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Sherlock's back! The release date announced with brand new trailer footage

Emmy Griffiths

Sherlock has announced that it will return to our televisions on New Year's Day 2017 – a mere three years after its last season!

A trailer with brand new footage of Benedict Cumberbatch as everyone's favourite high-functioning sociopath aired following The Great British Bake Off finale last night, confirming that the first episode, titled The Six Thatchers, would air on January 1 2017.

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BBC One's official Twitter account shared an ominous photo of a violin with a single string snapped for the new season shortly after the trailer aired, writing: "Sherlock will return in The Six Thatchers on January 1, 2017."

Fans were quick to discuss the new trailer, with one tweeting: "When your friend sends you a message saying "SHERLOCK!!!!!" - and nothing else."

"CAN WE ALL TALK ABOUT THAT SHERLOCK TRAILER," another excitedly added.

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A new picture was released following the trailer

A fan joked about the timing of the trailer, writing: "YOU CANNOT PUT A SHERLOCK TRAILER AFTER THE GBBO FINAL THE BRITISH PEOPLE WILL DIE."

The trailer shows Sherlock's greatest adversary Jim Moriarty seemingly return from the dead as he asks "did you miss me?" in reference to the final moments of the season three finale. It is also full of fighting, new enemies, witty one liners and a worse for wear Sherlock looking shocked by an unseen terror. The trailer also hints at cracks in Sherlock's relationship with his brother Mycroft, as Mrs Hudson tells him: "Get out of my house you reptile."

The season three finale and the Sherlock Christmas special, dealt with the aftermath of Sherlock's actions after he killed the evil Charles Augustus Magnussen to save Watson and his wife Mary from blackmail.

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