Hello BBC Sherlock fandom, we’re going to talk about Sebastian Moran today. And by talk about him, I mean I am going to put up a large number of friendly reminders about canon. While headcanon is well and good (and Moran, as a minor character in ACD and a nonexistent character in BBC thus far, is more headcanon than anything else), canon is canon for a reason. Please remember the following when writing Sebastian.
His father has a canonical name and occupation: Sir Augustus Moran, Ambassador to Persia. While Persia comprised several modern-day countries, the most likely modern-day substitution would be Iran. Yes, Sebastian’s father was knighted, which was and still is a Very Big Deal.
He attended Eaton and Oxford public schools. So Sebastian attended a very nice boarding school and got into a really fantastic college. Both of them are expensive, so between this and the his father’s position as an ambassador pretty much spells out he was born into money.
He is a published author. He has written and published two books, “Heavy Game of the Western Himalayas” and “Three Months in the Jungle”. Whether the latter is autobiographical or an adventure novel is open to interpretation, it is never stated what the books are about.
So let’s review so far. He was born into money, is highly educated, and has written two books. Three things the fandom forgets really, really often, especially when they write him as being stupid or semi-illiterate. Now let’s go on.
He is stated as having “the brow of a philosopher above and the jaw of a sensualist below”. Once again, since in Doyle’s time a lot of stock was put into a person’s face and how it related to their personality, he is actually really intelligent, although obviously not smart enough to outwit Holmes. As such he is not smarter than Moriarty, either, but he is damn smart.
“The man must have started with great capacities for good or for evil” Holmes goes on to speculate that he went bad because his father went bad, so we can safely assume his father was also a bag of d—-s.
Continuing his physical description, “cruel blue eyes, with drooping, cynical lids”, “threatening deep-lined brow” and “a fierce, aggressive nose”.
His eyes are canonically blue, it doesn’t matter what your headcanon eye color is for him, if you write about his eyes being any color than blue and colored contacts are not involved you are wrong. They are also repeatedly described as savage, shining, and cruel, Doyle sees fit to mention them multiple times.
He has facial scars. ”His face was gaunt and swarthy, scored with deep, savage lines” And he has a tan, presumably from the army or the jungle or both.
He is mentioned several times as having an enormous, bushy mustache but since Watson doesn’t appear to have his in BBC either, I’ll let that one slide. Which is just as well, because can you really imagine Martin Freeman with a mustache?
He lives on Conduit Street.Some contemporaries, like Newman (Hound of the D’urbervilles) have taken this and run with it, making Conduit Street the sort of evil equivalent of Baker Street, and making Moran the flatmate of Moriarty in much the same way Holmes and Watson are. Anyway, it’s not all that important but it still drives me nuts when people give him an address and it’s not Conduit street.
Homes mentions his bag of tigers being “unrivaled”, implying the tiger Sebastian killed in the drain pipe was far from the only one he’s killed, since he is a heavy game hunter and a shikari.
He was not only there at the Fall, he actually shoved boulders down the cliff face at Holmes until he thought he was dead. Dear god, I hope that transfers to him making Sherlock’s fake suicide hard in BBC.
That’s about it, thanks for listening.
I don’t mean to be angry, really, I don’t. But if you’re going to write a modern AU version of Sebastian Moran and stick him in with the BBC cast, please make sure to pay attention to what Doyle actually said about him! Thank.