'Doctor Strange' Vs. 'Sherlock': A Cage Match Of Benedict Cumberbatch Characters
When the Marvel Cinematic Universe scoops up an actor, that role can become that actor's primary identifier. In the case of Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch, things may not be so simple. Cumberbatch's main claim to fame before he took on Marvel's Dr. Stephen Strange was the BBC's modern version of Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock. That series will soon return after another lengthy hiatus. (Loving this show means learning the virtue of patience.) Sherlock Season 4 premieres in January, and fans of the antisocial sleuth can hardly wait for Cumberbatch to don his famous Belstaff coat again. So how does that signature role stack up to the actor's latest portrayal of a famous literary figure? This handy Stephen Strange and Sherlock Holmes comparison chart has helped me make sense of the similarities and differences between these two characters.
The most important trait they have in common, of course, is that they're played by Cumberbatch, one of the Internet's favorite boyfriends and highly trained professional, by the way. Cumberbatch's fans (myself included) are known for being very strongly invested in his work and pretty much everything else he does. So I'd imagine that moviegoers who aren't normally into comic book adaptations will still be buying tickets to see him take on the Marvel sorcerer. But will they see any shades of Sherlock in Strange? Here's the breakdown:
Sherlock: Brilliant Detective
Holmes prides himself in being the world's only consulting detective. Basically, when Inspector Lestrade and the rest of Scotland Yard are stumped, they call in the biggest brain they know.
Doctor Strange: Brilliant Surgeon
Before a terrible, career-ending car accident, Strange is a famed medical professional. Like Sherlock, he's on top of his game. His fall is what starts the next chapter of his life.
Sherlock: Believes In Logic
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
Doctor Strange: Believes In Magic
There are few fields more fact-based and logical than medicine, but once that door is closed to him, Strange runs in the other direction. He's trained by The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) in the mystic arts and suddenly the impossible is back in play.
Sherlock: Best Mates With John Watson
Colleagues, drinking buddies, frenemies. The friendship at the core of Sherlock is layered and wonderful. Usually, Sherlock is the brain and John (Martin Freeman) is the heart, but they've been known to trade sides from time to time.
Doctor Strange: Best Mates With Wong
Well, "best mates" may not be the most accurate description. Actor Benedict Wong told ComingSoon.net that Wong is more of an "intellectual mentor" to Strange. His character has been updated from the tea-serving servant in the comics to play a more important and less patronizing role in the film.
Sherlock: Nemesis Of Moriarty
One of the many feathers in Sherlock's cap is Andrew Scott's performance as the consulting criminal to Holmes's consulting detective: Jim Moriarty. A sociopathic genius, Moriarty loves the thrill of the game and torturing his antagonistic soulmate anyway he can.
Doctor Strange: Nemesis Of Kaecilius
Hannibal actor Mads Mikkelsen is Kaecilius in Doctor Strange. Another pupil of The Ancient One, Kaecilius rejects her philosophy and believes in free travel between realities, even if that leads to chaos. Some villains just want to watch the world burn.
Sherlock: Keeps London Safe
He's traveled quite a bit, but Sherlock Holmes will always return to London. The show's cinematography puts quite an attractive filter on the city, even if Sherlock's territory is rampant with darkness and crime.
Doctor Strange: Keeps This Realm Safe
He doesn't know it until the Ancient One expands his consciousness, but Stephen Strange's area to defend extends beyond physical borders.
My conclusion? When it comes to Benedict Cumberbatch's iconic roles, Doctor Strange is right up there with Sherlock Holmes.