In an extensive interview with the Dream Lord himself Toby Jones, The Independent appears to confirm which baddie he’ll be playing in Sherlock Series 4.
The Dad’s Army actor, who can next be seen in the BBC’s new adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel, The Secret Agent – where he’ll play the title role of spy and chief agitator Adolf Verloc – spoke about his admiration for the show and the ‘un-turn-downable’ part he plays.
“I know Mark Gatiss a bit and he texted me to say, ‘we’ve written this part for you and I think you’re going to like it’,” said Jones. “So I was excited to read it and he’s written such a fantastic character, it was kind of un-turn-downable really.”
The Independent then goes on to give the name of the man who’ll replace Moriarty as the show’s big bad, as non-other than…Culverton Smith.
The character, who was originally an expert in tropical diseases turned poisoner, appears in the Conan Doyle story The Dying Detective, but Jones, who finished filming his scenes with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman last month, has signed a confidentiality agreement about disclosing any details of the updating of a story originally written in 1913.
Which we’re assuming didn’t include the name of his character – although it had been rumoured this was who he would be playing – or…well, you know. While Jones didn’t let slip any other details about the updated storyline, he did share his opinion on Sherlock’s worldwide popularity.
“I know everyone talks about the genius of Mark Gattiss and Steven Moffat, but the updating and the adaptation of the stories is so cleverly and wittily done, and the audience is flattered into understanding”, he says. “It’s the opposite of being patronised, they’re being told that they’re clever enough to understand very complicated things and I think the audience loves that. Even if they don’t understand, they’re being expected to.”
Something else audiences expect from Jones is his usual consummate performance – be it as the trickster Dream Lord or as the buffoonish Captain Mainwaring in the recent update of Dad’s Army. However, occupying the spotlight isn’t something that comes naturally to Jones.
In fact, Charles McDougall, who directed The Secret Agent, describes Jones as the quietest leading actor he has ever met.
“Yes, he told me that too”, says Jones. “It doesn’t feel like that because I do ask an awful lot of questions, but I tend to do it not on set but in the evening over emails.
“But I’m not someone who likes to hang around on set between takes, I like to go somewhere else. Filming is an unusual environment where the artistic meets the industrial and so in a way you have to guard your own space quite carefully.”
The Secret Agent begins on BBC1 on Sunday July 17 at 9pm. Sherlock will return to our screens early 2017.