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The BBC announced via social media this week that the fourth season of Sherlock will premiere on January 1, 2017. The “Six Thatchers” will be the first episode to air, and as previously confirmed, this season will also feature Toby Jones (Doctor Who, Captain America: The First Avenger, Wayward Pines) as a villain.
The announcement was made on the official Twitter page for Sherlock. Not much is known yet about what to expect from the new season, but there are many unanswered questions from previous seasons still left to be explored. Season Three ended with Sherlock in exile for murder, and his greatest foe Moriarty, presumed dead from season two, seemingly returned from the grave.
Additionally, showrunner Steven Moffat has described Toby Jones’ new villainous character as one of the darkest yet to appear on the show.
“He’s completely different. It’s a completely different character. He’s the darkest [Sherlock] villain we’ve had.” Moffatt explained to Screen Rant. “There was always something charming and engaging about Moriarty. There was something fascinating and actually amoral, rather than immoral, about Charles Augustus Magnussen.”
“This guy is the purest evil. Sherlock is actually appalled by him. He’s the most evil villain we’ve had. I don’t think that when you see it, you will disagree. He’s horrific.”
Sherlock, a modern reimagining of the Victorian adventures of the legendary detective, has been a ratings hit since first appearing on BBC in 2010. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Sherlock Holmes, and Martin Freeman portrays his trusted friend and partner Dr. John Watson. The series has so far spanned 10 episodes over three seasons, including a Christmas special in 2016.
In addition to the BBC premiere on January 1, 2017, Sherlock will also premiere on PBS on the same date. Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch can also see his Marvel Studios debut as Doctor Strange coming soon in November.