Sherlock's marvellous new villain for Series 4

Award winning star of stage and screen, Toby Jones, will be bringing to life one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s finest villains, according to Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat.

Jones will star in Episode 2 of Series 4, which finished filming last weekend, and says he’s excited and intrigued by the character he’ll be playing, a tropical diseases expert called Culverton Smith.

Smith, described as small, frail and twisted - body or mind, I’m not sure - featured in Conan Doyle’s short story The Adventure of the Dying Detective (sounds a tad ominous, don’t you think?) and recognises the threat our hero is to his dastardly scheme, whatever that turns out to be. No spoilers today!

We can trust that Moffat and co-conspirator, Mark Gatiss, will flesh out another wonderfully unsavoury character, maintaining the high standard of antagonists aiming to foil Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes come winter.

Toby Jones enjoys a hugely varied career across film, stage and television, appearing in three of the most famous franchises in recent years, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter (he’s the voice of Dobby) and the Marvel Universe. Most recently he portrayed Captain Mainwaring in the film adaptation of Dad’s Army. Jones’ television credits are many and varied, including Dr Who, Hitchcock biopic The Girl, gentle comedy The Detectorists and the heartwarming Marvellous.

Episode two of the new three-part Sherlock series is directed by Nick Hurran, who received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries for ‘His Last Vow’ episode in season three of Sherlock.

Other guest stars appearing this coming season are Sacha Dhawan (The History Boys), playing a character called AJ, of whom we know nothing more, Daniel Hoffmann-Gill (Dr Who), character unknown at present, and James Holmes (Miranda, Psychoville), as a character called ‘Passenger’.

No news though, on whether Andrew Scott will be making an appearance *pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease* following that Moriarty ‘Miss me?’ cliffhanger.

The new series promises plenty of chuckles along with sadness, remarkable cases and a fair few shocks and surprise. It opens with John and Mary Watson facing their biggest challenge yet - parenthood!

There’s no confirmed schedule date, but rumours are we may be looking at January 2017.

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