Sherlock Season 4: Toby Jones’ Villain Details Revealed

The actor behind Captain America's Hydra chemist Dr. Zola will be bringing his villain game to Sherlock season 4.

This article contains spoilers for Sherlock season 4, as well as for a Sherlock Holmes story originally published in 1913, but that you may not have gotten around to reading quite yet.

Sherlockseason 4has cast Toby Jones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as a season 4 villain, which is good news for fans of well-acted dramatic television — so, probably everyone who watches Sherlockon the regular.

Though the Sherlockproduction team has stayed characteristically tight-lipped about the details of Jones’ character, according to Cultbox, an update to Jones’ resume has spilled the beans… Jones will be playing classic Holmes villain Culverton Smith.

Smith appears in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Dying Detective,” originally published in 1913. The villain murdered his nephew and tries to murder Sherlock via a spring-loaded box set to release an infectious disease, but Sherlock is, of course, one step ahead of him. He pretends to become gravely ill, drawing a confession out of Smith who believes Sherlock will never live to repeat it. 

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It will be fun to see this played out in some manner via BBC’s Sherlock.In the original story, Sherlock fools even John into thinking that he is seriously ill, which will no doubt inspire some of the angsty interpersonal moments that Sherlockdoes so well. “The Adventures of the Dying Detective” is set in Watson’s second year of marriage, which implies Mary Watson will still be alive and well in the second episode of season 4.

Sherlock co-showrunner Steven Moffat said of Jones’ casting: “Delighted to have Toby Jones on board, bringing to life one of Doyle’s finest villains,” with other co-showrunner/series star Mark Gatiss adding: “We’re thrilled to welcome one of our finest actors to the Sherlock family. I know Toby will embrace the part with true relish!”

We’re with Gatiss on this one. Jones is one of the best character actors currently working in British/American film and television, notably appearing as a complicatedly nefarious villain Arnim Zola, the Swiss (not German, Steve!) biochemist, in Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and (briefly in)Agent Carter.Other notable roles include the voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter film series, David Pilcher/Dr. Jenkins in Wayward Pines, and Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl.

In a sea of forgettable Marvel Cinematic Universe villains, Jones’ Zola is entirely memorable, which is why it’s so exciting to hear that he has been cast as a villain in Sherlock,a show that tends to be at its best when it has an interesting villain for its eponymous character to bounce off of. In the MCU, Zola doesn’t even need a body to be frightening, hilarious, and to get stuff done. Here Jones is as the disembodied voice of Zola in The Winter Soldier

For more details on Sherlockseason 4, be sure to check out our news roundup featuring premiere dates, cast info, and details about the season’s story.