Here’s the first official picture from forthcoming series 4, featuring Sherlock and John. The plot will feature John and wife Mary (Amanda Abbington) preparing for parenthood. Oh, and there’s the little matter of villains Moriarty (Andrew Scott) and new face Culverton Smith (Toby Jones), described by writer Steven Moffat as ‘the darkest villain we’ve had’. Here, by the way, is the official BBC Sherlock page.
Between the autumn television slate and some promising titles around the corner in 2017, there’s a lot to be excited about for fans of crime and mystery television. Some of these shows are brand new and others are merely moving on to new seasons, but in considering both categories, here are five programmes that are already looking like a whole lot of fun.
Lethal Weapon (Fox)
Lethal Weapon has to be one of the more exciting new crime shows in at least a few years. Announced earlier this year, it’s set to debut this autumn for American audiences on Fox and on ITV in Britain and will presumably be available for streaming soon thereafter. The show us based on the 1987 film of the same name, which has an iconic place among American crime thrillers. That film, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, ultimately spawned three sequels, each as exciting as the last. It also led to a 1992 NES video game, which you can actually still obtain from Game Fabrique, a site featuring several old titles available for download. That the game is still around is a testament to the fact that even the distinctly ’80s and ’90s feeling of these films hasn’t made them any less popular with action and crime fans.
The new show looks to be a fairly straightforward reboot. Clayne Crawford (24, Rogue) has been cast as Martin Riggs (Gibson’s character), with Damon Wayans (Major Payne, My Wife and Kids) playing Roger Murtaugh (Glover’s role). It ought to be a standard buddy-cop action show with elements of drama and comedy, and the key will be for Crawford and Wayans to develop something that at least remotely resembles the chemistry of Gibson and Glover. Interestingly enough, Glover said he’s skeptical of the project, or at least that he’d prefer people still remember his four films fondly. But the name Lethal Weapon still carries a great deal of weight, which should make this show one of the more watched debuts of the coming season.
In another move to reboot an American crime classic, albeit one that’s generally taken with a grain of salt, MacGyver will also return to television screens in the near future. Set to debut in late September, this show concerns a secret agent who uses scientific knowledge and off-the-charts resourcefulness to get out of sticky situations and, in all likelihood, save the world. If you’re not as familiar with the original series, which ran from 1985 to 1992 and starred Richard Dean Anderson in the titular role, you may well have come across the parody: Saturday Night Live and Will Forte’s “MacGruber. In this skit that ultimately became a film, the hero would frequently fall short of saving the world due to comical miscues.
The new drama will presumably be a little bit grittier, though as stated MacGyver isn’t necessarily meant to be taken seriously. Lucas Till (X-Men: Apocalypse) will star as a young Angus MacGyver, who essentially creates his own organisation within the United States government to fight crime with his own bizarre blend of skills.
Sherlock (BBC One)
What Sherlock has done for Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective series is remarkable. Released just months after the blockbuster film Sherlock Holmes and before Elementary in the US, it managed to become most people’s picture of the definitive modern Holmes. It also brought popularity back to the character and concept. One can argue that Elementary sprouted from this show, and we’ve also seen a greater prevalence of Holmes material, such as video games, since the 2010 debut. Frogwares has a well-known console series going, but the characters from these stories have also popped up in high-volume online gaming arenas. The choices for slot machine games at Betfair include numerous connections to pop culture and fiction, and a delightful Sherlock Holmes title is now among them. The game uses character images, detective equipment, and the setting of 221B Baker Street to make for a more interesting casino experience, with reel spins turning up all kinds of elements related to the stories.
Despite all this influence, Sherlock is actually a pretty abbreviated show. Presented in a way that each series consists of only a handful of (long) episodes, it plays out almost like a collection of short films. There have only been three series to date, as well as one Christmas mini-episode and a 2016 special that existed outside of the timeline of the regular show. And for that reason, fans simply can’t wait for more material. Series four will debut in 2017, with more wonderful action expected from Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
Looks like Jim Moriarty will be back on the scene when BBC1’s Sherlock returns in 2017. Here’s the new trailer featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and, briefly, Andrew Scott. Toby Jones is also on view as another foe for Sherlock. Few laughs here, it all looks very serious…
THE BEEB has just released this shot of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as they will appear in the next Sherlock special. Are they in fancy dress? Have they stepped back in time? Here are some Twitter tags if you want join in the speculation – #221back #sherlock #notkidding