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By Andrew Sims (@sims) at 1:45 pm, December 3, 2013 | Reviewed by Brandi Delhagen

For the first time we’re getting four new episodes of Sherlock in one series.

The bonus installment is technically a Sherlock mini episode, BBC One confirmed today. Titled “Many Happy Returns,” the story will be available via BBC’s Red Button service and online starting December 25 (Christmas Day).

The synopsis for the Sherlock mini episode reads, “Sherlock has been gone for 2 years. But someone isn’t quite convinced that he’s dead…”

Who could it be that thinks our favorite detective is still alive? Perhaps Watson himself, who may be still in denial over his friend’s passing and continues searching for clues of his survival. Whoever it is, it turns out he was right: Sherlock indeed lives.

It sounds like “Many Happy Returns” will be a prequel of sorts to Sherlock series 3′s official start on New Years Day. The synopsis for the series indicates that the show will pick up two years after his climactic fall during the series 2 finale.

What do you think will happen in the ‘Sherlock’ mini episode?

Series 3 premieres January 1 on BBC One with episodes 2 and 3 following on January 5 and January 12. In the United States the show airs January 19 on PBS. Stateside, there’s no word yet about when the mini-episode will air but we’ve reached out to PBS for comment.

(Pictured above: A behind-the-scenes photo from filming series 3.)

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    I bet it’ll make us cry, so then we’ll all be crying twice on Christmas. Once because of Sherlock and once because of Doctor Who.

  • Allison L.

    My best educated guess: It will take place in the time between The Fall and the first episode…I’m picturing the camera either following Watson around and at the end of each shot we get to see Sherlock watching him or the camera following Sherlock around watching Watson.
    (but I’ll be thrilled with whatever it is!)

  • DoctorMerlinPotter

    I have a guess that it is Anderson

  • Amy

    My guesses for this: 1) Mostly focused on John, trying to move on or 2) Why the bleep Anderson is in the Sherlock fangroup in the promos?? And why does he look like a hippie?

  • dancaqueen

    Mycroft maybe rather than John?

  • Antara Chowdhury

    I wonder how long this mini-episode will be? Here’s hoping it’s at least half an hour long! That’s one-third of the length of a usual episode, so that counts as mini, right?

  • http://tyrionical.tumblr.com/ Kyle

    GOOD. Matt Smith is leaving us, I’m glad the BBC is respecting our hurt with some much needed new Sherlock footage that day!

  • froggyhpmb3

    I saw the words “mini episode” and I wondered, how long is mini? Because compared to the usual length, a juicy half hour would seem pretty mini…

    • Amir

      Usually about 5-6 minutes.

  • disneyguru

    I wonder if it’s Anderson? I don’t understand how or why, but that would explain his presence in the “Sherlock Lives” fan club in the last trailer…

  • strictlydancingcome

    well if you look at john’s blog post i’m pretty sure he’s moved on, so i think it would be anderson [you know, with the fanclub and all]

  • froggyhpmb3

    Where will you be able to watch this?

  • Larael

    I’m going to guess that it’s Anderson as well, along with his tag-along Sherlock fan group. They seem like a bunch who might just sit around and speculate…

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