft. In the finale, we see the mystery behind Eurus being solved by Sherlock.


It is revealed that Moriarty met Eurus as part of an effort to detect national security threats.


So the message from Moriarty was a way for Eurus to attract the attention of Sherlock.


However, no clear indication is given about the fate of Moriarty with any certainty.




Official Announcements and Release Date of Sherlock Season 5


Before we speak about the official announcements of the next season, we have to be clear on a few key takeaway points here.


It is not just the audience who is keenly waiting for Sherlock season 5. Even the cast and crew are eagerly awaiting the good news.


The only problem is scheduling…. I guess. The director and writer for the show Steven Moffat told in an interview in 2018 that they were all willing and looking forward to the next season, whenever that will be.


However, he also mentioned that they did not have any immediate plans for the next season.


The gap between season 4 and season 5 may be longer than expected because of the crazily busy schedules of all the lead cast and crew.


Even the co-writers and creators Moffat and Mark Gatiss have a new series that they are working on.


They are busy with Dracula for BBC One. In another interview with Collider, both Martin Freeman, who plays Dr. John Watson, and Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock, have shown a keen interest in returning to the show.


Both of them hinted that the next coming of Sherlock will be a feature-length movie rather than a television series.


All the earlier seasons from season one up until season 4 were all 90-minute episodes.


They were created for the TV, BBC One. It is safe to speculate on one thing.


We can hope for confirmation of the good news sometime in late 2023 or 2024. Even though season five has not started production yet.


There are speculations that the show might make a comeback but this time not with a new season but a movie rounding up the whole franchise. 


Recently in an interview, the creator of the show Mark Gatiss said that they enjoyed making the TV show because they genuinely love TV and the process behind it, and making a movie would be a natural thing now. 


So the chances of getting a new season are pretty slim but there might be a new movie ahead for the fans of the series. 




The Inspiration for Sherlock


The legendary Arthur Conan Doyle and his indomitable detective Sherlock Holmes have inspired many movies and television series.


So, what makes this TV series stand out as the most prominent and popular of them all?


The reason that comes to my mind straight away is the show is inspired by the works of Conan Doyle, yet it is not entirely based on the novels.


The creators, Moffat, Gatiss, and Stephen Thompson, have made a conscious decision to draw inspiration for the story, the characters, and the plot from the original work but have never copied or replicated them outright.


The show being a contemporary series, set in modern times, would be unbelievable if the story stuck with the old-style detective work and old habits of investigation.


With access to all the latest technology and surveillance equipment, the new Sherlock and Watson combines old school with state-of-the-art tech to create a charming show.


Each episode is a case that is loosely based on an original Conan Doyle novel.


It was repurposed to suit modern crimes. A Study in Pink is based on A Study in Scarlet, A Scandal in Bohemia becomes A Scandal in Belgravia or The Final Problem becomes The Reichenbach Falls, etc.



Popularity details of Sherlock Season 5


Sherlock Holmes has been a much-acclaimed detective novel before the series. There were also many screen adaptations of it since the beginning.


So, it was very critical for the creators of the show to stand out and be recognized among the group.


They have achieved this distinction with a very talented cast of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Andrew Scott, Rupert Graves, etc.


The cases for the episodes were built to include the unique style of Sherlock while making them more relevant in society today.


The credit for this should go to the three scriptwriters, Moffat, Gatiss, and Thompson. You can get a taste of their popularity on social media through their official pages, fan pages, and immense fan following.


Twitter account

official twitter account for sherlock


The official Twitter handle of Sherlock has been active and patiently awaiting news and stories since the end of season 4.


With a following of almost 400 thousand, the handle makes all official announcements on the series, the latest developments, news on Sherlock games, postage stamps, etc.


Apart from all things official, you can view a wide variety of memes, fan art, parodies, and more to keep your hunger satiated.


You can also read some hilarious and desperate fan messages about their love for the show.


Reddit community

Another place to get the juiciest gossip and fun fan following is on Reddit. Here, you can find all the best questions and answers, discussions of the possible future of the show, the story arc, and more.


Simply by following a few Reddit threads, it becomes clear that even after years of waiting, the fans are still not giving up on hope as they wait for a possible season 5.


How many fans search for Sherlock season 5 on Google? It can be an important factor in evaluating the popularity of the series.


Globally around 25K people search for season 5 and most of them are from the US and UK. This number is much below what it used to be at the beginning of 2017 when searches were more than half of a million. 


Since fans didn’t receive any official announcement, most of them assumed it would not happen.


Google Trends Sherlock Season 5


Google trends for Sherlock season 5 are dying out, due to the lack of any official news or update.


It peaked when the show was telecast on BBC One and PBS channel, and in the following months.


However, over the next 5 years, the fame and curiosity have been kept alive but it’s been falling with each passing month.


As you can notice, now the searches are almost touching the axis and it’s very disheartening to know.


No wonder people will forget about it if no official news comes along.



Expected Plot Of Sherlock Season 5


One of the reasons for the continued expectation of a follow-up season even 5 years from the end of the last season can be attributed to the vast repertoire of novels that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote.


Another reason for me to speculate on a new season is that Netflix has taken the distribution rights.


Now, we cannot expect them to be satisfied with just 4 seasons. There are many interesting cases that Gatiss, Moffat, and Thompson can recreate for the show.


In an interview in 2014, Moffat suggested that he and Gatiss have already plotted the fifth season in their mind. Now that Holmes has a super-intelligent sister who is very manipulative, we can expect trouble from her.


In the final episode, she appears to take a particular liking to bullying and torturing Holmes. We can also expect to see The Redheaded League being recreated by Gatiss and Moffat.


The plot deals with a complex heist. I would also like to see Prof. Moriarity make a comeback. Andrew Scott was particularly devious as the Professor.



Why Watch The Next Season?


Fans of the show are eagerly awaiting the new season, not just for the great detective stories but also for the chemistry between all the regular cast.


Now that Sherlock Holmes is back to being together with Dr. Watson, we can not get enough of their easy camaraderie. There are a few villains from previous episodes that we would like to see more of.


Irene Adler, Jim Moriarty, and Eurus are a few examples. Even the recurring characters like Molly Hooper, the pathologist, and Mrs. Hudson have a dedicated fan following.


Una Stubbs, who plays Mrs Hudson, passed away on the 12th of August this year. It’s a loss that everybody will feel.



Online Reaction to Sherlock Season 5


Social media platforms like Reddit, Quora, and Twitter have become hotbeds for fans to vent their frustration, hopes, and complaints about the show and the characters.


Some of their conversations are hilarious. However, some gave us a real insight into what the fans want.


Reddit Reaction

sherlock season 5 reddit response


On Reddit, there is a thread about the facts and the likeliness of getting a season 5.


Most of them are hopeful for next season but also disappointed with the delay. One of the fans summed up all the comments in a lovely post and requested the show creators to, at least, give a special episode for Christmas or New Year.


Quora Reaction

quora reaction for sherlock season 5


The fans in Quora have done a deep analysis of the show and each season.


They are prepared with a list of the pros and cons of the show. It is heartening to watch fans invest so much effort, love, and care in the show even after 10 years from when the show was the first telecast.


On Quora, you can find character analyses of all lead and recurring characters. That is a fun analysis to read.


If you are new to the show, watch a season and then read the reviews to gauge the integrity of the reviewer.


Twitter Reaction

On Twitter, you have many fan communities. They are dedicated to their favourite characters and episodes in the past seasons.


There are a few Twitter threads with possible plot ideas and a few fun discussions on what the next case should be about.


Even the cast has been looking forward to coming back to the series. Cumberbatch even said that he would love to play Sherlock till his old age sets in.


Freeman also showed a keen interest and did not rule out the possibility of a comeback.


Another character that the fans are eagerly looking forward to seeing is Professor Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott.


The archnemesis of Sherlock has constantly been present in the show as a subtle undercurrent, although they portray his death scene in season 3.



Reviews and Ratings of Sherlock


The show has received critical acclaim since the start of the first season. Rotten Tomatoes rated it 93% fresh for the first season, and even Metacritic scored it 85.


Sherlock sustained these good ratings throughout its run on BBC One in the UK and on PBS in the US.


Here is the breakdown of the Ratings of Sherlock for each season As per the data from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), the highest overnight figure from the first series of Sherlock was 7.5 million for the opening episode.


Season 2 of Sherlock averaged 8 million viewers per episode.





Season 1

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

MetaCritic: 85

Season 2

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

MetaCritic: 91

Season 3

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

MetaCritic: 88

Special Episode

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%

MetaCritic: NA

Season 4

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

MetaCritic: NA



IMDb rating for sherlock


IMDb also rated the television show with a healthy score of 9.1. If you look at the breakdown, episode-wise, The Reichenbach Fall from 2012 got the highest IMDb rating of 9.6.


It is followed closely by A Scandal in Belgravia with a score of 9.5. Such a good score on the IMDb is hardly earned by a TV series.


Also, the reviews are mostly positive as you should see for yourself below. 


Reviews of Sherlock

review on rogerbert for sherlock


The Observer opined that the show had hints of Withnail and I, Doctor Who, and The Bourne Ultimatum in its styling and story.


Considering that Moffat and Gatiss also worked on the hugely popular show Doctor Who as well.


Another critic from The Guardian also gave a positive review for the show saying that it had great finesse and the deduction sequences were ingenious with classic Moffat-style plot intricacies.


Tom Sutcliffe from The Independent also had positive reviews for the show. He said that Sherlock was witty and knowing, without ever undercutting the flair and dazzle of the original.


Even the individual performances of the actors were highly commended. One critic said that Freeman’s dependable, capable Watson unlocks this modern Holmes, a man who now describes himself as ‘a high-functioning sociopath’.


Sarah Crompton from The Telegraph also critiqued that Cumberbatch is utterly credible as a man who lives entirely in his cerebellum with little regard for the world outside, making Sherlock the perfect depiction of Holmes for our times.



Top 5 Best-Rated Episodes 


Episode Name and Number  Ratings (IMDb)
The Reichenbach Fall (Episode 3, Season 2) 9.6/10
A Scandal in Belgravia (Episode 1, Season 2) 9.4/10
His Last Vow (Episode 3, Season 3) 9.2/10
The Lying Detective (Episode 2, Season 4) 9.1/10
The Great Game (Episode 3, Season 1) 9.0/10



Awards and Recognitions for Sherlock and the Cast


The series had a very successful run at the award functions. It won multiple awards at most major award shows, with 92 wins and 183 nominations spread across its four seasons.


Here are a few major awards that it has won:


Primetime Emmy Awards (2016)

  • Outstanding Television Movie
  • Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role

Primetime Emmy Awards (2014)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie – Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie – Martin Freeman
  • Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special – Steven Moffat
  • Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie – Neville Kidd
  • Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie
  • Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special

BAFTA Awards (2015)

  • Audience Award 
  • Best Leading Actor – Benedict Cumberbatch

BAFTA Awards (2012)

  • Best Sound: Fiction
  • Best Supporting Actor – Andrew Scott
  • Best Writer – Steven Moffat
  • Best Editing: Fiction – Charlie Phillips

BAFTA Awards (2011)

  • Best Editing – Fiction/Entertainment – Charlie Phillips
  • Best Supporting Actor – Martin Freeman
  • Best Drama Series

Critics Choice Television Awards (2012)

  • Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries – Benedict Cumberbatch  
  • Best Movie/Miniseries


Sherlock won many more awards, but I have mentioned mostly the big names here.



Production and Filming Of Sherlock


Both the creators of the show, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, have experience with adapting old Victorian dramas and novels into modern-day shows.


Moffat had worked on adapting The Adventures of Dr. Jekyll and My Hyde into a TV series of Jekyll.


Even Gatiss worked on Dickensian stories for the show Doctor Who. While travelling to the sets, both of them came up with the plans for the show, Sherlock.


The other executive producer of the show, Sue Vertue, is married to Steven Moffat. When she heard about the idea, she encouraged them to start working on it and became the producer.


Although the novel Sherlock Holmes has been adapted many times before, Gatiss strongly leaned towards an irreverent treatment.


He felt that the other adaptations were too close to the original. Thus, they became monotonous and out of touch with the modern world.


Moffat and Gatiss wanted Sherlock to be fully tuned with modern technology like texting, the internet, GPS tracking, etc.


This made the show more current and relatable to the audience. The show was initially pitched as a 60-minute episode with 6 episodes in the season.


However, after watching the pilot episode, BBC One decided to make some changes. The format was changed to 90-minute episodes with a maximum of 3 episodes per season.


After the new pilot was telecast with the changes, the rest was history. It exceeded all expectations of the production companies, Hartswood Films, BBC Wales, and Masterpiece Theatre.


It was co-produced by PBS for the US telecast. The series was filmed in North Gower Street in London, Upper Boat Studios in Cardiff, and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.



Popular Sherlock Characters


Sherlock is a detective series that moves from one case to the next with every episode. Hence, barring a few main characters, most of the cast would appear for a short span.


Here I have listed most of the main cast and recurring cast and a description.


Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes


Benedict Cumberbatch was the first choice for Sherlock after watching his performance in the 2007 movie Atonement.


He describes Sherlock as a charismatic secondary psychopath. He is a ‘highly functioning sociopath’ as per the writers of the show.


Once Cumberbatch read the script, he was immediately onward with the idea. Sue Vertue, a producer, said, “Benedict was the only person we saw for the part of Sherlock.


Once Benedict was there, it was just making sure we got the chemistry for John Watson.”


Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson

Dr Watson


For the role of Dr. Watson, the creators had to audition quite a few actors. Once they saw the audition of Martin Freeman, they were immediately hooked.


The chemistry between Freeman and Cumberbatch, and their easy friendship was what nailed the role for Freeman.


While Freeman describes Watson as a ‘moral compass’ of Sherlock, Mark Gatiss identified him as “the sort of the opposite of Benedict in everything except the amount of talent… Martin finds a sort of poetry in the ordinary man. I love the fastidious realism of everything he does.”


Rupert Graves as Greg Lestrade

greg lestrade


Detective Greg Lestrade is the kind of guy who is frustrated by Holmes but admires him. Holmes considers him the best person at Scotland Yard. This was the impression of Lestrade that Gatiss wanted to portray.


During the auditions, many of the hopefuls played him as a comedic character. This was how he was portrayed in earlier adaptations.


Gatiss and Moffat were more impressed with Graves and the gravitas he brought to the role and immediately decided on him.


Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty

Jim Moriarty


Professor Moriarty is the iconic adversary of Sherlock Holmes in many of his cases. Originally the creators did not intend to introduce the character till the second season.


They meant to keep his scenes to a minimum to maintain secrecy. However, after watching the audition of Andrew Scott, they had to bring him in early.


The other recurring characters in Sherlock include:


  • Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson. She is the landlady of 221B Baker Street.
  • Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes. He is the elder brother of Sherlock, who works in the government.
  • Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper. Ms. Hooper is the forensic pathologist who assists the duo at St. Barts hospital
  • Amanda Abbington as Mary Watson. She is a former spy who falls in love with Watson and marries him.
  • Jonathan Aris as Philip Anderson.



Rumours and Controversies Surrounding Sherlock Season 5


Every big show or production is bound to be haunted by some controversy or rumour.


The same is true for Sherlock as well. They could not escape the rumour mills that spun an elaborate yarn about simmering tensions between the lead characters of the show.


In an interview in 2018, Freeman commented on the overwhelming fan following for the show.


He made a comment that was construed incorrectly as being bullied by the fans into doing stuff they do not like.


The Sun, a gossip magazine, reported Freeman saying that there was immense fan pressure. Due to this, the cast is forced to come back for the next season.


He did not enjoy doing it. Furthermore, Cumberbatch did a follow-up interview with The Telegraph and told them that it was not true and that he enjoyed the experience thoroughly.


He said that he disagreed with Freeman on that point. This was blown up as a brewing feud between Sherlock and Watson that has been ongoing since the first season.


Although many attempts were made to clear the air, the rumour has stuck on. It created an imaginary rift between the lead actors.



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Despite the rumours, scheduling problems, pressure from the fans, and more, we can still hope for another Sherlock because the cast is itching for one.


In an interview, both Cumberbatch and Freeman indicated that we might see a Sherlock movie shortly. And Mark Gatiss is also on board with the idea of a Sherlock movie. 


The creators had also commented earlier that they were set on a season 5 as well. Also, it’s been 5 years since the last season aired, so we can expect a movie or plans for the next season to be announced very soon.


You can always get the latest updates and news on ENTOIN or search for it on Google to keep yourself updated.


So, here’s to hoping for a Sherlock Season 5!!


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