If it feels like it's been forever since BBC's Sherlock was in all of our lives, that's because it just nearly has been: Season two of the Benedict Cumberbatch- Martin Freeman-starring drama aired almost exactly two years ago, in January 2012. After producing whopping three episodes total, the series went on a lengthy hiatus to accomodate Cumberbatch and Freeman's increasingly busy filming schedules. Finally, though, it's almost back—and it looks like the official start date has finally been confirmed. Through a pretty cool publicity stunt in London this morning, the network confirmed that Sherlock will return to BBC One on January 1, 2014.

As for the meaning of the publicity stunt: It's based on season two's cliffhanger, in which Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch) leaped off the roof of St. Bart's Hospital in London, presumably to his "death"—hence the funeral hearse and floral arrangement in the publicty stunt. Of course, while everyone, including John Watson (Freeman), may believe that he's dead, there's more to the story than meets the eye. Also, that hashtag #SHERLOCKLIVES kind of gives all that away. 

The hearse apparently drove around London this morning, and stopped at a few key filming locations from the show. Twitter loved it.

Unfortunately, season three won't be much longer than season two was—once again, it will only consist of three episodes when it premieres on New Year's Day. For those of you who aren't in the UK or don't have access to BBC One, the series will return to PBS later in the month, on January 19th, 2014.

You can check out a pic of the stunt, courtesy of BBC, above.

[via Deadline]