FIRST LOOK! New Sherlock picture and startling new facts

Today the makers of BBC’s Sherlock have released this moody portrait in blue of main characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

But what does it all mean? In a bid to uncover more, What’s on TV take a look at the facts in the case of ‘Seven things we know about the new series of Sherlock’…

Right here, right now
Filming for series four of Sherlock is well underway. But it wasn’t an easy task getting the star cast in the same place at the same time. Executive Producer Sue Vertue explained: “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!”

Three’s a magic number
There will be three feature-length brand new episodes in series four, and they’re due to air in 2017… There have been hints this could be the last series, or that there may be more in the pipeline. But this is all conjecture, so let’s stick to the facts for now!

On home soil
Despite Sherlock’s brother Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) trying to fly Sherlock secretly out of the country at the end of the last series, the pedantic detective is firmly back on British soil for series four. You probably remember, at the end of series three TVs were hijacked with footage of arch-villain Moriarty! But he’s dead, right?

Baby love
Doctor Watson and his wife Mary (Amanda Abbington) are preparing for their biggest adventure yet – becoming parents! We can’t wait to see Sherlock dealing with this. It may add a taste of family sitcom flavour to series four.

Doctor Who directors
Rachel Talalay, whose credentials include Band of Gold, Ally McBeal and Doctor Who, directs episode one of the new series. Nick Hurran, also a director on Doctor Who, and the man who brought us last year’s Sherlock finale, ‘His Last Vow’, directs episode two.

Toby or not Toby?

Toby Jones

Is master actor Toby Jones playing a master of disguise in Sherlock?

Toby Jones has been announced as the new Sherlock villain. However, Toby will not appear until the second episode. Speaking to What’s on TV earlier this year Toby revealed he’s playing a villain known to Sherlock Holmes fans, adding: “It’s an absolutely fantastic part and wonderful to be working with Benedict again.” For more read the full interview.

The big tease
This trailer! What does it mean? Who is Toby Jones playing? Is he somehow Moriarty? Is Sherlock losing his mind? And what’s coming? Is it winter… no, wait, that’s a different show…

Creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have stirred up the mystery pot further with this statement: “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…”

Sherlock 4

Benedict and Martin cut a dash as Sherlock and Watson (C) Hartswood Films

Also joining Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock series four are Lindsay Duncan and Una Stubbs.