'Sherlock' Season 4 Spoilers From Stephen Moffat Himself Promise Some Major Changes In The Show

It's a big day: The notoriously tight-lipped Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat talked Sherlock Season 4 recently, providing epic spoilers. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he covered a lot of things, from Elementary to Fifty Shades of Grey — however, his most interesting insights were about the mysterious next season of Sherlock.

The BBC show is basically a different animal each season; the British format of long episodes and short seasons (can be as little as 4 episodes per season) allows for more flexibility. The series has a great reputation for being extremely variable, episode to episode and season to season. In the EW interview, Moffat summarized the changes in each season perfectly: "The first series was all about the beginning of their friendship. Second about the formative stages, the love and fear and loss and all that. The third was good days, me and my pal and my pal’s wife. Those are golden days."

In a rare moment of generosity, Moffat gave us some hints about the new season of Sherlock. He has a good amount to say about it, even though it hasn't been written yet. The air date is still a long way off (in 2016), though we'll also be blessed with a Christmas special this year. Here are the biggest reveals from the interview.

The theme will be "consequences."

[Season 4] is going to be… I suppose you’d say… consequences. It’s consequences. Chickens come 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.

It will be tougher.

It will be tough at times. Maybe that’s the word? A tougher series.

It will not have a bigger budget, despite its popularity.

I’m fighting tooth and nail on both shows to get enough money to make them. It’s hugely frustrating and annoying at times because they couldn’t be more successful.

There won't be any famous guest stars.

But as Mark [Gatiss] always says, it’s better to be a star-maker. We found all these people, Benedict, Scott, Lara Pulver. These people launched careers on the basis of doing the show. It’s tough because we got Benedict and Martin—they’re probably the two biggest British film stars. If you pay extra money to cast somebody famous, are they actually going to provide you with one single extra viewer?

There won't be a Doctor Who crossover.

My instinct—and this is probably from years of doing Doctor Who—is I’m just such a tart. If people want to, we should give it to them. But I got persuaded by Mark, Benedict, [executive producer Sue Vertue] and Martin saying, “Look, it will never be as good as they think it’s going to be.”

Moriarty won't be coming back.

We knew we had to be bold about that. We knew what we wanted to do. Moriarty is only in one story, “The Final Problem,” and has a flashback appearance in another. The story of Sherlock Holmes isn’t Sherlock vs. a criminal mastermind. It just isn’t.

Both Holmes and Watson's characters will stay dynamic.

The reason we still have Benedict and Martin is we still give them acting challenges. Otherwise they wouldn’t come and play with us. They don’t need the money.

Fans will be left wanting more.

Hmmm… [after season 4, fans will be] desperate for series 5.

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