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Jeff Hope

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I've outlived four people. That's the most fun you can have with an aneurysm.
~ Jeff to Sherlock.

Jeff Hope was the main antagonist of the Sherlock episode "A Study in Pink". He was a serial killer masquerading as a taxi driver, and was sponsored by Jim Moriarty. He has a brain aneurysm, and for everyone he kills, money goes to his children after he dies.

He was portrayed by Phil Davis, who also portrayed Lucius Petrus Dextrus in the Doctor Who episode "The Fires of Pompeii".

Hope kills his victims by kidnapping people that get into his cab and taking them to an empty building. There he makes them play his game. His game is to offer his victims the choice of which pill they want to take out of two identical pills. One pill, referred to as the "good pill," will not kill them, however the "bad pill" will.

Hope gives his victims the choice of which pill to take. In turn, he takes the pill they don't choose. If the victim refuses to take either pill, he opts for them to take a bullet from his gun, which they never choose. In actuality, this gun is merely a lighter and therefore a ruse to coax them into ingesting the pill. Only Hope himself is aware of which pill is the good pill and which is the bad pill.

Hope's method of killing confuses the police as they see the deaths as suicides and don't see how suicides can be linked in any way. All they know is that four people committed suicide using the same poison with each victim being found in a location in which they had no business being. The police bring Sherlock in to see the Jennifer Wilson crime scene, where Sherlock deduces that the deaths are murder.


In the unaired Pilot episode (which originally ran for 60 minutes) Jeff featured as the antagonist. Although his methods were the same, there are some differences to how he was depicted in the aired 90 minute episode. He didn't have children and wasn't connected to Moriarty. He drugs and kidnaps Sherlock and takes Sherlock to his flat at Baker Street to play the "game". John Watson again shoots Hope from across the street.


  • The character is an updated version of Jefferson Hope - the primary antagonist of the original Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet. However in that story he wasn't an outright villain like the television version, and was actually avenging the kidnapping and death of his fiancée.

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