The game is almost on — and evidently the tide is rising. With Season 4 of the Emmy-winning BBC One/Masterpiece drama — and worldwide phenom — Sherlock set to debut on January 1, clues are being dropped on a regular basis. The BBC today revealed an animated image that owes something of a debt to the Season 3 poster of Mad Men. Dubbed the “Rising Tide” teaser, it sees Benedict Cumberbatch’s eponymous high-functioning sociopath and Martin Freeman’s Dr John Watson looking pensive inside 221B Baker Street as water listlessly floods the flat (check it out above, and the larger static image below).

mad-men-season-3-promo
AMC

The latest shot of the sleuthing duo follows images released last week that showed Sherlock staring quizzically at Watson’s new baby and included the first look at new bad guy Toby Jones who plays Culverton Smith, a character from Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “The Adventure of the Dying Detective.”

With anticipation already at a fever pitch, Season 4 kicks off with “The Six Thatchers.” Written by Mark Gatiss, the first episode finds Sherlock waiting “to see where Moriarty will make his posthumous move,” per the BBC. The full synopsis goes like this:

One mysterious case in particular baffles Scotland Yard — but Sherlock is more interested in a seemingly-trivial detail. Why is someone destroying images of the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher? Is there a madman on the loose? Or is there a much darker purpose at work? Something with its roots deep in Mary Watson’s past…

Along with the first, the two follow-up feature-length episodes promise “laughter, tears, shocks, surprises and extraordinary cases.”

Coupled with the excitement for the latest Sherlock mysteries is Cumberbatch’s confirmed status as a superhero with Disney/Marvel feature Doctor Strange crossing the $600M worldwide box office mark.

Produced by Hartswood Films, Sherlock made a triumphant return to television on New Year’s Day this year with special 90-minute episode “The Abominable Bride.” It also was released theatrically and notched big box office, notably in China and Korea, then pulled off an upset and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding TV Movie.

Sherlock S4
Hartswood Films/Todd Antony