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"I scrawled down the sign of the four" [SIGN]

As the world exploded yesterday — not like Vincent Starrett intimated in '221B' — but with Sherlock as a trending topic on various websites, you probably saw the news that the Sherlock team is hard at work filming Series 4.

In typical fan-baiting fashion, the official social media channels of the show carried this message:

We're back! The game is on.

Fans of the show have become accustomed to waiting two years between series, although this year's special The Abominable Bride offered a bit of a respite from the typical lag between shows. So the news that filming has begun was welcome news indeed.

But what can we expect from the show runners this time around? Previously, some have said they've been a bit too self-aware when it comes to making references and satisfying fans. You may recall that we interviewed Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue on Episode 86, where we tried to get a bit more out of them and they weren't having it.

At this point, we don't know what the episode titles are, or which stories they might be based on. The creators have been quite secretive about that. The statement they issued was fairly generalized:
“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...”

We know that Sherlock Holmes is back on British soil (as indicated in ABOM) and that the spectre of Moriarty is looming. It seems highly unlikely that Moriarty himself will make a return, but our estimation is that his forces will be at work to avow the legacy of the late, lamented Moriarty.

Expect all of your favorite cast members to be there: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, respectively; Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes; Amanda Abbington as Mary Morstan Watson; Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson; Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper; and Rupert Graves as Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade. Arwel Jones returns as the talented production designer.

One interesting twist this time around is that the series will have its first female director. Rachel Talalay has worked as a director, producer, and professor in film and television for more than 25 years will take the helm for the first of the three episodes. Her previous directing experience includes Doctor Who, The Flash and The Wind In The Willows.

But the lack of hard evidence has been driving some fans mad. So mad that one of them took it upon himself to create a truly extraordinary trailer for Series 4:

No, this wasn't created from stock footage. This particular video was painstakingly created over 14 months using digital technology and nothing else. Go behind the scenes to see how it was done. Now that is a dedicated fan.

It's almost as nutty as starting your own quarterly publication about the topic.

What do you think is in store for us in this series? Leave us a comment below.

Image credit: YouTube