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Photo Credit: Lex Rojas | Daily Texan Staff

As season three of BBC’s “Sherlock” came to a close, one shocking development completely turned the tables on the beloved sleuth. Jim Moriarty was alive and rearing to wreak havoc in season four. In honor of the return of the Napoleon of crime, it seems appropriate to dissect the man behind the madness.

Moriarty has been a presence on “Sherlock” since his first name-drop in the pilot episode. This wasn’t a surprise to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fans, as Moriarty is essentially the proverbial Joker to Holmes’ Batman in the classic stories. It wasn’t until the series-one finale that fans finally put a face to the name. Once introduced, the modern incarnation of Moriarty proved to be Holmes’ and Watson’s most diabolically brilliant foe. His actions guided most of the show until the shocking series-two finale, in which he appeared to kill himself.

This new Moriarty, played with Irish flair by actor Andrew Scott, is the definition of the unexpected. He’s peppy, flamboyant and flirtatious, giving the villain a homoerotic overtone that plays nicely with his adversarial relationship with Holmes. His insidious mind is complemented by his overall unassuming outward appearance, with his short stature and squirrelly mannerisms. 

As the saying goes, a hero is only as good as his villain, and show-runners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss milk this proverb with patience and sensibility. Like many great heroes and villains, they are essentially the same person. Through Moriarty, we learn more about Holmes, and, while both are apathetic geniuses with arrogant pride in their abilities, Holmes is the only one with a shred of compassion.

Holmes’ and Moriarty’s relationship operates out of a competitive game of wits that both appear to enjoy greatly. The actual victims often play second fiddle to Holmes’ fascination with Moriarty’s strategy. This proves to be the greatest weakness of the two because neither Holmes nor Moriarty wish to see the other dead. To kill one would rid the other of his only intellectual match.

With consistently stellar performances across the board and thrilling story lines that hook even the most resilient of viewers, “Sherlock” has proven to be one of the most surprisingly enjoyable TV shows airing today. Moriarty’s return raises exciting questions that will keep viewers guessing until season four returns to television screens. Hopefully Moffat and Gatiss can get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

BBC Director General George Entwistle, left, stands with Lord Chris Patten, the Chairman of the BBC Trust, as he announces his resignation as director general outside New Broadcasting House in central London on Saturday.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

LONDON — Few seem to be enjoying the management meltdown at the venerable BBC more than Rupert Murdoch, the News Corp. chief whose rival British newspapers have been caught up in their own lengthy, embarrassing and expensive phone-hacking scandal.

But the troubles for both media organizations highlight that the news industry in Britain is at rock-bottom in public esteem, and could face increased restrictions from the government of Prime Minister David Cameron, which appears convinced it has been unable to police itself.

The British Broadcasting Corp. has moved into full-bore damage control since it retracted mistaken allegations by its marquee news program that a politician sexually abused children. That serious mistake followed the BBC’s earlier failure to report on widespread child sex abuse allegations against one of its biggest stars, the late Jimmy Savile.

The scandal follows several years of turmoil over the phone-hacking scandal, which exploded with the discovery that employees of Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid hacked into a kidnapped girl’s mobile phone. The scandal widened when scores of celebrities, sports stars and politicians said they, too, had been hacked. The tabloid folded, Murdoch’s media paid out millions in compensation and still faces scores of lawsuits. Several news executives have been arrested.

A report due this month from Lord Justice Brian Leveson, based on months of jarring testimony about wrongdoing by Murdoch’s reporters and others, may prompt the government to impose statutory regulation on the British print press, which is overseen by an industry watchdog.

Many say the reputation of the British media is at an all-time low.

BBC chief George Entwistle resigned this weekend, and on Monday the head of news, Helen Boaden, and deputy Stephen Mitchell were temporarily removed from their positions, though the broadcaster said neither were implicated in the errors involving its child sex abuse reports.

Iain Overton, who was involved in preparing the “Newsnight” story about the politician, resigned Monday as editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit muckraking group that works with several news organizations.

Further resignations or suspensions at the BBC are likely as the investigation develops.

ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani couple accused of killing their 15-year-old daughter by pouring acid on her carried out the attack because she sullied the family’s honor by looking at a boy, the couple said in an interview broadcast Monday by the BBC.

The girl’s death underlines the problem of so-called “honor killings” in Pakistan where women are often killed for marrying or having relationships not approved by their families or because they are perceived to have somehow dishonored their family.

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian authorities have arrested several people over alleged links to the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Farsi-language service, Iran’s semiofficial Mehr news agency reported Monday.

The report said they produced content and reported to the BBC. It said they facilitated training and hiring of some Iranian journalists and arranged trips abroad for them.

It quoted an unnamed official as saying they were active since 2009. It did not name them or say how many were arrested.

In London, the BBC said in a statement that the report “should be of deep concern to all those who believe in a free and independent media.” The British broadcaster said it has “no BBC Persian staff members or stringers working inside Iran.”

In October, Iran released two filmmakers who were in jail on similar charges.

Tehran has accused the BBC of operating as a cover for British intelligence and of hosting Iranian dissidents.

Last week the BBC accused Iran of intimidating staff members of its Persian service by slandering them and arresting relatives.

The Blanton Museum is hosting a free evening of art and activities, with main events including a screening of John Berger’s 1972 BBC television series “Ways of Seeing,” yoga in the galleries and a book club discussion on “Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You” led by Sam Gosling, UT psychology professor and author of the book.

WHAT: Third Thursday at the Blanton
WHEN: July 21 at 5 p.m.
WHERE: The Blanton Museum
ADMISSION: FREE

Lead by Austin’s swanky six-piece jazz band The Copa Kings, the HighBall is traveling back in time to the sophisticated days of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s with straight scotch over ice, swing dancing and some scat singing.

WHAT: The Copa Kings
WHEN: July 22 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: The HighBall
ADMISSION: FREE, 21+

Classically-trained pop cellist Ben Sollee and his bandmates are making a pit stop in Austin, perhaps hot off their bicycles. Known for their quirks — from touring across America and hauling their instruments on bikes to intertwining American folk with pop and classical music — the band is the perfect dose of flawless musicality and youthful fun.

WHAT: Ben Sollee with Thousands
WHEN: July 23 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Parish
ADMISSION: $12 online, $15 at door

The deliciously greasy vegan food trailer, Iggi’s Texatarian is celebrating its first birthday this Saturday with live music from DJ uLovei and DJ Fredster and bands such as Coma in Algiers, Wicked Poseur and The Bang Bang Theodores. There’ll also be some yummy food from Iggi’s and Asian fusion trailer Me So Hungry and face painting!

WHAT: Iggi’s One-Year Anniversary Party
WHEN: Saturday, July 23 from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
WHERE: Cheer Up Charlie’s
ADMISSION: Free, 21+
 

LONDON — It was a splat heard around the world.

But two journalists who covered the aftermath of Tuesday’s shaving cream attack on Rupert Murdoch were briefly suspended from working in the British Parliament on Wednesday, after falling afoul of authorities there.

One of those suspended was BBC producer Paul “Gobby” Lambert, who captured the assailant being dragged away by police.

Lawmaker Louise Mensch told the House of Commons that officials had revoked Lambert’s parliamentary pass for breaking strict rules on where journalists can film.

The Press Association news agency said its reporter Theo Usherwood was also suspended for covering the same incident.
A “Save Gobby” campaign erupted on Twitter, with lawmakers and journalists offering support.

The BBC said it was “looking into this matter with the House authorities” — and officials later said the two men’s passes had been restored.

The office of Speaker John Bercow said that although the journalists had broken the rules, they had done so in “unprecedented and unpredicted” circumstances.

(Photo Courtesy of Revolution Films)

“The Trip” started off as a BBC miniseries: a six-episode, improvisational chronicle of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (playing themselves) touring the restaurants of the British countryside. It has been cut down by more than a third for US theaters, and yet “The Trip” may work better as a miniseries, broken up into half-hour installments, than as a feature-length film.

A lot of this is because of the simple nature of the film and its humor. Mostly it’s Coogan and Brydon, two British comedic actors, riffing on each other. Much of this humor is based around doing imitations of other celebrities, and while this material is usually funny, there are only so many times Coogan can do a middling Michael Caine impersonation. The two are obviously having a good time, and their relationship crackles with real chemistry and an easy rapport. Even so, compressed into a single 107-minute movie, their scenes can get repetitive and quickly grow tiring.

Coogan previously worked with director Michael Winterbottom on “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,” which had an equally ramshackle narrative. Winterbottom brings a strong eye for visuals to the table here, coaxing gorgeous landscapes out of the British countryside and making the various foods Coogan and Brydon dine on look incredibly appealing.

Coogan, Brydon and Winterbottom also manage to slip a few moments of legitimate dramatic heft into the film, most of them dealing with Coogan struggling with his mortality or the limitations of his acting talent. Sometimes these moments work, sometimes they fall flat. Yet again, there are only so many times you can hear Coogan boast about all the flashy dramatic roles he could play given the chance and feel sympathetic for him. More successful are the scenes detailing his flailing relationship with soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend Mischa (Margo Stilley), a series of phone conversations filled with unspoken words and hesitant silences.

Overall, “The Trip” is an extremely funny film, overflowing with hilarious one-liners coming from Coogan and Brydon’s constant comedic dueling. Nonetheless, its story isn’t quite enough to make the film worth its 107-minute runtime, and it’s easy to see the film would work better in its original format.