10:45 am EDT, February 23, 2016

Here’s photographic evidence that ‘Sherlock’ season 4 is finally happening

Sherlock series 4 is finally getting ready to begin shooting, as new photos reveal.

Photos snapped by Arwel Wyn Jones, a production designer on Sherlock who loves to excite the fans on Twitter, confirm that the sets for series 4 are now under construction ahead of a spring start date for the three new episodes:

Sherlock series 3 aired in January 2014, and with an expected premiere date of January 2017 for series 4, it’ll have been a full three years in between seasons.

The wait between the two seasons was aided by the release of the Sherlock special two months ago, which depicted Sherlock and Watson in the Victorian era. We loved it!

Nonetheless, this is the longest wait between “full” seasons that Sherlock fans have endured so far.

What will season 4 consist of? “It’s consequences,” Moffat has said in previous interviews. “Chickens come home to roost. It’s dark in some ways — obviously it’s great fun and a Sherlock Holmes romp and all that — but there’s a sense of things coming back to bite you. It’s not a safe, sensible way to live. It’s hilarious and exhilarating some days, but some days it’s going to be bloody frightening.”

The scripts for the three new episodes have only been penned in the last few months. When he was asked at San Diego Comic-Con last July if he’d been working on season 4 at all, Moffat revealed that he was too tied up with Doctor Who to work on the new Sherlock scripts in the slightest.

Another reason for the delays in between seasons: the busy work schedules of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. One example: Just in the time since they’ve started Sherlock the two lead actors have become prominent figures in Tolkien and Marvel movies. In fact, on February 22 we learned about an extended role for Freeman in the Marven Cinematic Universe.

Unfortunately, with their schedules still as busy as ever, it’s doubtful that Sherlock will ever get to a yearly release cycle like a normal television show. On the other hand, the torturous waits make the three episodes we do receive every few years so much sweeter.

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