5 villains Toby Jones could be playing in ‘Sherlock’ Season 4

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Well, this is good news.

Toby Jones, one of the UK’s finest actors and the second best Captain Mainwaring, has been cast in the new season of Sherlock.

Details of his role are still under wraps – because this is Sherlock and there are spacecraft that are less well hermetically-sealed than this show – but Steven Moffat has teased the part as “one of Doyle’s finest villains.”


Casual Holmes fans would be forgiven for thinking that we’ve already seen the finest villains, what with the modern interpretations of Moriarty, Irene Adler, Charles Augustus Milverton and Colonel Sebastian Moran, but there are plenty of rogues, thieves, and snake-wielding murderers who are capable of being dusted off, updated and plonked under the laser-blue gaze of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Let’s have a look at them, shall we?

It’s not like we’ve got anything better to do other than wait for Season 4 to find out…


Baron Adelburt Gruner

Toby Jones captain america

He’s an Austrian cad of the highest order: a sadist, murderer, and philanderer who ‘collects women’ in an incriminating diary of his sexual conquests. And I really hope it’s going to be this guy, because I think Toby Jones could do something really special with it (Marvel fans will know he does a particularly good sinister Teutonic accent).

There’s a duality about Gruner that Jones could play so well: he is, on one hand, utterly charming, and on the other, he’s a disgusting villain, with great resources and a cruelly brilliant mind that make him more than a match for Holmes.

Elementary has already done a modern, more hard-hitting update of Gruner. It’d be a surprise if Sherlock didn’t get round to him at some point.


Dr. Grimsby Roylott

toby jones

First off, great name. Great name. You might know Grimmers as the man who murders his sister (and attempts murder on his stepdaughter) using a snake in ‘The Speckled Band’.

Sherlock‘s already nodded to that story with the pun ‘The Speckled Blonde’, but there’s no reason Roylott and his snake couldn’t turn up at some point, especially as the bad doctor is a cunning foe of the calibre to match wits with the Great Detective.

And come on, who doesn’t want to see Toby Jones with a snake coiled round his arm? I refuse to believe it is just me. Although knowing Sherlock, it’ll probably update it so that the snake is a serpentine drone. Toby Jones and his deadly drones.


‘Holy’ Henry Peter

Toby Jones the hunger games

A confidence trickster with a string of aliases as long as the waiting time between seasons of Sherlock, Henry Peter is an Australian criminal who pretends to be a priest in ‘The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax’ in order to scam the vulnerable Lady Frances.

He pawns her jewels and plans on getting away with the crime by burying Lady Frances alive in a specially-designed coffin. And he very, very nearly gets away with it too.


Culverton Smith

Toby Jones The Girl

What a crafty bastard Culverton Smith, who appeared in ‘The Dying Detective’, is. Described as ‘small, frail, twisted’, but with ‘a double chin…high bald head…and menacing grey eyes’ he sounds like the sort of character that Jones – who trained in physical theatre at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq – could play very well (along with plenty of well-applied make-up, of course!).

Culverton’s a slimy amateur with enough knowledge of deadly tropical diseases to use one to kill his nephew. He later attempts to kill Holmes with an infected spring-loaded device concealed in an ivory box. Holmes feigns illness in a bit to lure a confession from the murderer, resulting in a great exchange between the two.

No doubt Sherlock would change it, but seeing Cumberbatch and Jones perform it straight off the page would be instant classic TV.


Professor Presbury

Toby Jones

Please no. Seriously. Not unless you want to see Toby Jones use his decades of experience as an actor on stage, film, and television, to play a mad professor who injects himself with a serum that turns him into a randy monkey-man.

That is genuinely the plot of ‘The Adventure of The Creeping Man’, and – I say this as both a Holmes devotee and a fan of monkeys – it is a truly terrible story.

Not even the TV adaptation featuring Jeremy Brett’s unimpeachable Holmes can redeem it. And though Cumberbatch and Freeman chasing an ape would be Tumblr Gif gold, it’d only be marginally less ridiculous than ‘The Abominable Bride’.


Capital 1 3 Toby Jones

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if Jones isn’t playing one of the characters included in it, I’ll be surprised. You may think otherwise, so who do you think he could be?

He’s probably not going to be Don Juan Murillo, the Tiger of San Pedro, but it’s entirely possible he could he be some version of ‘The Norwood Builder’s conniving Jonas Oldacre. Or maybe he’ll be some version of the boorish Mr Woodley from ‘The Solitary Cyclist’?


> Buy ‘The Abominable Bride’ special on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Season 1-3 boxset on Amazon.

It’s time to play amateur sleuth and solve the mystery in the comments section below…

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