Sherlock returned earlier this month for its third season and did so it fantastic form, with the first two episodes gaining major plaudits from fans and critics alike. With the season finale due to air on Sunday, 12 January, there is already a lot to live up to, but the unmasking of a new villain should do the trick for fans of the show with even the highest of standards.

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) have been on fine form again

Lars Mikkelsen briefly appeared as the villainous Charles Magnussen at the end of season three opener 'The Empty Hearse' and on Sunday's episode we will get to see him carry out his evil deeds in full, a prospect that Mikkelsen himself says will be worth the wait. Describing Sherlock's (Benedict Cumberbatch) newest foe as a "supreme" villain who "lives off preying on other people," Magnussen promises a wholly different kind of villain to Andrew Scott's Jim Moriarty.

"He’s so supreme in his power that I read it as quite a different character to Moriarty. Whereas Moriarty is playful as a villain, this character is more supreme," Mikkelsen said at the BAFTA screening of the third episode this week (via The Mirror), ahead of Sunday's airing. "He doesn’t even need to raise his voice to dominate people. He doesn’t enjoy being a villain; I don’t even think he reckons himself as a villain, he just lives off preying on other people. He calls himself a businessman and it’s just a way of life for him."

Don't worry, seasons 4 & 5 have already been confirmed

Lars was also full of praise for the show's two main stars, Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who plays Sherlock's loyal sidekick Dr John Watson. He continued, "I was a bit starstruck with them but they’re such nice people, and they just opened their hearts and their minds, and let me in. So it was quite easy working with them."

'His Last Vow,' the final instalment of Sherlock season three, will air on BBC1 on Sunday, 12 January at 8.30 pm.