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Exclusive: Henry Lloyd-Hughes talks playing Netflix's new Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock in The Irregulars
(Image credit: Netflix)

Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Netflix's upcoming Sherlock Holmes-inspired series The Irregulars puts a new spin on the well-loved tales. In Conan Doyle's original stories, the Irregulars were a group of scrappy street boys employed by Holmes as agents. In show creator Tom Bidwell's version – which adds a supernatural twist – they're fully fleshed-out characters with backstories, and two of the five are girls.

Of course, you can't have Baker Street without Sherlock Holmes, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes plays the iconic detective in this new iteration of Conan Doyle's work. However, the actor says that he can say "very little" about his character.

The Irregulars

(Image credit: Netflix)

"Sherlock is a mysterious and malevolent presence in the shadows – at least to begin with. It should be a surprise to viewers how much he is – or isn’t – going to play a part," he tells GamesRadar+'s sister publication SFX Magazine. "When we do meet him, he’s not what the characters expect. We’re attempting to give a version of Sherlock that people haven’t seen before. Time jumps in the show, to [show] someone who was once a genius and yet is clutching at straws. Is any of that genius left in the shell?"

Lloyd-Hughes also reveals that the show is "notable by [his] absence." He adds: "My character’s legacy, good or bad, unravels throughout the series. It’s also not a spoiler that the show takes place at different times. The story, as we meet our characters, is in a London that’s fallen into complete disarray. It has a nightmarish, apocalyptic quality. There’s the Sherlock of that present, and what we see in flashbacks, which is the Sherlock of old – or young, if you see what I mean."

When asked if it was less daunting to play such an iconic role due to the untraditional qualities of the character, Lloyd-Hughes agrees – reluctantly. "Yeah. I say that now... if I’m bombarded with rude letters in a year’s time it might be different! As an actor I’ve always been a fan of interesting characters. The way Tom [Bidwell]’s written this character, there’s a very interesting arc. The fact he has a name that’s very recognisable, the fact there’s a historical legacy, that only adds another layer."

You can check out the full interview with the cast of The Irregulars in the current issue of SFX Magazine, which features The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on the cover. The Irregulars is available to stream on Netflix from March 26. For more from SFX, make sure to sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.