The dust has just about settled on season four of Sherlock and nearly three weeks on from the airing of The Final Problem, I’ve asked a couple of fans if they think the show has any sort of future. Lewis Ayre and GeekAllFather have been kind enough to share their thoughts.
First of all, I asked how they received season four.
Lewis: I think that season four was ok, but it wasn’t the best season of Sherlock. “The Six Thatchers” had some very shocking moments, such as what happened to Mary, but overall was one of the worst episodes of the show. But the season really improved through “The Lying Detective”, with Toby Jones being a brilliant villain while portraying Culverton Smith, as well as some of the secrets of Eurus being revealed. The season also ended with a finale which was great and exciting, however a few aspects did let me down.
GeekAllFather: I really enjoyed it, I felt the show took a while to get moving, but characters were always developing and new things were always being introduced. New characters, along with old were written well with each one having enough time to develop. The season’s story arc felt shorter than normal, even though it was the same amount of screen time.
Undoubtedly season four took a darker turn. Season three had ventured away from an epicentre of crime solving and moved towards something that resembled a soap, while maintaining some of the characteristics that’d made the show so popular. Season four took the show even further away from its roots, as it began to morph into a dark and mysterious drama that felt closer to James Bond than Sherlock Holmes. Next I asked Lewis and GeekAllFather what they thought of the change of tone in season four and how it compared to their favourite season.
Lewis: Season four was average, as I mentioned before, and the second episode was brilliant in my opinion, but compared to other seasons, overall it was not as strong. My favourite season would have to be the second season of Sherlock, as it had three quite great stories, but the highlight of that season was the strongest episode of the whole show in my opinion, “The Reichenbach Fall”. Other than this, season one was a great opening season and the third season had a good opener and finale. I would say the show has moved away from its roots though. The show was initially meant to be about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson solving crimes in a modern day twist of Arthur Conan Doyle’s initial series of books. However, Moffat and co. did make the season a bit too complicated, particularly as it reached the climax, and the show was getting too clever for its own good. I did see shades of Doctor Who in some of Sherlock season four which could lead to Moffat spoiling Sherlock’s individuality. But sometimes I find how clever the stories are quite entertaining and interesting to view. It’s about achieving a perfect balance.
GeekAllFather: It was definitely darker and more adult, to the point where death and murder were the main plot points in the show, but I feel it kept the asceticism that previous series have contained. Sherlock and John both enhanced their characters through their relationship with each other, and both actors really pushed the to the limits of their skill sets. Season one was my favourite for two reasons really. Firstly it was so clever. The writing, the acting and the fresh take on Sherlock, his character if you look back through books and old adaptations is very by the book, smart to the point of painful arrogance but very straight cut, and Watson is the same. This time edginess is the forefront and it fits in with being a crime drama, but rushed forward to the 21st Century. Secondly Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon with their version portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. and I really like those movies too, but they were blockbuster attempts at the character, so written to target a worldwide audience and fill screen time with action and intrigue. The TV series was so much more cerebral. I mostly try to keep one step in front of the story and try to guess where the plot is going… however, I do not always manage to.
Following on from the darker tone question, I asked if Lewis and GeekAllFather if they believed that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss had taken the show too far away from its roots. I also asked what direction the show should go in if it does return.
Lewis: Seasons one and two were great, and I must say better than the last two seasons (that’s not to say they’re not good too). It was great how they started to implement darker styles in this season, but if the show returns for season five and beyond then I would say that the show should return to its roots and continue to be just Sherlock and John investigating crime. It was always better that way!
GeekAllFather: I wouldn’t say they’ve taken it too far but they need to flip the show on its head. I feel like a fresh perspective or guest writers could be introduced into one or two episodes to really freshen things up but with Moffat and Gatiss still at the helm, they could guide said potential guest writers to keep to the tone they created present. It is great seeing a darkness come from a story and a set of characters, but that darkness could and should be a last resort. Moriarty or another lead villain won’t always be waiting to make situations dire, light hearted writing can fit in between. However just like Moffat has done with Doctor Who, the main character has become dark. I am a mega Doctor Who fan so I can see how the same style of plot or story writing would fit with Sherlock. Quirkiness, fun, intelligence and education, with flashes of darkness lying beneath.
Sherlock fans waited two years between seasons two and three, and a further three between seasons three and four. With season five not yet confirmed, fans are likely to face another lengthy gap if the show is to return. Finally, I asked should Sherlock return and if it doesn’t, will season four have tarnished the overall legacy the show will leave.
Lewis: All shows have to come to an end I suppose, but Sherlock could possibly go on for a while. The ending of “The Final Problem” seemed like both, a great ending to the show and a start of a new era and has left it open for more. I would feel sad if we don’t get more Sherlock but I think we will as all the cast and crew want that. I think they should only return if they have some really strong ideas up their sleeves ready to show us. I would love to see season 5, or even a group of annual specials like the 2016 one. I hope Sherlock returns, and it would be great to see a new season, but it may be several years before we get it. Here’s to much more great Sherlock!
GeekAllFather: Yes, the show should return. If it doesn’t then I have a blu-ray player and all the stuff on hand to rewatch, but it would be a shame. So many series put out there are doing so well at the moment, so a British one needs to be in the list, only to show the BBC that our talent can shine through. I believe the series has been a great success, and season four definitely carries that success on. But the big question is where to go now? Has the character been exhausted? Moriarty is dead but can still mess with Sherlock and his sister. His family seems to be reunited, so what now? Although the character is one of such imagination, there should be a limitless world of possibilities left to explore. I would miss the show if it wasn’t there.
What do you think of season four? Do you think Sherlock should return, or should the show be put to rest for its own good? Leave your thoughts below. If you enjoyed what Lewis and GeekAllFather had to say then you can follow them on Twitter.