Baker Street Wiki
Baker Street Wiki

James Moriarty (Porter) refers to the on-screen incarnation of James Moriarty, as portrayed by Eric Porter in the ITV Granada Television adaptation.

Portrayal in the series[]

This particular adaptation of Moriarty attempts to follow his Canon version fairly closely, in terms of outward appearance, personality and the character's actions against Holmes. Despite its briefness, Moriarty's role in the series is still somewhat expanded compared to the original story, for the sake of narrative purposes.


Due to the series' fairly strict adherence to Doyle's Canon, Moriarty only makes direct appearances in the final two episodes of the second series. Even in these two episodes, he's often not directly on screen, and is more of a threat looming in the distance for most of the runtime.

In a certain divergence from the Canon, professor Moriarty is set up as the villain behind the criminal events of "The Red-Headed League". This serves to better establish him for the following adaptation of "The Final Problem", as his rather abrupt introduction in the original story would seem too rushed for the format of Granada's television series.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984–1985)[]

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986-1988)[]

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1994)[]

Unlike in some screen adaptations of the original stories, which opt to resurrect Moriarty or make him a longer-lasting villain, this version of Moriarty does not return after his defeat in "The Final Problem". He is presumed permanently dead by Holmes and others, only reappearing by way of rare, off-handed references.