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‘Sherlock’ SDCC Panel Offers a Look at the Detective Drama’s Gloriously Foreboding 4th Season

Could Sherlock meet a long-lost brother this season?

“Sherlock”

PBS

Officially it’s been over two years since the last season of “Sherlock” ended,  although the one-off Victorian-era special was a fun diversion. But during today’s Comic-Con Panel, we at last we got our first glimpse of “Sherlock” Season 4 with a new trailer. Take a look:

Do NOT mess with Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs)!

Another treat for “Sherlock” fans was on the stage itself. In one of the worst-kept secrets of Comic-Con, Benedict Cumberbatch showed up for his first “Sherlock” panel (since he’s often too busy shooting on one of his many films to appear). Then again, anyone aware that he was at the “Doctor Strange” panel the day before could have figured out he’d likely be present, and he also revealed this news on Twitter:

Joining Cumberbatch were star/executive producer Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue and Amanda Abington, who plays John Watson’s (Martin Freeman) wife and spy Mary. Check out this fun video on how she supposedly joined the panel: 

Gatiss, who also plays Mycroft, revealed that despite what we just saw, there is more shooting to do. “We’re two weeks from finishing Series 4,” he said. “Benedict and I have a huge scene to shoot Tuesday morning. It’s going very well.”

Abbington also added, “It’s the darkest that Steven and Mark have written. When we read them, we were kind of overwhelmed by them because they were shocking and amazing.”

As for the Watsons this season, Mary has had a baby after the “longest gestation period” ever. Abbington apparently worked with many babies on set, one of whom projectile vomited all over her.

Less nauseating but no less vexing was working with the bloodhound, who is featured in the sneak peek photo above. Apparently, the dog wasn’t good for much except sitting. “It was a bit of slathering concrete on a lead,” Cumberbatch said.

“I ended up on my back [pulling],” Abbington added. “He wouldn’t move. He was lovely, very affectionate but he just sat there. We ended up get quite hysterical.” In fact, in some scenes, the prop man had to yank on the leash off screen to simulate a dog’s pulling.

During the Q&A portion of the panel, an audience member asked when the fifth and sixth seasons would be announced. Moffat, never one to answer anything straight, said, “Why does everyone assume they survive [Season] 4?”

The producers did leave three names as hints of what’s to come: “Thatcher,” “Smith” and “Sherrinford.” Make your best guesses about the first two, but Sherrinford was one of the names that author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was considering for his hero before settling on Sherlock. Later, Holmesian William S. Baring-Gould created a hypothetical older brother, Sherringford Holmes, for Mycroft and Sherlock. Could a long-lost brother be found this season?

“Sherlock” Season 4 premieres on PBS’s “Masterpiece” sometime in 2017.

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