Sherlock’s new series 3 adversary set to be unveiled

With Moriarty out of the picture, who will challenge the detective when the BBC drama returns? Fans are about to find out...

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Move over Moriarty, there’s a new villain in town – almost…  Sherlock’s new major series three nemesis is to be revealed later today, according to Sue Vertue, producer of the BBC detective drama. 

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“Warning!! Sherlock’s new adversary will be unveiled in a few hours…” tweeted Vertue this morning, preparing fans for a big reveal which will finally answer the question of who will step in to fill the shoes of Andrew Scott’s scintillating Moriarty and provide a fresh challenge for Benedict Cumberbatch’s detective.

Whether the new arch-criminal will be another character from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories or an entirely new creation from Sherlock writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat remains to be seen but Moffat has previously admitted “There are other great villains in [the Conan Doyle books] that we want to visit,” while Gatiss told Radio Times earlier this year that any new adversary would be a different kind of criminal to the detective’s most famous nemesis.

“Doyle got it right first time, he invented the supervillain,” said Gatiss. “All great heroes have their Moriarty and after that you have to be very clever about trying to come up with someone who’s the equivalent otherwise they just look like a watered down version, so it’s about telling different kinds of stories.”

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Other canonical villains of note include Moriarty’s right-hand man Colonel Sebastian Moran – who features in short story The Adventure of the Empty House, on which the upcoming first episode of series three of Sherlock is based – Jonathan Small, the protagonist of Sherlock Holmes novel the Sign of Four, whose title is echoed in that of series three adventure The Sign of Three, and master blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton.