SHERLOCK HOLMES and Dr Watson stepped aboard a fishing boat to film the latest series of the hit BBC show.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the Baker Street detective, and Martin Freeman, his sidekick, were seen aboard the craft in Cardiff Bay.
It is two years on from the last full series of the BBC One crime drama but little has been revealed about what to expect from series four.
The normally dapper detective was looking unkempt in the latest images, suggesting he could be encountering hard times in the series, which will be broadcast in the New Year.
Although the drama has a huge following, doubts remain about whether there will be a fifth series.
Creator Steven Moffat said: “I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show. But it absolutely could be.”
As well as reuniting Cumberbatch and Freeman, the new Sherlock, which runs as a three-part mini-series, introduces new characters, including a canine companion for Holmes – a bloodhound, of course. “We might just be going darker. We’ve got a very good set of ideas.”
Fans of the original books have pointed out the super-sleuth used a dog to help him in The Sign Of Four. Harry Potter star Toby Jones will play the role of the villain in the second episode of the series. Jones’s character has not been revealed but Moffat said that he will be “bringing to life one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s finest villains”.
Regular characters returning will be Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss), Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey), Mary Watson (Amanda Abbington), Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs) and Detective Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves).
The last time Sherlock was on our screens was with the Victorian-themed special episode The Abominable Bride, shown on New Year’s Day, which was seen by more than 12 million viewers.
It was also the BBC’s biggest overseas export in the past year and earned 39-year-old Cumberbatch an Emmy award nomination.
Moffat signaled “a clear shift in tone” for series four when he spoke about the plans last year.
“There’s going to be some dark stuff coming,” he said. “We are going to try to take it somewhere we’ve never been before: a challenging place to go.
Sherlock (BBC) ~ Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Gatiss, Sue Vertue, Louise Brealey behind the scenes during Season 4 filming…
Brand New Pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Gatiss & Rupert Graves filming Sherlock S4 in Wales..
“It begins… Filming for series 4 is underway! #221Back”
Filming for series four of Sherlock, the multi-award-winning hit BBC One drama produced by Hartswood Films, has started.
Sherlock will return to screens with three brand-new episodes promising laughter, tears, shocks, surprises and extraordinary cases…
Series four begins with the nation’s favorite detective, the mercurial Sherlock Holmes, back once more on British soil, as Doctor Watson and his wife, Mary, prepare for their biggest ever challenge – becoming parents for the first time.
Benedict Cumberbatch said he was “genuinely thrilled to be back filming Sherlock with all the cast and crew. I can’t wait for everyone to see season four. But you will have to wait… though not for long… And it will be worth it.”
The first of the three feature-length episodes will be directed by Rachel Talalay, who has worked as a director, producer, and professor in film and television for more than 25 years, having previously directed Doctor Who, The Flash and The Wind In The Willows.
Co-creators, writers and executive producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss say: “Sherlock series four – here we go again! Whatever else we do, wherever we all go, all roads lead back to Baker Street – and it always feels like coming home. Ghosts of the past are rising in the lives of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson bringing adventure, romance and terror in their wake. This is the story we’ve been telling from the beginning. A story about to reach its climax…”
Sue Vertue, Executive Producer for Hartswood Films, says: “It’s taken a while to gather everyone together for series four, but I can confidently say I think it will be well worth the wait!”
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, which aired on New Year’s Day this year, was the most watched program over the festive season with 11.6 million viewers and the highest-ever audience share for a Sherlock episode. The Victorian special was also released in thousands of cinemas around the world to complement the TV broadcast.
Sherlock is written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock is produced by Sue Vertue and the executive producers are Beryl Vertue, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for Hartswood Films, Bethan Jones for BBC Cymru Wales and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece. It is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.