Benedict Cumberbatch has hinted the fourth series of Sherlock will be so dramatic fans might require a break from the show afterwards.
The British star, 40, will soon return to our screens in the contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories but revealed there could be a longer gap than normal between instalments after the forthcoming episodes.
He told the Press Association: "I think there will be a lull. I don't think it will be in a year and a half necessarily but we will wait and see and maybe it will be.
"First and foremost we have got a fourth series for people to watch and understand and when they watch it they might go 'Oh yeah, maybe there does need to be a break now' because of what happens in it. No spoilers!"
However, Benedict was adamant that his new role as superhero Doctor Strange in Marvel's new film of the same name will not impact on his future in Sherlock.
He said: "Let me put that one straight, that is nothing to do with this.
"They moved the schedule to accommodate Sherlock, there is a lot of mutual love between those two enterprises and there is no reason why one cancels out the other."
The comic book giant was so keen to cast him in the blockbuster movie they shifted the filming schedule and release date, he said.
"You have a lot of responsibility, especially to them, because in this instance they did something they had never done before because I was doing Hamlet (at The Barbican in London) and that is when they wanted to film after offering me the role and I had to turn it down.
"They went to other places with the part but kept coming back to me and eventually went 'Oh all right, we will change our filming schedule and release date' which is a huge, huge honour."
He already had plenty of friends in the Marvel cinematic universe, he said, revealing he sought advice from Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies.
He said: "Of course I talked to Tom about it and I talked to Chris (Hemsworth, who plays Thor).
"I met Chris Evans when he was first here shooting or promoting the first Captain America and Robert (Downey Jr, who plays Iron Man) and I have met on odd red carpets and we have a lot to talk about with Sherlock in common as well, so he gave me some brief pep talks."
The actor, who is expecting his second child with wife Sophie Hunter, said now he has played both he would be keen to see brain surgeon-turned-superhero Doctor Stephen Strange in a row with Holmes, saying: "They are clever, they are arrogant.
"Stephen is a little more likeable and sociable and he is a man of flesh and blood and appetites, whether they are materialistic or to do with relationships in his past.
"He is more part - sensorily - of the world around him and it's a very different field of expertise as well. It would be fun to see them in argument together maybe but I think there is a world of difference as well.
"People love joining the dots and that is fine, let them do that, but I enjoy the difference."
Doctor Strange is in UK cinemas now.