Benedict Cumberbatch's best roles pre-Doctor Strange, Sherlock: Throwback Thursday

Ankita Maneck

Nov,03 2016 14:05:48 IST

While Benedict Cumberbatch's claim to worldwide fame is his role as Sir Arthur Conan Dolye's detective mastermind Sherlock, he will now be adding a Marvel superhero tag to his name with his MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) debut in Doctor Strange which opens in cinemas on Friday, 4 November 2016.

But what did Cumberbatch do before he ran across London with Watson to solve cases or join the league of superheroes with Ironman and Thor?

Here's a rundown of Cumberbatch's awesome roles before he got busy solving murders and learning magic from the ancient one:

Doctor House and Sherlock are a father-son duo

Fortysomethings is a midlife crisis comedy-drama aired in 2003 and was Hugh Laurie's last project before House made him a superstar and one of the highest-paid actors in US television.

Not only does this forgotten jewel star Laurie as Dr Paul, it also stars Sherlock (sorry, Cumberbatch) as Rory, his sex-obsessed son.

Benedict Cumberbatch is famous for playing Sherlock, and Laurie's Dr House character is inspired by the detective. Very meta!

Cumberbatch as Stephen Hawking 

A decade before his pal Eddie Redymayne walked away with an Oscar for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Cumberbatch played the genius physicist in the first ever portrayal of Hawking on-screen for the TV film Hawking.

Cumberbatch as Van Gogh

First broadcast in 2011, this award-winning drama starred Cumberbatch as the tortured Dutch painter in Van Gogh: Painted with words. Alan Yentob and director Andrew Hutton adapted the film's dialogue from real letters sent by Van Gogh to his brother Theo; which translated into a pure work of art.

Cumberbatch in the periodical 

Cumberbatch starred in a period piece To the Ends of the Earth as Edmund Talbot, who sails from England to Australia in the early 19th century.  Set in 1812 during the last months of the war between Britain and France, the story encapsulates life on board an aging warship as a microcosm of English society, with its sharp-clawed class distinctions lurking beneath a veneer of civility and is a three-part, four-and-a-half-hour adaptation of William Golding’s To the Ends of the Earth.

Sherlock Vs Sherlock in Frankenstein

Danny Boyle's production of Frankenstein for the National Theatre in 2011 had Cumberbatch co-starring with Jonny Lee Miller (who play another contemporary version of Sherlock in Elementary).

BONUS: Benedict Cumberbatch can't pronounce the word 'penguins'

The BBC/Discovery Channel documentary series South Pacific (known as Wild Pacific to U.S. viewers), narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch and concerned itself with the fauna and flora of several remote Pacific locations, including: the Solomon Islands, Banks Islands, French Frigate Shoals, Papua New Guinea, Caroline Islands and Tanna Island in Vanuatu. One episode in particular shows penguins that have travelled all the way up to the Galapagos Islands, some 8,000 miles from Antarctica, on a cold water current. And it’s here that the fun lies. For some reason, Benedict’s voiceover never quite manages to get the word 'penguin' out, the way you or I might expect it. 'Pengwing,' yes. 'Pengling,' uhuh. But never 'penguin'.

Updated Date: Nov 03, 2016 14:05 PM