Perhaps it should come as no surprise that people were originally skeptical of the BBC’s choice to produce a modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective character. But showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss proved all these naysayers wrong when Sherlock almost immediately rose to critical acclaim and prominence.
Among the elements that contributed to this massive success, especially in the first two seasons, was Andrew Scott’s charismatic portrayal of Moriarty. The “Napoleon of crime,” as Sherlock would call him, is such a well-written character in the show that ever since his departure at the end of the second run, fans have been hopelessly musing on his possible return. And the producers have obviously taken note of this enthusiasm, or else they wouldn’t have teased us with that surprise flashback sequence in season 4’s “The Final Problem.”
One popular fan theory that makes this return viable for future runs, if there are to be any, seems to suggest that there was always more than one Jim Moriarty and that the protagonist and his sidekick have been dealing with twin brothers. The show first hints at this during the pilot episode, “A Study in Pink,” where the cab driver tells Sherlock that Moriarty is just a man, “but they are so much more.” Then there’s the swimming pool scene in the season 1 finale, where the villain says he’s “so changeable.”
Moreover, according to the folks at ScreenRant, the theory suggests that each brother had a different reaction to Sherlock; one of them was fascinated by him, while the other wanted to kill him. For instance, the brother whom our protagonists were dealing with in the pool was the former, while the one who later came out and changed his mind was the latter. Also, “Richard Brook” is not a simple alias, but a real identity, that of the saner brother and when the sinister twin killed himself in “The Reichenbach Falls,” the other went into hiding and has yet to show his face again.
Sherlock‘s creators haven’t exactly ruled out a season 5, and it may very well happen a few years down the road. If that turns out to be the case, it would certainly be great to have Andrew Scott back as Moriarty at least in some capacity, but at the moment, the idea seems too good to be true.