Ever since the not-too-be-believed news that CBS would be developing a pilot for a “21st Century Sherlock Holmes” series, Elementary, creators of the BBC’s Sherlock series, have kept a close eye on the American version.
Admittedly, you can’t copyright the concept of a 21st Century Sherlock Holmes, but it was a curious decision to pilot such a project so close on the heels of the incredible success of the BBC series, which also ran in the United States as part of the PBS Masterpiece series. Someone can say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I would have to believe that the close eye will zero in on concepts, production techniques and storylines as the American network series unfolds. Certainly, the casting of Jonny Lee Miller, who starred opposite the BBC’s Sherlock in the National Theatre production of Frankenstein raised a few ‘this is all-too similar’ eyebrows.
As reported by the BBC and speaking at the Royal Television Society Awards, Moffat admitted to being a bit ‘miffed’ at the American version. “We don’t own Sherlock Holmes. We don’t even own the idea of updating it. It’s been done before. I hope they know their Sherlock Holmes very, very well indeed because we know what’s in our show and wasn’t in the original. So if we did discover our material had made it into somebody else’s show we would have a problem with that. If there is no such incidence of that, then there’s nothing we can object to.”
Thanks to the great folks over at Sherlockology, some of the first photos (at left) have emerged from the pilot filming of Elementary, which will be set in present day New York City. When Lucy Liu was first cast as Dr. Watson, I remember wondering how a series could jump the shark before an episode ever airs. That said, after seeing some of the first stills, I kind of like the idea of a female Watson. As several folks commented on the Sherlockology tumblr post, it would have been even more genius to see Liu cast as Sherlock and not Watson.
Having seen the first episode of the newest season of Sherlock, “A Scandal in Belgravia”, series creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, have nothing to worry about. Moffat also let slip in the same RTS interview that Benedict Cumberbatch was “…keen to continue playing the lead role. Do we dare say Sherlock 4 before Sherlock 2 has even aired in the U.S. or before Sherlock 3 has begun filming? I think why not….