A couple months ago, a good friend and I discovered the wonderful world of BBC original programming. This new found obsession started with a show called Luther. After finishing Luther, my friend and I moved to the critically acclaimed series Sherlock. Sherlock is a modern day twist on the classic detective story about Sherlock Holmes and his trusty partner Dr. Watson. The show is one of the best I have ever watched and is definitely a must see. A couple weeks ago, my friend and I found out that CBS was going to premiere their own version of a modernized Sherlock Holmes called Elementary. That’s when I decided to look into if there were any connections between the shows.
So far, there has been a lot of controversy leading up to the premiere of Elementary over the similarities between the two shows. Originally, when CBS was in the preproduction of their version, they contacted the Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat to come to America and help develop it. However, Moffat and his producing partner declined. Shortly after declining, CBS announced that they were still going forward with their version of the show. The major difference between the two shows, when CBS announced their version, was that the iconic Dr. Watson role was going to be played by a woman. Moffat told TheInsider.com that, “They’ve got three big changes: its Sherlock Holmes in America, its Sherlock Holmes updates and its Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson. I wonder if he’s Sherlock Holmes in any sense other than he’s called Sherlock Holmes.” CBS was warned by Sherlock producer Sue Vertue in a The Independent news article from February, a British newspaper, “that they will be looking at their (CBS) finished pilot very closely for any infringement of our rights.” CBS responded to the comments saying, “That their project will be based on Holmes, Watson and other character in the public domain and that they would be respectful to all copyrights laws and will not infringe on any stories or works that may still be protected.” Even Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes in the BBC version, is skeptical about how the CBS version would do. His main concern was how Elementary would “lose the dynamic of male friendship” that Holmes and Watson have between one another. He even raises the question about whether there would be any “sexual tension between the female Watson and Sherlock Holmes.”
Overall, it will be very interesting to see the similarities and differences between the two shows once Elementary finally premieres. After watching Sherlock, I believe that there will definitely be some similarities in the show and that is why I am not going to watch it. I think Elementary is a copy of Sherlock and CBS maybe thought that they would get around any copyright infringement by making Watson a woman. I agree with what Benedict Cumberbatch, that if there is sexual tension in Elementary that it will put in jeopardy the relationship and bond that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have that was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Maybe if Elementary gets good reviews, I might check out an episode, but, as of right now there is only one modern Sherlock Holmes that I watch, Sherlock.
Ausiello, Michael. “Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch Breaks His Silence on CBS’ Elementary: ‘I’d Be Frightened'” TVLine. TVLine Media, 29 July 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://tvline.com/2012/07/29/benedict-cumberbatch-elementary-cbs/>.
Sherwin, Adam. “Jonny Lee Miller to Play Sherlock Holmes in US Series.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/jonny-lee-miller-to-play-sherlock-holmes-in-us-series-6939158.html>.
Wieselman, Jarett. “Sherlock vs. “Sherlock”” Www.theinsider.com. The Insider, 16 May 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://www.theinsider.com/tv/52370_Steven_Moffat_Talks_Elementary_Sherlock_Update/index.html>.
Sherlock Vs. Elementary. N.d. Photograph. Screenrant.com. Screen Rant. By Scott Stoute. Screen Rant, LLC, Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://screenrant.com/elementary-cbs-bbc-sherlock-holmes-comparison-similarities>.