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(Photo: BBC/Hartswood Films)

Fresh from receiving six Emmy nominations for its Christmas special The Abominable Bride, the BBC has released the first official photo from the long-awaited upcoming series of Sherlock.

The image shows Benedict Cumberbatch in character as the eponymous detective, once again wearing modern dress and in particular his trademark scarf and coat. John Watson (Martin Freeman), on the other hand, is looking altogether furrier.

Sherlock’s new sidekick is of course a bloodhound, a breed of dog famous for its ability to detect the scent of humans over long distances. Hmm. Does this give us any clues as to what might happen in the new season? A bloodhound does pop up in The Sign of Four, the second Sherlock Holmes novel written by creator Arthur Conan Doyle, in which Holmes borrows a dog to track down two villains attempting to steal Indian treasure from Watson’s future wife Mary.

Or has poor Sherlock simply been forced to find a new best friend, now that Watson and wife Mary (Amanda Abbington) are expecting a baby?

We shall have to wait and see. Still no official word on an air date, but rest assured we’re on the case.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.