Sherlock aired Season 4 back in January 2017, and fans haven't seen a bit of Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman's John Watson since. While one looking at the bare facts might assume the BBC series ran out of steam ratings-wise, that's far from the case. Sherlock was remarkably popular, even becoming one of the biggest shows syndicated on Netflix. However, there has not been any movement towards Sherlock Season 5.
Cumberbatch recently spoke with Collider about a possible Season 5 in an interview published on Sunday. As one might expect given the current demand for the Doctor Strange star, Freeman and others involved with the project, there are currently no plans to start up the Sherlock machine again just yet. Luckily for fans, he didn't quite rule out an eventual return to the world of Sherlock, though. Even a movie isn't off the table as the next installment of the Arthur Conan Doyle character's journey.
"I'm the worst person to ask on this because I never say never, obviously. But I don't know," Cumberbatch said. "And I'm the worst person to ask because my slate's pretty, pretty full at the moment, as is Martin [Freeman, Watson] and all the other key players involved. So, who knows? Maybe one day, if the script's right. And I say 'the script,' maybe it could be a film rather than the series. Who knows? But anyway, not for now."
Freeman also spoke on a possible Season 5 back in 2019, coincidentally also in a Collider interview. Freeman expressed similar sentiments to Cumberbatch's current thoughts. Everyone's busy right now, but returning for something worthwhile down the line is always an option.
"The way the story went, in the last series, felt like, if not a full stop, then certainly a semi-colon or an ellipses. It felt like a pause," Freeman said. "It didn't feel like something where we could just pop up the next year and go, 'Hey, folks, we're back.' It felt a bit more momentous than that. Not final, necessarily, but the truth is that I don't know because me and Ben don't write it. I'm a huge believer in stopping doing something when you want to. If you've said what you want to say, get off the stage, and really have the guts to leave it. I don't know if it's more they want to say."
Freeman added, "If it's something really special, and if it's something really meaty and interesting, then I think we'd all be open to that. Sherlock always sounds a bit like an event, anyway. We did three episodes [each season]. 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."