One of the greatest literary villains in fiction is Professor James Moriarty, the archnemesis of Sherlock Holmes, both the creations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Moriarty's first appearance was in Doyle's short story "The Adventure of the Final Problem," and while eliciting several mentions from Holmes throughout the author's works, he only officially appeared twice in the initial works. The character's infamy even warranted an appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation, played by Daniel Davis. A new original podcast series courtesy of Audible called Moriarty: The Devil's Game features the character in a new light, with Dominic Monaghan playing the title role. The actor spoke to Bleeding Cool about the project and how he recorded his scenes.
Moriarty: The Devil's Game recasts the title character as a desperate fugitive framed for murder–and hunted by dark forces who will stop at nothing to exploit his brilliance. "I think in that in that Arthur Conan Doyle world, you have very charismatic characters: Sherlock, Doctor Watson, Lestrade, these are all characters that you know and Moriarty as well," Monaghan said. "The thing about Moriarty is he's one of the few people in Sherlock Holmes' world that is actually an equal. He can go up against him in terms of his level of intelligence, ingenuity, and problem-solving. We were interested in exploring the idea of looking at the world of Sherlock Holmes and that particular time in London, but through the eyes of his archvillain. And he isn't going to walk around thinking, 'I'm the bad guy in this Sherlock Holmes story.' He's obviously going to walk around thinking Sherlock Holmes is the bad guy in my story, so that's how we approach it. He's a fascinating character, Moriarty, and someone who I hope to continue to exploit the show remains successful."
Monaghan revealed how he recorded his sessions alongside his The Lord of the Rings co-star Billy Boyd, who plays Moran. "I was working alongside a lot of my actors when I was doing 'Moriarty,' and Billy Boyd was in the recording booth with me," he explained. "So we got to do all of our scenes together. The lady who plays my wife and the guy who plays Sherlock would phone in, and we would record our scenes like that. So I was always in a scene with someone, which is helpful when you're doing a podcast like this because it makes things feel as real as possible. I don't approach it any different. I still have to get to set, know my lines, hit my marks, and physically I'm moving my body. Even though you can't see my body moving, it's important to me to try and make it as real as I can."
Moriarty: The Devil's Game also stars Aaron Lyons, Phil LaMarr, Lindsay Whistler, Adam Godley, Curtis Armstrong, Josh Robert Thompson, Carlo Rota, Victoria Smurfit, Billy Harris, Rebecca Mader, and Lindsay Jean Michelle.