Sherlock series 3: Lars Mikkelsen’s new villain is “terrifying” says Steven Moffat

“You’ll know the angle we’ve taken on Charles Augustus Magnussen within seconds of the episode beginning,” says the Sherlock writer


Moriarty may be no more but his replacement is “terrifying”, says Sherlock writer Steven Moffat.


Lars Mikkelsen will play Benedict Cumberbatch’s new adversary Charles Augustus Magnussen in series three of the BBC detective drama – a character based at least loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “king of the blackmailers” Charles Augustus Milverton.

In the original short story, Milverton makes his living by extorting money from his victims using the threat of scandalous revelations, and is described by Sherlock Holmes as more distasteful than any of the many murderers who have crossed his path during his career.

And while Moffat would not reveal to what degree Mikkelsen’s character will echo Milverton, he did at least confirm of the Killing star, “Lars is terrifying.”

“It’s almost finished, it’s almost out of the cutting room,” Moffat told RadioTimes last month, of the final episode of the new series. But he remained as tight-lipped as ever when it came to plot details…

“We’ve drawn from that story [of Charles Augustus Milverton] but, as ever with our show, what we drew and how we do it and how we find equivalences, [you’ll have to wait and see].

“Sometimes, as you know, we flip things and make them the other way round. We do all those things.

“I’m not giving away what we’ve done with him but I think we’ve done something good,” teased Moffat – before adding, in typically enigmatic style, “You’ll know the angle we’ve taken on it within seconds of it beginning…”

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, aka John Watson, are expected to return to BBC1 in Sherlock series three in late 2013 or early 2014, when the mystery of the detective’s death-defying plunge from a hospital roof will finally be explained.