The 'Sherlock' Season 4 Premiere Date Guarantees You'll Have A Happy New Year

After a long and lonely hiatus, the return of BBC's Sherlock is nigh. Sherlock, being all mysterious with his cheekbones and turning his collar up so he looks cool, will be back just in time for the new year. As in, the Sherlock Season 4 premiere date is New Year’s Day, aka Sunday, January 1, 2017, when we'll get to follow our favorite boys in the midst of whole new mystery. Meaning, most importantly, that the state of affairs with the villainous James Moriarty could be solved on that very same day. Is he dead? Is he alive? Neither? Both? Leave it to Sherlock and Watson to deduce such things.

In the interim, you might want to refresh your memory with some Sherlock specific knowledge. Over the past two years, we've been given a few clues about the impending Season 4. But, because it's been so long, it's likely that you forgot about them or pushed them out of your mind to make room for other things. Now, with the Season 4 premiere date locked in, it's worth it to take a look back at some clues. You know, so they're fresh in our minds before we see Sherlock and Watson back on our TV screens and in our hearts again.

"The Six Thatchers" & "The Lying Detective"

In September, BBC revealed the names of the first two episodes of the three-episode season. They are: "The Six Thatchers" and "The Lying Detective." As in previous Sherlock seasons, the titles of the episodes are a riff on titles from Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories. "The Six Thatchers" most likely, then, is a reference to the "The Adventure of The Six Napoleons," wherein a criminal destroys sculptures of Napoleon Bonaparte. "The Lying Detective" probably has something to do with "The Dying Detective," a short story that involves Sherlock pretending to be dying of some fatal — but highly contagious — illness.

“Thatcher,” “Smith,” & “Sherrinford"

During San Diego Comic-Con in July, three code words were revealed to the crowd: Thatcher, Smith, and Sherrinford. Thatcher refers most obviously to the first Season 4 episode, but also might refer to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher was mentioned in the episode "The Hounds of Baskerville," as the password for project H.O.U.N.D was "Maggie."

Smith probably refers to the antagonist of the short story, "The Adventures of the Ding Detective." His name? Culverton Smith. In June, it was confirmed that Toby Jones will be playing this season's villain, Culverton Smith.

As for Sherrinford, here's where things get really exciting. In 1962, William S. Baring-Gould wrote a fictional biography for Sherlock Holmes, and, in that biography, he stated that Sherlock had two brothers — Mycroft Holmes and Sherrinford Holmes. If you remember, in the Season 3 finale, Mycroft mentions there being a third Holmes brother. Boom. Sherlock will have another brother in Season 4. Deduced.

The Trailer

Sherlock on YouTube

The main clue from the trailer is that Moriarty might not actually be dead. "Something's coming. Maybe it's Moriarty. Maybe it's not." Sherlock returning to the pool where he and Moriarty had their epic scene also points to that theory. Then, of course, there's Mrs. Hudson disapproval of Mycroft ("Get out of my house, you reptile," she tells him. Ouch.) It doesn't really hint at much, but it's sure shiver inducing.

The Violin

The last and final clue given to us so far. What does the violin mean? Or is it nothing more than an emblem for which to represent Sherlock?

It's not a game anymore. Unless you commit yourself to finding out more about these clues before Season 4 premiers. Then it kind of could be.

Images: BBC