Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat has said recently that Matt Smith, former Doctor Who star, could appear in Sherlock, if it were the “perfect part.”
What could that “perfect part” be?
My first thought was Stanley Hopkins, the best of the Scotland Yard inspectors and the one closest to Holmes in intellect. What if Sherlock had to work an investigation with someone who was just as good as him, every bit as sharp as him? It would become an “anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you!” situation. It would be gold.
Then another idea came to me — and it’s a very off-beat role.
AJ Raffles, the best thief in London.
True, Raffles does not appear in the Canon. But Raffles was written by Doyle’s brother-in-law, so there’s a connection. Plus, Sherlock isn’t that Canonical anyway, so I don’t see an issue with bringing in a character like Raffles from outside the Canon. And if Sherlock needs a recurring villain, the best thief in London would be a pretty damn good choice.
The more I thought about Raffles in the world of Sherlock, though, the more I realized that that kind of character in the present day already exists — Lady Christina de Souza from Doctor Who‘s “Planet of the Dead.” And Ryan has worked with Moffat before; she had a major role in Jekyll.
And then I got really excited.
Imagine this. Michelle Ryan plays Raffles. Matt Smith plays her associate, Bunny Manders.
What would be especially interesting about Smith as Bunny Manders is that Bunny is Raffles’ Watson, and Smith auditioned for Sherlock‘s Watson before being cast as the Doctor.
The episode could subtly hint that Raffles and Lady Christina are one and the same. Perhaps Lady Christina is the alias, the cleverly constructed fiction. This would tie the two universes together (which, to be frank, fans have been doing for a few years now), but not in an explicit way, so that no future producer feels bound by it, but fans now would squee themselves silly.
Then I could imagine Sherlock and Raffles hooking up. Oh. Emm. Gee.
This could be so much fun. Sherlock versus Raffles. John versus Bunny. This is such an awesome idea that I’m going to be disappointed if it never comes to be.
Oh, disappointment, my constant companion. :-/