Contains mild Doctor Who spoilers.

The wait is almost over as Sherlock returns to our TV screens on New Year’s Day, the highly anticipated third batch of feature length episodes will start with the Mark Gatiss penned opener which will explain how the great detective faked his own death.

On Christmas Day the BBC released a special seven minute episode online, Many Happy Returns finds Lestrade (Rupert Graves) catching up with Anderson (Jonathan Aris) who is convinced Sherlock is still alive and solving impossible cases all over the world. Lestrade checks in on Watson (Martin Freeman) and gives him the uncut version of a video birthday message that Sherlock recorded when he was unable to attend Watson’s party. We only see the man himself (Benedict Cumberbatch) on the video message and his unmistakable  silhouette, we might not be any closer to discovering the hows and whys but the game is well and truly back on.

Steven Moffat’s other festive TV treat saw audiences bid an emotional farewell to Matt Smith as The Doctor, over 10 million people tuned in to watch him regenerate into Peter Capaldi’s 12th (technically 14th) incarnation. Not only did The Time of the Doctor successfully wrap up most of the story arcs from the Matt Smith era, the hour long episode also secured the future of the series as The Doctor now has a brand new regeneration cycle. What an exciting time to be alive!

All will become clear for Sherlock fans on New Year’s Day when The Empty Hearse is broadcast on BBC One at 9pm. You can see the full seven minute episode written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss below.