Is There A Secret Fourth Episode of Sherlock Series 4?


After last week’s finale, Sherlock Series Four came to an end. Several fans, including me, were not so pleased with the outcome and so several conspiracy theories were born. Discussions about whether or not there will be a fifth season were held on all different kinds of social media and even theories about a secret fourth episode were born.

In case it is new to you, some Sherlockians thought that the first episode of the new BBC One series Apple Tree Yard might be a secret fourth episode of our all-time-favourite, Sherlock. But this theory doesn’t come out of nowhere. If you compare characters and actors of ATY to Sherlock you’ll stumble across several similarities and coincidences. In the main role, for example, is an actress called Emily Watson. Familiar-sounding surname, don’t you think?

The fan theory went that”The Final Problem” is in some ways the John-version of “The Abominable Bride” – in other words, it is all taking place in John’s head after he got shot at the end of “The Lying Detective” like in a coma dream. And the final, fourth, episode was going to air Sunday night at 9pm on BBC One.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/09/2016 - Programme Name: Apple Tree Yard - TX: n/a - Episode: Apple Tree Yard - early release (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Costley (BEN CHAPLIN), Yvonne Carmichael (EMILY WATSON) - (C) Kudos - Photographer: Nick Briggs

Well, as it turned out, Apple Tree Yard went by with nary a mention of Sherlock. Which left Sherlockians pretty bereft:

Ah, well, that’s that then. Time to crawl up into a foetus position and sob in a corner for all eternity. Or is it…?

Ok, fair enough, Apple Tree Yard turned out to be a dead end. After all, as awesome as it would be to secretly drop an extra episode of Sherlock, it would have meant the ratings would have been awful, as many would have missed it. However, HOWEVER, there could still be a fourth episode arriving at some point in the future.

Lots more evidence for it still exists. The BBC itself gave the rumours new fuel in the latest #SherlockReacts video when the host was talking about a secret episode and mysteriously sipping on his tea, saying something like “A fourth episode? That would be stupid! Who would do something like that” and looks suspiciously to his right.

Plus, the other day, Series Four was released on DVD. You might notice that the DVDs of Sherlock have always been labelled “Complete Series One/Two/Three” but on the DVD box of Season 4 it just says “Season 4”. Why would that be unless Series Four was yet to be completed?


As we noted in another article, Steven Moffat has responded to these rumours and denied them. However, when doing so he used the term “the lost special.” Which is the title of a detective story by Arthur Conan Doyle. Coincidence? Maybe. But wouldn’t it be a very Mofftiss thing to do to reinterpret a piece of the Sherlock Holmes creator’s work in an unexpected way?

Besides that, there are a couple of Setlock scenes (partly officially published by the BBC) we haven’t seen so far. Are these just scenes that got cut out or do these scenes belong to another episode?

With that not being all, another part of the fandom is talking about this small scene from the behind-the-scenes material that aired after “The Final Problem” on PBS Masterpiece. As a post-credits sequence, Moriarty appeared saying: “Surprise. You didn’t think I’d just disappear, did you?” You can watch it here.

So what’s going on?

Is this a hint for a fifth Season? A fourth episode? But if there is a fourth episode, when will it air?

What do you think? Did you already stumble over this conspiracy or is it new to you? Did you found any evidence for or against a secret episode, please let me know everything in the comments!


12 thoughts on “Is There A Secret Fourth Episode of Sherlock Series 4?

  1. I have read ALL of these same theories. I would love to believe that something else exists! I am in the US and noticed that the two PBS stations I have show new programs scheduled for tonight, but nothing for next Sunday night…the anniversary of Sherlock and John meeting for the first time…but then reality hits me. We have three episodes. I just don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d love for it to be real, or maybe there’s going to be a new special the have already shot… Also, Moriarty’s reappearence after the credits sounds a bit like an anticipation. I wonder why there was no such a thing at the end of tfp in the UK. Fingers crossed…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t watch Apple Tree Yard last night, as I preferred the machinations of endeavour to the shennanigans in a cupboard (I did read about it in the previews). Why worry about an actress called Watson being involved? Now, if it had been Emily Watson and Katie Holmes, that would fuel the fire.
    I hope there is a series 5, but without dead characters popping up in every episode. Let’s just solve complicated crimes and be done with it. Having said that, various things I’ve read in the media don’t look too hopeful. If it comes all well and good, if not, I can live without it.


    • It was not just her, there were several other actors with names you could possibly link to Sherlock, but I personally think as well that this is a bit exaggerated and a little desperate.
      I only saw the first 30 minutes but people told me that there was no sign of Sherlock.
      Maybe next week 😉


  4. I would really love to believe there’s another story to tell with Sherlock since, and saying this feels like I’m backstabbing my best friend, season 4 ep 1 & especially 3 didn’t feel like a Sherlock episode; it felt rushed and incomplete. I wanted to end feeling excited and hopeful for more as I always felt at the end of each episode. Instead I was utterly disappointed like I lost my best friend forever. I would’ve rather had it end with a cliffhanger such as with Eurus holding John at gunpoint. From what interviews I’ve read, Moffat & Gatiss haven’t left me feeling hopeful, however I will gladly eat my words if they release more. Please!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sherlock does mention in series 4 episode 2 when telling the serial killing doctor about hhe hidden microphones, why do people stop at three! And isn’t there an original story called the sign of four?


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