Will Sherlock face a Gentleman Thief in Series 4?

’Sherlock’ Series 4 may have added an iconic British thief.

According to Digital Spy, British actor Sacha Dhawan has joined ‘Sherlock’ Series 4… But does his character’s name give the game away?

“The top-drawer cast for Sherlock series four has hired another familiar face, with Sacha Dhawan signing up,” they revealed. “Dhawan will play a character named AJ in the new series.”

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But who is AJ?

Unfortunately, there were no further details… but we may have some idea.

Obviously, ‘Sherlock’ has a very rich, literary history. Based on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, there are numerous iconic ‘Sherlock Holmes’ characters which appear throughout the series.

But A. J. may have come from further afield…

British writer E. W. Hornung (and brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle) wrote a series of 26 short stories and a novel about A. J. Raffles – a gentleman thief who pulls off impossible robberies… and bears a striking resemblance to Sherlock Holmes.

He even has a friend and confidante who chronicles his adventures – in the same way that Sherlock’s stories are told by John Watson. It’s certainly no secret that A. J. Raffles was a love letter to Arthur Conan Doyle’s world-famous detective.

“I think I may claim that his famous character Raffles was a kind of inversion of Sherlock Holmes, Bunny playing Watson,” said Arthur Conan Doyle in his 1924 autobiography. “He admits as much in his kindly dedication. I think there are few finer examples of short-story writing in our language than these, though I confess I think they are rather dangerous in their suggestion. I told him so before he put pen to paper, and the result has, I fear, borne me out. You must not make the criminal a hero.”

Despite his criminal activity, A. J. Raffles is more of an anti-hero. He never steals from his hosts and will always help old friends who are in trouble. And with a Robin Hood attitude towards wealth, he became the second most popular character of the 19th century… at least, accord to The Strand.

But could this be the same A.J. to appear in ‘Sherlock’?

It would be an interesting new development to see Sherlock go up against an equally brilliant mind who isn’t as evil as Moriarty. And it would be a lovely nod to the history of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ which exists outside of the books.

But for now, we’ll have to wait and see.

‘Sherlock’ Series 4 is expected to returns in 2017.

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Picture Credit: BBC

Do you think ‘Sherlock’ could feature A. J. Raffles? Who else could Sacha Dhawan be playing? Leave your comments below… and follow Ryan Leston on Twitter, Facebook or my official Tumblr blog for more on the latest TV shows.