The BBC’s decision to reboot classic adventure franchises like Dr. Who and Sherlock has been nothing short of a phenomenon. With millions tuning in to see the Doctor’s 50th anniversary, and even more expected for the Christmas special, Sherlock is set to make a comeback with season 3 on New Year’s Day – and it’s got the same dedicated fan base as any of the BBC’s strong drama contingent.

Sherlock Season 3 castFrom left to right: Louise Brealey, Amanda Abbington, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Gatiss and Una Stubbs

The crux of season three, as evidenced in the new fast-twitch, exhilarating trailer, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch’s now-iconic vocal chords, is the faking of the mercurial detective’s death. "I don't care how you faked it. I wanna know why," asks Watson; Sherlock’s faithful yet oft-inquisitive partner in fighting crime, played by Martin Freeman.

Just how Sherlock fooled the world into thinking he plunged into the familiar fate of mortality is still a mystery, adding another level of intrigue heading into the third season. Not only will Conan-Doyle’s creation be charged with exposing a new criminal – or gang of murderers – to a wider spectrum, contriving in their death or arrest, but an eager audience will be expecting an explanation from the show’s protagonist, too.

Watch the trailer for Sherlock season 3 here:

"Obviously Sherlock, does have to have some sort of enemy, a nemesis," said Freeman, quoted by The Mirror. "And as we’ve seen, unless Moriarty did something incredibly Derren Brown-like when he shot himself in the head, we assume... there is no more Moriarty. But there will be a nemesis of some sort and the hints that we get about that in this first episode are very intriguing."

Sherlock showrunner and BBC drama legend, Steven Moffat also opened up the detective’s new target. “We’ve drawn from that story [of Charles Augustus Milverton]," he said.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin FreemanBenedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are at the center of it all

"But, as ever with our show, what we drew and how we do it and how we find equivalences, [you’ll have to wait and see]. Sometimes, as you know, we flip things and make them the other way round. We do all those things. I’m not giving away what we’ve done with him but I think we’ve done something good. You’ll know the angle we’ve taken on it within seconds of it beginning…”

Next page: Cumberbatch on season three, and what 2014 has in store