It was only a matter of time before CBS’s Elementary took steps to introduce Sherlock Holmes’ older brother, Mycroft. He’s an integral part of the character and the show would suffer without exploring their complicated relationship. What’s surprising is who has been cast in the role, which you would be right to assume won’t be a one-time gig. I imagined they would cast a well-established TV actor, someone recognizable and who would fit well into the world created in Elementary. In a way, they succeeded, but they hired an A-list actor! From movies! I’m not saying I dislike the idea, but how does that happen, you know? How does Rhys Ifans agree to be on a CBS show?
Ifans is known as a film actor, with his most recent films being The Amazing Spider-Man (he played villain Dr. Connors) and the romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement. And you know, I’ve seen big movie stars do guest spots on television before and plenty have come to the small screen to star in their own series – it’s kind of the trend these days – but why would Ifans agree to take a recurring part? That must be constrictive for the production of Elementary. They would have to work entirely around his movie schedule to get him into an episode. But I guess that’s why I’ll never be in charge of scheduling on a TV show; I’d be overwhelmed within minutes.
He’ll first appear as Mycroft in the Season 2 premiere, says THR, when Sherlock is called to London to return to an old case that needs his attention. As such, he has to see his brother, who he had a falling out with years ago. Mycroft allows Sherlock and Joan to stay in his home at 221B Baker Street where they at last confront their past.
Ifans is the third actor in recent years to portray Mycroft. Mark Gatiss plays the character in his co-created BBC series, Sherlock, and Stephen Fry took the role in the second of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films starring Robert Downey Jr.