Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss Kick Off Sherlock Holmes Day with 'Intercepted' Audio

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's set the record straight: the release of an "intercepted" audio clip today (May 22) in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss have a phone chat as Sherlock Holmes and his brother, Mycroft, doesn't mean we're getting more Sherlock any time soon.

But before we get to the clip itself, let's take a look at Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Gatiss addressing the mysterious phone call — and the fact that, alas, it doesn't mean a new season is on the horizon — in a video, spotted by the Radio Times. But, not to completely disappoint, they're also announcing a new "adventure." It seems there's a game afoot, and we're all invited to play. Fans can find out more by following their clue, which is the Twitter hashtag #thegameisnow.

And, why is all of this coming to light today of all days? Because it's International Sherlock Holmes Day, which marks the birthday of Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

So, while we're still in the dark about what the game entails exactly, we do know the public is invited to join in. Take a listen to the just released audio clip below, in which Sherlock (Cumberbatch) and Mycroft (Gatiss) discuss a very serious problem that only members of the public can make right.

Mycroft is concerned that "certain cells of the network have gone rather quiet." He thinks possibly they might be with Sherlock, with his little brother shutting down this notion with a typically snarky retort: "No. I have not been hiding them."

Sherlock, who's currently in Sweden, isn't available to return to England to help out his brother. So, Mycroft suggests a last resort idea, saying,"We are simply short of minds. No amount of quiet recruitment can compensate for our sheer dearth of numbers. We shall have to recruit... [grumble, insert dramatic pause] publicly..."

Publicly? As in real people? As in us? As in... you and me?! Sherlock is as shocked by the suggestion as we are, asking, "Recruit... real... people??"

Clearly, he's not super keen on this idea.

Have a listen to how the entire conversation plays out:

We're not audio experts but this definitely appears to be Cumberbatch and Gatiss having a genuinely new conversation and not, say, the work of a clever fan who's mashed together dialogue from the series to make it sound like all-new audio.

While we're a little disappointed that this wasn't a stunt designed to announce an upcoming season, it is still nice to get a fresh dose of Sherlock, and to hear the brain box brothers bicker as they come up with a scheme.

Moffat and Gatiss said the game will be revealed today... and the day is not over... In the meantime, take a look at some of the fan theories cropping up on Twitter:

Are you up for the mission... whatever it may be?