If while watching Elementary you feel like certain elements are too familiar, you can thank (or curse) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for creating such an unforgettable character that we have kept remaking him in endless forms since his inception. Sherlock is not a maverick detective, he is the maverick detective, yet his brilliance as a crime solver has become commonplace with so many procedurals made in various forms of dedication to him. Last week I mentioned that what made the BBC’s Sherlock stand out was not just the strength of the acting and relationship between its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, but the stylization of the series itself: the way it uses technology and visual display to not just recreate Sherlock Holmes but to bring something new to the “maverick detective” genre as a whole.
Though Elementary does have a great strong central relationship between Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu (and a blessedly asexual one), the show does little to distinguish itself from other Sherlock-esque copycat series. Still, for now, it’s a bit of fun that could seemingly get better and better. Hit the jump for the specifics, plus why it’s essential to distinguish between a dash and an ampersand.
With Robert Downey Jr knocking it out of the park in theaters and Benedict Cumberbatch doing no wrong in the role across the pond, I wondered why the world needed another interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. Watching the Pilot episode of Elementary, I snickered at its cheeky bits and admired the performances of both Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson. Miller’s Holmes is very much in the mold of a Dr. Gregory House, a brilliant mind more concerned with the truth than convention. In fact, he’s a recovering addict and Ms. Watson has been assigned as his sober companion. Liu said that Watson uses her sober companion position to distract her from her own issues, but Holmes sees right through her. Find out why it’s moved up my DVR list after the break.
Robert Doherty has worked non-stop as a writer-producer in television for over 10 years including writing for and producing Medium for six seasons and most recently serving as consulting producer on Ringer. Carl Beverly executive produces the award-winning cable series Justified and Unforgettable. Together, they are executive producers on CBS’s new series, Elementary, premiering this fall. Doherty will scribe the contemporary reimagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation now set in New York City and oversee the development of the show which promises to have broad appeal and targets the CBS network’s adult 18-34 demographic.
Doherty and Beverly sat down with us at a roundtable interview to talk about their unusual twist on the character of Dr. Watson, why it was important to remain true to the spirit of the original relationship between Holmes and Watson rather than pursue any romantic entanglement, and how the characters’ unique friendship will be an integral part of the show as much as the mysteries they investigate each week. They also discussed their reluctance to introduce additional characters right away in order to develop the main characters and give the audience some time to find the show. Finally, they talked about what Jonny Lee Miller brings to the lead role and addressed comparisons that have been drawn between their new show and the BBC’s highly successful Sherlock.
The contemporary series Sherlock, which takes the iconic detective and brings him into modern day Britain just garnered a third season, but now CBS is going to try and bring the classic literary character to the United States with a new series called Elementary. THR reports the network has just given the greenlight to the series from writer Robert Doherty who will also executive produce with Sarah Timberman (Unforgettable) and Carl Beverly. There aren’t any details on the series except that in will see Sherlock living in New York City. That could very well mean this won’t be a British detective anymore. Honestly, I can’t say I’m all that thrilled with the prospect since the BBC has delivered such a stellar contemporary series already, but we’ll see what happens.