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Earlier this month at Comic-Con, we learned some exciting tidbits about the anticipated third season of Sherlock. While the series has yet to receive an official return date, series creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat did tease the words "rat," "wedding" and "bow" for the three Season 3 episodes. This week, we received an even bigger clue in the form of the third season villain, as well as who will be playing him. Via TVLine, executive producer Sue Vertue tweeted that Lars Mikkelsen will be playing the role of Charles Augustus Magnussen, Sherlock's new nemesis!
The name of the villain sounds like a play on Mikkelsen's name and Charles Augustus Milverton, a character from one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, published in 1904. In the Sherlock Holmes universe, Milverton is said to be "the king of blackmailers," which could be one more clue about how this villain will fit into the third season.
Born in Denmark, Mikkelsen's credits appear to be mainly from his homeland, with roles in Borgen, Those Who Kill and The Killing, the original series that inspired the AMC murder-mystery/drama. While he may not be a familiar face stateside, or even in the U.K. depending on the availability of Danish TV series, he is a familiar name. Mikkelsen is the older brother of Mads Mikkelsen, who's creeping it up over on NBC these days as Hannibal Lecter. Perhaps portraying an excellent villain runs in the family. Or we should hope it does, given Mikkelsen's new role on Sherlock. As morally abysmal as blackmailing is, it always struck me as kind of a weasely kind of crime, threatening to expose people in exchange for money or whatever else the blackmailer is looking for. But there's definite potential for interesting mysteries there, assuming Mikkelsen's character truly is inspired by Milverton.
At Comic-Con, Cumberbatch talked (via video) about the series getting back into production at the end of this month, so we can assume that's happening now. We're still waiting for official U.K. and U.S. premiere dates, but the show is expected to return later this year. In the meantime, here's the video featuring Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, which was revealed at Comic-Con last week:
Cabbage? Cup of tea? Whimpering? It's all coming together…