Although Andrew Scott’s Moriarty often grabs most of the attention in terms of Sherlock villains (he is called “the greatest criminal mind the world has ever seen” by Mycroft, after all), the series has actually produced a bumper crop of memorable bad guys over its thirteen episodes (so far). Here is our ranking of all Sherlock‘s major antagonists.
MP-turned-terrorist Lord Moran did have a thoroughly fiendish scheme – blowing up the Houses of Parliament by use of tube train rigged to explode – but he hardly had a line of dialogue on screen so he has to come last. Kudos to him, he is two references to the Sherlock Holmes canon in one – the Giant Rat of Sumatra (Sherlock calls him a “big rat” and his train is situated on Sumatra Road) and Colonel Sebastian Moran.
Jonathan Small was a villain you could sort of sympathize with – his brother died under Major Sholto’s command in Afghanistan. However, he is clearly a deranged individual for coming up with such a conniving way to kill Sholto and an utter sleazeball for dating all those women under various identities.
General Shan and the Black Lotus
General Shan and her Black Lotus organisation are proper classic baddies – they have a formidable silent henchman in the acrobatic Spider and they prefer a tortuously-constructed threat to just killing someone. Don’t get us wrong, we are glad John and Sarah survived, but it would make a lot more sense for Shan if she had just shot them in the head.
(Fun fact: though actor John Lebar is 7ft 3inches tall, the above scene was filmed with a child actor in place of Benedict to emphasize his height).
‘The Great Game’ features a selection of criminals to choose from but we’ve plumped for Oscar Dzundza AKA The Golem as the major villain (not including Moriarty) as, with his silent, lumbering nature and incredible strength, he is by far the most memorable.