Sherlock series 4 cast: Toby Jones joins Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

The new series has finally started filming, with fans promised “ghosts of the past” and a baby on the horizon

Sherlock series 4 has landed its first new cast member, in beloved Brit actor Toby Jones.

The actor, who often sports supporting roles in huge franchises such as Harry Potter, Captain America, and The Hunger Games; now joins the BBC 1 drama, Radio Times reports. "I'm excited and intrigued by the character I shall be playing," the actor stated.

He'll join the returning Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, alongside Amanda Abbington, Una Stubs, Rupert Graves, Jonathan Aris and Louise Brealey; with his character making an appearance in episode 2 of the new series, though his identity so far remains mysterious.

Series co-creator Stephen Moffat hinted, "Delighted to have Toby Jones on board, bringing to life one of Doyle's finest villains"; with fellow co-creator 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."

Knowing only that Jones is playing a famous Arthur Conan Doyle villain opens up a whole number of possibilities, considering the author's own Holmes had a knack for making enemies. Could he be the sinister Austrian murderer Adelbert Gruner? Or smuggler John Clay?

Or could he somehow be connecting back to Moriarty, with the hint that "ghosts of the past rising in the lives of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson" possibly signaling some sort of return for the villain? We'll have to see when the series finally airs, with reports claiming with "near certainty" it will debut on New Year's Day 2017.

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