Since the release ofSherlock's trailer for season four, fans have been guessing who could be playing the third Holmes brother, and the show's co-creator Mark Gatiss and the BBC have hinted that it might well be Tom Hiddleston.
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In the final episode of Sherlock season three, Sherlock's brother Mycroft opened up the show to a whole new level of speculation after hinting that he and Sherlock have a third brother, saying: "I'm not given to outbursts of brotherly compassion. You know what happened to the other one."
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Mark, who also plays Mycroft, posting the snap to Twitter
Earlier this week, Mark shared a snap of Tom Hiddleston posing with himself and Sherlock star Amanda Abbington, simply captioning the snap "Blud." Since Sherlock calls Mycroft "blud" in the show, fans immediately jumped onto the tweet, suggesting that it could mean that Tom will be starring as the third Holmes brother. One fan tweeted: "OMG I FEEL LIKE THIS IS A CLUE," while another wrote: "Wait, are we getting Hiddleston in Season 4???"
The BBC were then quick to join in on the rumour. In a now deleted tweet, BBC Store shared a video of Sherlock clips interposed with The Night Manager, hinting at Tom's involvement in the upcoming season. They captioned the video: "'Blud' rumours are flying - but what could #Hiddlebatch actually look like? Watch this..."
Sherlock season four will air in 2017
It appears that, whether played by Tom or not, Sherlock and Mycroft's mysterious brother will be appearing in the next series. This was hinted during the Sherlock panel at the San Diego Comic Con, where the cast revealed that the three key words for season four would be 'Thatcher', 'Smith' and 'Sherrinford.'
Sherrinford is particularly interesting as Arthur Conan Doyle considered this as a name for his main character before settling for Sherlock, and was used by well-known scholar William Stuart Baring-Gould for a biography of Sherlock Holmes, where 'Sherrinford' is the eldest brother out of the three.