Is Mycroft Holmes perhaps the most underrated character in all of “Sherlock“? It feels strange to call someone “underrated” when they are clearly so fantastic, but when you are behind Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on the call sheet, the label probably applies. This is still a brilliant character, someone whose intelligence is only surpassed that the mystery that still surrounds him. There is love between him and Sherlock, and yet also frustration, envy, and at times serious disdain. Their relationship is one of the few mysteries our great detective can never resolve.
As a series, “Sherlock” is always in a pickle insofar as run time, given that we get a few episodes every couple of years, and therefore supplying extra time to man like Mycroft is difficult. What we’re here to do today is something a little bit different as a part of our ongoing, month-long Spin-Off Goals article series: Why not give Mycroft his own separate chance to shine, and see what comes about as a result of that? This at least is a subject worthy of some conversation.
Why Mycroft? – Start with his insanely high intelligence, and then add to that his government job, his skills, and the enormity of his resources. Mycroft is a man who gets things that are done, and we like to envision him as badass at many things in which Sherlock is not. He has connections and specialties that are still not particularly known, he’s surprisingly good at kidnapping, and it would not surprise us at all if he was a hyper-intelligent cross between Q and James Bond. He’s a character who deliberately is still somewhat under a heavy veil, leaving us as the viewer begging for more.
The idea – Give Mark Gatiss a chance to shine both in front of and behind the camera for a series, or even just a mini-movie akin to “The Abominable Bride,” where we see more of his creative masterwork. Potentially, show us more of his connections with Buckingham Palace, how he may be able to tackle international crises, or even how he as a man functions on a regular basis. We envision Mycroft as a man capable of putting on a greater front than Sherlock in order to appear in public, but who may at the same time have a certain emotional hollowness to him, or even one that is worse than his younger brother.
Could a spin-off actually happen? – While it would be fantastic television and we’d campaign for it until the ends of the earth, we’re almost positive it’s not in the cards since we just made up the idea a few minutes ago. However, if a point arose where it appeared as though Cumberbatch and Freeman would not be available for a few years, maybe this is then something that Gatiss and Steven Moffat could / should breach as a subject. You can give us an entire story about Mycroft, while at the same time keep a few elements of his personality and true power in the shadows if you choose. You inform us further of the Holmes family, potentially set up more “Sherlock,” and give us great entertainment in the process. It’s an effective win-win for everyone, or at least that’s how we see it.
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