Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sherlock Holmes and the Other Villains

If you are a fan of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' smash hit and bloody wonderful updated Holmes series, Sherlock, you may know by now that the identity of the show's next nemesis has been revealed. Charles Augustus Magnussen will be played by Lars Mikkelsen, the Danish star of such hit shows as The Killing and brother of fellow veteran villain Mads Mikkelsen who starred opposite Daniel Craig in bond film 'Casino Royale' and is the title character in the Hannibal series.  
Following on from the brilliant Moriarty who met his apparent demise in the series two finale (he shot himself in the head but Sherlock survived a close encounter with a pavement so who knows!), there's much pressure on Mikkelsen and the production team to create a villain as effective and memorable as Andrew Scott's dangerous beegee-loving lunatic but let's hope Moffat and Gatiss' Midas touch continues.They are certainly sticking to their golden rule, to remain close to Conan Doyle's originals, as Mikkelsen will presumably be playing a modern version of Charles Augustus Milverton, the Master Blackmailer, who was such a formidable foe for the Great Detective that the one story he appears in was named after him
The choice to take another villain from the canon rather than create a totally new one shows that although Holmes' most famous adversary has bit the dust, Sherlock has still got a lot of mileage left in terms of who Baker Street's Finest can be pitted against. Here's a list of some Conan Doyle creations who could be great inspirations for further villains in the series - and may well be already set to appear. 

Dr Grimseby Roylott
Roylott is the devious doctor from 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band', one of Conan Doyle's barmiest and best short stories. Possessing a menagerie of exotic animals including a cheetah and a baboon, Roylott aims to get his hands on his stepdaughter's fortune by attempting to murder them with a deadly swamp adder snake - until Sherlock Holmes gets on the case! Moffat has stated that 'Speckled Band' is his favourite Holmes adventure and would apparently love to adapt it sometime. In that case, it seems highly plausible that sometime in the future we may see a modern version of Roylott on screen. An updated take on the story appears on John Watson's blog titled 'The Speckled Blonde', after a joke made on screen in 'A Scandal in Belgravia.' Who knows, they could adapt the adaptation...

Von Bork

As the story that this no-gooder appears in, 'His Last Bow' - Sherlock Holmes' finale case before he retires - is to be updated as series three's finale, 'His Last Vow', it is very possible we could see the scheming German agent brought to life. Sherlock's valedictory case (before he goes off to keep bees on the Sussex Downs, trivia fans) sees Holmes turn spy to thwart Von Bork from feeding military information to his home country on the eve of World War One. As it has now been revealed that Magnussen is the big cheese this series, he will likely be the star of the series finale but Von Bork could still make an appearance in a secondary role. Moffat, who is writing the episode, would certainly have fun revamping Von Bork's story, quite particular to its time period, to the 21st century. 

Colonel Sebastian Moran

Colonel Moran must be a dead cert to appear in Sherlock this year, and a fine villain he shall be. The antagonist of 'The Empty House' (to be updated as 'The Empty Hearse' this series by Mark Gatiss'), Moran is out for revenge on the recently-resurrected Holmes (having survived his fight with Moriarty atop the Reichenbach Falls). The reason - he's Moriarty's right hand man and the second most dangerous man in London after the pernicious professor. Moran's such a well-known figure from the canon to Holmes fans, Moffat and Gatiss surely couldn't help themselves but slot him into the series. 

The Giant Rat of Sumatra

Yes, a rat can't technically be a villain but going by the concept alone I thinks it is safe to say that the enigmatic rodent would stray into antagonistic territory. The centre of the Holmes canon's most well-known 'lost' story (unchronicled adventures of Holmes and Watson's that Conan Doyle only hinted at), a great deal of people would love to see the Rat finally realised on the small screen. Plus, many have already got their hopes up thanks to the clues to this year's episodes that were released last year; 'Rat. Wedding. Bow.' The Giant Rat and whatever adventure that revolves around it for which, 'the world is yet to be prepared' for would make an excellent and unexpected addition to Sherlock series three. Oh, please Mr Moffat, Mr Gatiss, I think the world is more than prepared now. Maybe a shock twist will be that Magnussen will turn into a giant rat. You heard it here first, folks.

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