Martin Freeman Says Fan Expectations Ruined Sherlock for Him

Martin Freeman. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

You guys really did it this time. If you’re disappointed to hear there probably won’t be a fifth season of BBC’s Sherlock, you have only yourself to blame. If you happen to be an inappropriately demanding fan of Sherlock, that is. In a new interview in the Telegraph, series star Martin Freeman answered a question about a potential fifth season of the beloved Benedict Cumberbatch vehicle by letting everyone know why it isn’t happening. “Um … I think after series four [it] felt like a pause. I think we felt we’d done it for a bit now,” the Black Panther actor explained. “And part of it, speaking for myself is [due to] the reception of it.”

While the show’s fourth season experienced its share of criticism, with some citing a lag in quality, Freeman’s issue was not with critics per se, but with the show’s extremely adoring fans, whose devotion, some apparently felt, translated into obligation. “Being in that show, it is a mini-Beatles thing,” says Freeman. “People’s expectations, some of it’s not fun any more. It’s not a thing to be enjoyed, it’s a thing of: ‘You better f—— do this, otherwise you’re a c—.’ That’s not fun anymore.”

Just so you fans don’t feel completely terrible, however, Freeman is also willing to admit that, hey, look, maybe Sherlock really couldn’t sustain its previously lofty caliber of whodunit. “Whereas even with The Office [the Ricky Gervais comedy that launched Freeman’s career] it was a slow burn,” he admits. “But Sherlock was frankly notably high quality from the outset. And when you start [that high] it’s pretty hard to maintain that.”

Fan Expectations Ruined Sherlock for Martin Freeman