benedict cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star in the hit BBC1 series SherlockBBC

The much-loved television show, Sherlock, is apparently in jeopardy over the reported strained relationship of its lead stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Seeing as both actors appear to be normal, down-to-earth guys with similar outlooks on life, it has come as a shock to the show's loyal fans.

As reports emerged that the future of Sherlock depends on its two main stars, the question of whether the show's creators would ever consider recasting has cropped up. And the answer is an undoubted no.

Co-writer of the show Mark Gatiss told the Daily Star that Cumberbatch would never be replaced, even if it meant getting a fifth series of the show.

He said: "We couldn't do it without him, of course not. We couldn't recast Sherlock. It's not a show we're just churning out. It's a special thing and we couldn't do it without Benedict."

Gatiss also plays Sherlock's brother Mycroft, and went on to celebrate Benedict and Freeman's onscreen chemistry as "the definitive Holmes and Watson of our age. I don't think you need to argue that," he said.

The fourth series finale aired on Sunday night (15 January) and didn't fail to excite viewers with an explosive closer. The episode, named The Final Problem, co-writer Steven Moffat insinuating that there is more to come.

Describing the episode as "the end of Chapter One", he added: "Whether we ever get to Chapter Two – our boys consciously living the myth and battling wrong-doers – rather depends on our two stars. I'd be slightly surprised if we never made it again. But I've been surprised before."

And as many viewers were left hanging on the edge of their seats, wondering why major questions were left unanswered, Moffat confessed that it wasn't his intention to finish the series on a cliffhanger.

He continued: "We're not planning it to be [the final series] but it might be, it's possible, and we could end it there," Moffat said. "We couldn't have ended it on any of the previous series, but they always ended on walloping great cliffhangers!"

Sherlock Holmes
BBC investigates whether the final episode of the current series of Sherlock was deliberately leaked online by Russian state TV.BBC