Benedict Cumberbatch is "worried" about reintroducing his titular character in the 'Sherlock' Christmas special.
The 37-year-old star is concerned about the festive special as the last season ended with famous detective Sherlock Holmes and Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) appearing to fall to their deaths, and the actor is hoping his return will meet with fans' high expectations.
He explained to the Radio Times magazine: "It's important for me to state this. Everyone keeps on banging on about the expectations of how he survived his fall at the end of series two. I'm much more worried about how I introduce myself to the world."
Benedict admits his alter-ego has "regressed" when he returns and is struggling to adapt to life in London since his relationship with his friend and assistant Doctor John Watson (Martin Freeman) has changed.
He said: "I think he's regressed ... I think without Watson the stabilisers have come off the bike a little bit, or they've been put back on, I don't quite know. He's not in tune with London, he is not in tune with his natural habit and he's nowhere near in tune with what it is to be a human being in society.
"Although he has been through a s**tload, as we discover. In his own way it's cost him. It's all about how Watson responds to this man coming back."
Sherlock's supposed death is very much a part of the literary character's canon. The author of the Holmes novels, Arthur Conan Doyle, killed off Holmes in 1893 so he could stop writing the tales and spend time on his other work.
The world's greatest detective was brought back in 1894 in The Adventure of the Empty House.