In a land far away known as Britain there was a man. He was a great and wise man who looked upon the garbage that was the television programming of the day and came up with a wonderful idea – Sherlock Holmes in the modern day. That man’s name was Steven Moffat, and his name shall endure through time as a legend of television genius.
Or least that’s the way it plays in my head… But in truth, Sherlock has been kicking ass and taking names. So much so that the American television company CBS decided that ‘they must have it!’ And so was born Elementary, a blatant rip-off of Moffat’s production on the BBC.
Heck, why not steal the idea? CBS had already approached Moffat and the BBC with the proposal of doing an adaptation. When that didn’t fly, what other choice did they have? Of course, this led to threats of lawsuits from the BBC, but plagiarism is always a delicate thing.
Now, the first pics and footage for Elementary have been released and, naturally, everyone wants to know what the Great Overlord Moffat has to say. In a recent interview with the Insider, he had a few comments about the new show:
“What we did with our Sherlock was just take it from Victorian times into modern day. They’ve [Elementary] got three big changes: it’s Sherlock Holmes in America, it’s Sherlock Holmes updated and it’s Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson. I wonder if he’s Sherlock Holmes in any sense other than he’s called Sherlock Holmes. It’s almost like they should have made Watson a woman but kept the show in Victorian times. Actually … that would actually be quite interesting.”
…I don’t want it to sound like Mark and I don’t want other people to try this. We welcome it, but don’t damage the brand.”
Ouch. Not as negative as it could have been, but still some stinging remarks there. Honestly, in my opinion, the only real thing this new version has going for it is that Lucy Liu is hot. But considering that the likelihood of her getting naked on prime-time television is next to nil, that advantage is quickly lost.
Elementarypremieres this Fall, so watch it if you dare. And good luck CBS – you’ll need it.
Some may be scratching their heads as to why we’ve been reporting on this new series at all. It’s not sci-fi, it’s doesn’t have zombies, so why do we give a shit about a new detective show on CBS. Well, to be honest, I’m mostly interested in Elementary because I want to see it fail. See, there’s this phenomenal show across the pond from Steven Moffat. No, not Doctor Who, though it might as well be about his non-time traveling brother from another mother. It’s called Sherlock and it is a modern re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes from Moffat and Mark Gattis. Did I mention it’s incredible? How about spectacular? Guys, it’s mind-blowingly good television you need to watching! (You’re in luck too because the most recent season is available on PBS’ site.) Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the detective and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. You might be familiar with them from a couple, low-key projects they have coming up, Star Trek 2 and The Hobbit. Sherlock‘s loaded with plenty of geek cred and is really worth checking out. Would I lead you astray?
Okay, enough gushing about why Sherlock is like, the best thing ever. Elementary appears to be CBS’ attempt to capitalize on the modern-Sherlock Holmes popularity. It should be noted that earlier on CBS optioned to adapt Moffat and Gattis’ Sherlock for American television. Moffat smartly replied, fuck no, learning from the train wreck that was an American version of his British sitcom, Coupling. So, it’s a little suspicious when CBS comes out with their own modern-Sherlock Holmes TV show after Moffat turned them down. Hmm.
Earlier today we shared our first official look at Elementary stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Lui as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson, respectively. “See! Look! We’ve got a girl Watson. This is completely different!” said CBS trying to defend their blatant ripoff. Now we’ve seen the first bit of footage from Elementary in this behind-the-scenes promo,
Miller’s doing a nice job as Holmes, I really can’t complain about anything he does here. It’s just, I’ve seen it done better, by Cumberbatch, funny enough his co-star from their widely acclaimed stage show, Frankenstein. And Lui, well, she’s Lucy Lui. I’ve never seen her act in anything that’s been dramatically different from what I’ve seen her do before, and this seems to be much of the same.
From what we can see in the short behind-the-scenes promo this just screams Americanized Sherlock. But of course, I’m sure they’re skirting that line very carefully and making their show just different enough the BBC won’t have a reason to release the legal hounds.
Here’s the official synopsis,
ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson. A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance. However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients. He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs. But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team. With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson. Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
What do you guys think? Does it look any good to you? Does appear to be a blatant Sherlock ripoff? (Come on! He’s even wearing a scarf!) Or is there room for two, equally good, modernizations of the famous sleuth?
Elementary is another look at Sherlock Holmes set in modern day New York. The show is scheduled to air on CBS this Autumn. In hopes of stirring the already controversial pot of Internet and BBC angst, CBS sent out this first official image of the lead characters – Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as disgraced doctor Joan Watson. Aidan Quinn is also in the cast as Captain Gregson, who sounds like a modern day Lestrade figure.
After the hoopla surrounding the announcement of an American remake that follows so closely on the heels of an already wildly popular British BBC series modern day retake of Sherlock Holmes this time using a female Watson (Lucy Liu) died down, we haven’t heard or seen much. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more soon as CBS starts stirring the media pot.
This NerdBastard is hoping the show will be worthwile and not, as many fear, an attempt to hop on Moffat and Gatiss’ coat tails. Rumor is that a trailer might make it’s way to the Internet in the next couple of days.
Any thoughts? Did anyone read this far down the article?
In lieu of cursing CBS and kicking dirt all over their loafers for going ahead with Elementary, (the very blatant copying of the BBC series Sherlock), creator and writer Steven Moffat had decided to place a vow of silence on himself . . . until now anyway. Once the shots from the set of the Elementary pilot displayed stars Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, Moffat must have reached his breaking point.
Bring on the verbal smack-down!
Maybe it was that Holmes beloved sidekick was gender-flipped into a “Charlie’s Angel”, but according to BBC Radio, Moffat may finally been showing how he really feels about the American Sherlock.
“It isn’t a version of our show. … They’ve just decided to go off and do one of their own, having been turned down by us to do an adaptation of our version. So how do you think I feel about it? Annoyed is in there.”The bigger problem for us with Elementary is, what if it’s terrible? What if it’s awful? Then it degrades the brand. … I remember there was a legitimate American version made of Coupling, actually adapted from our version. It was terrible and it was a disaster and it did sort of diminish the original. So if there’s this completely unrelated rogue version of Sherlock going around and it’s bad, it can be bad for us.”
The man has every right to be worried, Sherlock is his baby and the last thing he wants is it’s red headed step-child shaming the series with a poor pilot. Even so, it’s not like Steven should be extremely worried. While his producer Sue Vertue is prepping legal action in a courtroom, Steven has a more Zen approach:
“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.”
The joy of something like Sherlock is the fact that over the course of an afternoon you can sit down and watch a season, series, in their entire three episode run. And even with such a short season you still manage to get drawn into feeling for Sherlock and his lover good friend Dr.John Watson. Let’s hope Elementary can at least capture some of that magic, instead if ripping it’s counter-part off. CBS better hope they know what their doing.
Watson: “By gove you’re right Holmes, who is it this time?”
Holmes: It’s the Yanks I’m afraid . . . and you’re a woman.”
Watson: ” A WHAT? . . . well now . . . I say.”
Holmes: “Give it a chance Watson, don’t be a bore.”
Watson: “Right, right Holmes, stiff upper lip and all that.”
Elementary has begun filming, the Holmes-in-New York pilot that will star Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson. The production has been on location around the city in the last couple of days, giving paparazzi their chance to capture Miller and Liu in costume. Click on each for the larger size.
A while back CBS, those guys that keep making spin-off’s of CSI, announced a pilot re-imagining Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes called Elementary. Wait a tick, doesn’t the BBC already have a show based on Britan’s infamous crime solving duo of Sherlock and Watson? Yes, and the BBC is more then a little upset about it.
Sitting down with the UK’s The Independent, Sherlock executive producer, Sue Vertue recently spoke about being approached by CBS with hopes of licensing a U.S. version of the BBC series. Vertue was less then enthusiastic about the offer, turning it down in the process. Guess CBS didn’t enjoy getting told “no” by the company that makes Doctor Who because shortly after that CBS announced Elementary, a modern day retelling of Holmes and Watson in New York City.
We understand that CBS are doing their own version of an updated Sherlock Holmes,” she said. “It’s interesting, as they approached us a while back about remaking our show. At the time, they made great assurances about their integrity, so we have to assume that their modernised Sherlock Holmes doesn’t resemble ours in any way, as that would be extremely worrying.
Even Doctor Who and Sherlock showrunner, Steven Moffat spoke up about CBS’s supposed idea, taking to Twitter to voice his opinion:
“We are very proud of our show, and like any proud parent will protect the interest and well being of our offspring,” Sue went on to say and all the power to her and the BBC for it. Who wouldn’t want to protect something they’ve put their name to and stuck their neck out for? If this keeps up and CBS moves forward in their attempt to create their own Holmes, legal action is definitively around the corner.
Additional details about Elementary have yet to be released, smart move CBS.