He just took on Sherlock Holmes' arch nemesis Moriarty in the most recent season of the BBC's "Sherlock". Now rising British star Benedict Cumberbatch could be jumping to the other side of the fence to play an arch nemesis himself - The Master.
The Daily Express has suggested the interesting rumour that Cumberbatch is being lined up to play the Time Lord villain opposite Matt Smith's The Doctor in time for the upcoming 50th anniversary of long-running sci-fi series "Doctor Who" next year.
The paper's so-called source claims "It’s fitting that the Doctor comes face to face with his ultimate enemy, The Master, for the 50th anniversary and it’s felt Benedict is the perfect choice if schedules can work. Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor’".
Both "Sherlock" and "Doctor Who" are produced by Steven Moffat so the suggestion is hardly left field, indeed Smith got the role of the current 11th Doctor after auditioning to play Dr. Watson in "Sherlock". It has also been previously suggested Cumberbatch was at one time considering playing The Doctor but opted out leading to Smith scoring the part.
"Life on Mars" star John Simm was the last person to play the role across five episodes in 2007 and 2009 and was last seen a little over two years ago in "The End of Time: Part II", the final adventure of the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and Smith's first appearance on the show. The Master's final scene had him battling Rassilon (Timothy Dalton) and vanishing back into the Great Time War - his fate unknown.
If Cumberbatch takes on the part he would be the seventh different onscreen version we've seen of The Master following on from the likes of Simm and Derek Jacobi in the current series, Eric Roberts in the 90's TV movie, and Anthony Ainley, Roger Delgado and a rotting skeletal form portrayed by several actors throughout the classic 60's-80's series.