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Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has some bad news for fans of the hit BBC drama, telling them to “expect tragedy” during the forthcoming fourth season.
Speaking to the Radio Times on Thursday, Gatiss, who also plays Mycroft Holmes in the show, said, “You can always expect tragedy as well as adventure, that’s just how it goes.” He refused to reveal whether that meant the death of John Watson’s wife, Mary, as happens in Arthur Conan Doyle‘s original stories.
The show, which stars man-of-the-moment Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role and The Hobbit‘s Martin Freeman as Watson, has Freeman’s real-life partner, Amanda Abbington, co-starring as Mary Watson. Freeman himself has speculated before that Mary would likely meet her end, telling the Daily Telegraph, “While we play fast and loose with the original stories, we generally follow the trajectory of what Conan Doyle did. … So [John] gets married, and then Mary dies — so at some point presumably she’ll die.”
Gatiss, however, told the Radio Times that fans shouldn’t necessarily assume that is what is going to happen. “Just because it’s in the stories doesn’t mean it’ll happen in the series because there’s an awful lot of changes and an awful lot of places to go and things to do,” he said, adding: “It should be clear by now that while, of course, Doyle is our absolute god, we have gone quite a long way away as well — we’ve introduced Sherlock and Mycroft’s parents [for instance], I don’t think they’ve ever been seen in any adaptation — so there are lots of surprises to come.”
A one-off special episode of Sherlock begins production in January 2015, to be shown potentially at the end of the year, with a three-episode fourth season to shoot later in 2015 to be shown in 2016.
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