At the risk of spoiling series 3 of the BBC/PBS ‘masterpiece’, Sherlock, I think it’s safe to say that Sherlock Holmes does survive his series 2 ending leap off the St Barts rooftop. What isn’t officially known, however, is whether or not his evil running buddy, Moriarty, is officially dead. Conventional wisdom says yes, but remember, this is not only Moriarty, it’s also Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the two people that love to play mind games about as much as Moriarty.
What started out as a good old-fashioned cat and mouse game with Moriarty forcing Sherlock to solve mysteries within a time limit and taking hostages to ensure that Sherlock is properly motivated, continued with Moriarty trying to justify his existence by telling Sherlock, “Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain. You need me, or you’re nothing.” It ended with a final rooftop confrontation that saw Moriarty shoot himself in the head and Sherlock leaping to his ‘death’ to activate the fail-safe.
As filming began this week on the final episode of series 3, it was announced that Danish actor, Lars Mikkelsen, who appeared in the original version of The Killing and Borgen, will play Sherlock’s new nemesis, Charles Augustus Magnussen. While Executive producer Sue Vertue did confirm the casting, not much is being known as to the storyline beyond the title of the series 3 finale, “His Last Vow”. However, the thought is that Magnussen is, most likely, based on the character of Charles Augustus Milverton, who appeared in a 1904 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle short story, ‘The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton’ which saw Holmes and Watson confront the title character, a murderous blackmailer.
Moriarty or Charles Augustus Magnussen…let the games begin.