Unlike a certain Time Lord, who can swap faces every time he happens to fall from the gantry of a radio telescope, Sherlock – despite having a neat side line in his own brand of resurrection, is very much dependant on the whim of its star Benedict Cumberbatch.
Which is why co-creator/writer Steven Moffat told Variety that once its star leaves the show, that’s it.
“Once Benedict Cumberbatch gives up Sherlock what are we going to do? We are going to stop, that’s what we are going to do.”
Sherlock, which is one of the BBC’s biggest exports around the world and will go before the cameras for its fourth series later this year, is back for a one-off special set during the Victorian era on New Year’s Day.
Comparing the format to that other show, Doctor something or other, Moffat added:
“Most shows have a built-in mortality. But here is a show that sheds us all like scales; a show that can make you feel everything except indispensable. It will carry on forever, because you can replace every part of it.
“Doctor Who is the all-time perfectly evolved television show. It’s a television predator designed to survive any environment because you can replace absolutely everybody. Most shows you can’t do that with.”
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride airs January 1st 2016.