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Why Sherlock Wrongly Ignored One Of The Book's Best Villains

The BBC’s Sherlock brought some of Sherlock Holmes’ most notable enemies to modern-day London, and there was always a lot of speculation around which characters would be brought to the series, and one of the most talked-about ones was Sebastian Moran, who was wrongly ignored by the writers. Since his debut in A Study in Scarlet, in 1887, Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most popular and beloved literary characters, as well as the one who has been adapted to other media the most.

One of The Great Detective’s most recent and successful adaptations has been the BBC’s Sherlock, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Sherlock brought the famous detective (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) to modern-day London and adapted (and mixed) some of his most notable cases and adventures. Of course, Sherlock also included the most important characters from Conan Doyle’s stories, such as John Watson (Martin Freeman), Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott), Irene Adler (Lara Pulver), and Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves), though it also included some lesser-known ones, such as Charles Augustus Milverton (Magnussen in the series, played by Lars Mikkelsen), and ignored a major villain from the books.

Related: Sherlock: Every Book Case Referenced By The BBC Show

As mentioned above, there was a lot of speculation over the characters that would be included in Sherlock as the series progressed, and one at the center of many theories and fan-casting was Sebastian Moran, one of the most notable villains from the Sherlock Holmes books. However, and even though fans were quite vocal about their desire of seeing Moran in the series, the creative team behind Sherlock left Sebastian Moran out of the series, reportedly due to Gatiss not considering him an interesting enough villain for the series.

Colonel Sebastian Moran first appeared in the 1903 short story “The Adventure of the Empty House”, and he was a devoted sportsman and highly skilled shot, who after being obliged to retire from the army, was recruited by Professor Moriarty, serving as his chief of staff. Due to his remarkable marksmanship, Moran became one of the most important and feared members of Moriarty’s crew, and was used solely for assassinations. In the short story “The Final Problem”, Moran escaped incrimination and followed Moriarty to Reichenbach Falls, where after his employer fell and died, he tried to kill Holmes by rolling boulders upon him. After Moriarty’s criminal organization collapsed, Moran earned a living by playing cards at several clubs, but his criminal activities didn’t stop as he killed another player who caught him cheating and later attempted to kill Holmes, but the Great Detective anticipated the attack and caught him. All of this and more led Sherlock Holmes to describe Sebastian Moran as “the second most dangerous man in London”, right behind Moriarty.

Given his importance in Sherlock Holmes’ history, Sebastian Moran was one character fans of the famous detective hoped to see in Sherlock, and that made way for different theories, such as “The Empty Hearse”’s Lord Moran being a version of Sebastian Moran and Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington), John’s wife, being the series’ version of Moriarty’s best employee. However, Sebastian Moran wasn’t included in Sherlock in any shape or form, even though Moffat seemed to tease his arrival at some point, and while an official reason hasn’t been revealed, Gatiss’ husband Ian Hallard replied to a fan on Twitter that Gatiss “doesn’t think Col Moran is a very interesting villain”. Sebastian Moran is one of the most important and interesting (despite what Mark Gatiss says) villains from Sherlock Holmes’ universe, and with the many creative liberties that the writers of Sherlock took, he could have been given a very interesting arc in the show.

Next: Sad Sherlock Theory Reveals All Of Holmes’ Cases Were Fake

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