When it comes to the never-ending comparisons between the BBC/PBS version of Sherlock and its American counterpart, CBS’ Elementary, the old adage of imitation is the sincerest form of flattery rings very true. When Elementary hit the air, Sherlock had already been a staple in people’s homes around the world for two years. The imitation/coindicence game began with both storylines revolving around Sherlock Holmes finding himself in the 21st Century and Jonny Lee Miller, Benedict Cumberbatch’s buddy from the National Theatre production of Frankenstein, was cast in the title role. While Miller’s character centers around a much more out-in-the-open with his addiction battles, the series does attempt to distance itself from its BBC predecessor with John Watson becoming Dr. Joan Watson and James Moriarty suddenly surfacing as Jamie Moriarty.
The inevitable similarities took another hit this past year with CBS’ Sherlock amping up the British quotient by not only traveling back to London for the series two premiere only but also adding a bit of a British flair to the cast with Welsh actor, Rhys Ifans (Spike in Notting Hill), as Sherlock’s older brother, Mycroft, who spends his time trying to convince Sherlock to return to London and Sean Pertwee as Gareth Lestrade, Sherlock’s Metropolitan Police counterpart from his pre-NYC days. For series 3, the critically acclaimed series will become a bit more British with the addition of Ophelia Lovibond (Mr. Sloane and Guardians of the Galaxy) to the cast.
While UK audiences are already well-aware of Lovibond, who brilliantly played Robin, Jeremy Sloane’s (Sloane with an ‘E’ just like the Square) post-separation love interest, played by Nick Frost, in Mr. Sloane, the series has yet to broadcast in the U.S. with several options remaining open including a possible public television airing at some point.
The British actress will join the series as recurring character Kitty Winter, Sherlock’s protégé and a rival to her predecessor Joan (Lucy Liu). At this point, the two series won’t be battling on air at the same time with the third series of Elementary set for an October 30, 2014 return and the BBC/PBS Sherlock not returning to production on its next four features until January 2015. Herein lies the difference. One is a television series and one is a series of four feature films that happen to air on television. In this, there can be no comparison. You’re going to have to trust me on this one.