Picture shows: Sherlock (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH)"Sherlock" Season 4 keeps warning us that "it's not a game anymore," with dark, brutal themes ahead; but it's also meant to be "amazing," "really funny," and perhaps the best season yet. So let the non-games begin.

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) will return January 1 on PBS, with a new baby for John and Mary, and a new villain for John and Sherlock.Toby Jones's character has been billed as "maybe the most dark-hearted character that we've ever had."

Co-creator Steve Moffatt recently teased, at a BAFTA celebration, that the characters would be taken to "a darker place" than ever before. However, it won't be all doom and gloom. Co-creator Mark Gatiss (who also plays Mycroft Holmes) said, "We always have to keep reiterating this hasn't suddenly become some kind of uber bleak sort of Scandi show." Amanda Abbington (Mary) seconded that, saying, "It's quite funny. Actually, it's really funny."

Abbington went further, echoing the dark tones, but also promising perhaps the best we've ever seen:

"We as a company got the scripts, and we all got together and said 'this is brutal'. It's amazing. I think we all decided that this is our favorite series. Definitely, out of all we've done."

Well, then it can be as brutal and dark as it wants, because if they loved it, then we'll love it. Plus, Sherlock has already looked into the camera and told us "I love you," so what else can we ask for?

"Sherlock" Season 4 begins with "The Six Thatchers" on January 1.

[via Female First]

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