Sherlock series 4: trailer for episode 2 The Lying Detective

Rob Leane
Louisa Mellor

Jan 3, 2017

Sherlock is back! Toby Jones will appear in next week's episode, The Lying Detective…

Here’s the trailer for The Lying Detective, next week’s Sherlock episode starring Toby Jones… 

The Six Thatchers: spoiler-free review 

Here’s our spoiler-free look at the first Sherlock episode of the new series.

Please note: we’ve moved the comments thread for Sherlock series 4 to here.

Sherlock series 4 trailer

Here are all the trailers and teaser clips so far for Sherlock series 4…

Sherlock series 4 images

You’ll find plenty of promotional images for Sherlock series 4 in the gallery atop this page.

Sherlock series 4 release date

In keeping with the grand tradition of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman returned to our screens as Holmes and Watson at 8.30pm on New Year’s Day on BBC One. 

Sherlock series 4 cast

Sacha Dhawan of The History Boys and In The Club fame (pictured above) is the latest guest star confirmed for Sherlock series 4. We know very little about his character at this stage (info from the production is as difficult to glean as ever, this year), but we thought you’d like to know.

The only thing we do know, thanks to CultBox, is that Mr Dhawan’s character is going by the name AJ. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

Toby Jones has nabbed a role, too. He’ll play Culverton Smithaccording to a report from Cultbox.

Trailed by the show’s creators as “one of Doyle’s finest villains” last month, it’s now been confirmed that the tropical diseases “expert” from The Adventure Of The Dying Detective will be brought to life by Jones.

If you don’t want to hear the details on the original character, look away now.

Culverton Smith’s grudge against Sherlock Holmes began when the latter suspected him of his nephew’s murder. Resolving to rid himself of this troublesome detective, Smith infected a spring-loaded pin with a deadly disease and posted it to 221b Baker Street with the intention of killing Holmes. The Great Detective, however, suspected the threat against his life and decided to feign infection in order to trap Smith and have him arrested for the previous murder. To ensure his faked illness ruse would work though, Holmes first had to convince Dr Watson, which he duly did, leaving Watson distraught at the prospect of losing his friend.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill – seen recently hanging out with Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who series 9’s The Magician’s Apprentice – will also make an appearance in Sherlock series 4. It’s unclear for now who he’s playing.

James Holmes (Miranda, Psychoville) is involved, too. He will be playing a character who goes by the name of “Passenger”, according to Cultbox, which could mean he’s either playing a minor part, had hippie parents, or is a massive Iggy Pop fan.

With no hint that there’s been any change to core personnel, we can obviously also expect to welcome the return of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Amanda Abbington, Una Stubbs, Louise Brealey, Rupert Graves and Jonathan Aris to series four. Technically speaking, there should also be a baby in there somewhere.

Speaking to Collider, Mr Cumberbatch teased that Sherlock series 4 will be “Myopically dark. You’re talking about the end of the universe darkness. You can’t see in front of you and would walk into everything dark.”

The major question mark hangs whether a certain Andrew Scott will be back in the role of Moriarty proper, or whether the series three “Miss me?” cliff-hanger will turn out to be all a work of pre-recorded video jiggery pokery.

Sherlock series 4 directors

It seems that the director of Sherlock series 4’s third and final episode has now been confirmed. Benjamin Caron – who’s previously helmed episodes of Skins, My Mad Fat Diary, The Crown and Wallander, as well as a lot of Derren Brown shows – has posted this image on Instagram:

It’s happening #sherlock

A photo posted by Benjamin Caron (@benjamincaron) on May 5, 2016 at 4:55am PDT

Episode 3 is going by the title The Final Problem.

This means that the whole pack of Sherlock series 4 directors has now been confirmed. 

Recently we heard that Sherlock series 4 episode 2 (entitled The Lying Detective) will be directed by Nick Hurran (Sherlock’His Last Vow, Doctor Who’s The Day Of The Doctor).

And a few months ago it was confirmed that Sherlock series 4 episode 1 (The Six Thatchers) will be directed by Rachel Talalay (Doctor Who‘s series 8 and 9 finale two-parters).

Sherlock series 4 writers

Mark Gatiss is confirmed to be the writer of series 4 episode 1, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the fact that Gatiss is one of the only three writers who have ever penned Sherlock instalments (the others being Steven Moffat and Stephen Thompson).

Mark Gatiss said this about series 4 in an interview with Collider:

“It’s an interesting thing to chart. We made our Moriarty very different to Doyle’s. He’s Irish, and he brings all his charm, his twinkle and his humor to it while he’s also terrifying. Magnussen was a very blank, chilling business man. He doesn’t see what he’s doing as evil. Toby is doing something very interesting. She’s an avuncular, funny seeming man with terrible teeth. We’ve given him terrible teeth, which are symbolic of the rot inside him. It’s a great complex, shaded character. You’re not quite sure what the relationship is with him.” 

In that same interview, Mr Moffat took the time to talk up the new villain Culverton Smith, played by Toby Jones:

“He’s completely different [to the villains that have come before]. It’s a completely different character. He’s the darkest villain we’ve had. 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 series 4 story

An official BBC synopsis for Sherlock series four has now landed online, confirming – as everyone expected – that there’s going to be a tiny human joining the show’s stable of characters. Here’s the plot summary…

“[Series four] begins with the nation’s favourite 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.”

This follows the official press release from yesterday, which featured this plot-teasing quote from writers and executive producers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat:

“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…”

Asked – by Entertainment Weekly, a while back – what the theme of series four would be, Moffat said, “It’s consequences. Chickens come home to roost. It’s dark in some ways – obviously it’s great fun and a Sherlock Holmes romp and all that – but there’s a sense of things coming back to bite you. It’s not a safe, sensible way to live. It’s hilarious and exhilarating some days, but some days it’s going to be bloody frightening.”

Who’ll be providing the fright, we wonder? Could that “miss me?” cliff-hanger have something to do with it? Or are there more terrifying villains from canon in store. It’s not only being frightened that Sherlock fans have to worry about, but also being put through the emotional wringer. “We’re certainly going to put them through the mill. It’s going to be more of an emotional upheaval. Hopefully enjoyable and fun, all the things Sherlock must always be. It will be tough at times. Maybe that’s the word? A tougher series.”

Sherlock series 4 episodes

The Six Thatchers and The Lying Detective are the titles for episodes 1 and 2 of Sherlock series four, it’s been announced by @Sherlock221B

That first one tallies up with the “Thatcher” tease announced at this year’s SDCC, which had fans theorising about former UK prime ministers, rural roofers and brands of bottled cider (other apple-based alcoholic drinks are available).

The closest Doyle link there appears to be with the story The Adventure Of The Six Napoleons, a Lestrade-heavy case which involves plaster busts of the diminutive French military leader being smashed in search of a hidden pearl. 

The second, The Lying Detective, is a take on Doyle’s The Adventure Of The Dying Detective, the story in which Culverton Smith, already announced as the villain of series four, appears. (The episode was teased with the name “Smith” back at SDCC, obviously bringing to mind Toby Jones’ villainous character.) 

Sherlock series 4 rumours

The current big rumour, with its basis in off-stage canon, is that series four will include the death of the recently arrived but much-loved Mary Watson, played by Amanda Abbington. Steven Moffat’s prediction that “it all goes to hell” for John and Sherlock in series four would point vaguely in that direction. Moffat has said, “John’s got a wife and Sherlock likes her and isn’t it adorable, and then it all goes to hell. Remember where we left them.” Shall we just start the #SaveMary campaign now?

More news as we hear it.

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