Season 4 of Sherlock probably won’t be happening for a while, but Martin Freeman has just hinted that there may be some kind of one-off episode to tide us over till then.

Speaking on this week’s episode of U.K. talk show Chatty Man, Freeman teased the possibility of a special episode between seasons three and four.

“Mark Gatiss may beat me up," he said, "but there is an idea for this one-off special that’s such a good idea, and as I was listening to it I thought 'we’ve just got to do this'. And I don’t know when we are going to be able to do it, unfortunately. It’s a fantastic, really mouth-watering idea.”

Following the success of the Hobbit trilogy and Star Trek Into Darkness, both Sherlock stars are likely to have busy Hollywood schedules. Happily, they and the Sherlock writers have all made it clear they want to make at least two more seasons, even if that requires waiting another two years between each instalment.

The only question is when everyone will be free for long enough to film three whole feature-length episodes in a row, which is why a one-off episode sounds like such a good idea. Is it too optimistic to hope for a Doctor Who-style Christmas special in 2014?

Photo via bbcssherlock/Sherlock