5 Actors Who Could Play the Third Holmes Brother

Sherlock 2 Specials Shoot 30th July 2011

Written by Stephanie Bell

Fans of Sherlock are familiar with the love-hate relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. One minute, Mycroft is calmly watching his brother get beaten by an interrogator. The next, the two brothers are playing a “friendly” game of deductions.

But is there a third Holmes brother in the mix? Maybe. He does not exist in any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, but rather, was invented by Holmes scholar William S. Baring-Gould, and named Sherrinford Holmes. Sherrinford would be older than Sherlock and Mycroft, because ostensibly he would be managing the family’s estate—a role traditionally assumed by the eldest son. He may have been briefly alluded to in “His Last Vow,” when Mycroft says, “I’m not given to outbursts of brotherly compassion. You know what happened to the other one.”

If there was a third Holmes brother on Sherlock, who could play him? Here are some ideas to discuss!


5. Michael Sheen

Michael Sheen

The co-star of Masters of Sex has a significant fan base, and would bring an elegant presence as Sherrinford that would fit in nicely with the Holmes family. Sadly, though, his busy schedule would most likely preclude more than a cameo appearance on Sherlock.


4. Simon Pegg


The co-creator of the Cornetto Trilogy would be a clever addition to the Holmes family. His humour would provide good chemistry with Cumberbatch and Gatiss – perhaps he could be the goofier brother to the geniuses of Sherlock and Mycroft?


3. Nick Frost.


Pegg’s co-star and co-writer in the Cornetto Trilogy recently played Santa Claus in the Doctor Who Christmas special, so he is now part of the Moffat universe. Besides that, he has a razor-sharp wit and the comedic chops to play a fraternal foil for the Holmes boys.


2. Richard E. Grant.


Grant is the right age to play Sherlock’s and Mycroft’s slightly older brother, is well-known, and also has expert comedic timing. Another Doctor Who veteran, his experience as the villainous Great Intelligence would serve him well on Sherlock.


1. Tom Hiddleston


Last year, a rumour began to spread across the internet that Hiddleston, a good friend of both Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss, might be cast as Sherrinford Holmes in Sherlock series four. While Hiddleston is younger than Cumberbatch and Gatiss, Sherrinford is supposed to be the eldest of the three Holmes brothers, which might work against him being cast. In addition, coordinating the schedules of three very busy lead actors could prove challenging. But if Hiddleston did join the cast of Sherlock, it would undoubtedly thrill many fans of the show.


Is there another actor who you would like to see play Holmes Boy No.3? Leave your suggestion in the comments below!


9 thoughts on “5 Actors Who Could Play the Third Holmes Brother

  1. I think Lawrence Fox would make an excellent Sherrinford. He is taller than both Mark and Ben, he has a similar facial structure as Ben, he has the acting ability to fit in with the cast, and even though he is younger, many people look younger than they really are, like Brad Pitt, lol!


  2. Tom Hiddleston can play an ‘older’ character. He could play a bloody paper bag and win a BAFTA for it because he’s just that good. I’ve always envisioned him as the ‘third brother’, to be honest. That being said, seeing Simon Pegg listed gave me pause to reconsider because I do so love Pegg and can actually see him in the role, too. But, my vote is first and foremost for Tom. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The third brother would have to be older than the other two or at least more intelligent than Sherlock, for Mycroft otherwise hadn´t been able to make Sherlock believe, he´d be “the slow one”. Or he had been locked away for completely being nuts, and because of that, neither Mycroft or the parents mentioned him at the christmas party.
    However: I think John Hannah or Samuel West might be good choices for that role.


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