Elementary @ Comic-Con: Cast, Producers Say CBS' Sherlock Holmes Will Honor Predecessors

Die-hard Sherlock fans, fear not. The producers of CBS’ Elementary (starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu) have heard your qualms about their take on the famous detective. At the show’s Comic-Con panel held Thursday, the EPs and cast touched on the female question, the Will They/Won’t They worry and which familiar faces from famous cases viewers will see on the series. Read on for highlights from the discussion.

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MAN, SHE FEELS LIKE A WOMAN | “It made me laugh: What would be more trying for Sherlock Holmes than living with a Watson that [is] a woman?” EP Robert Doherty said of his decision to switch Watson’s gender. Although Sherlock’s sidekick is now played by Liu (Ally McBeal), “to a certain degree, it’s incidental that Watson is a woman” and “shouldn’t make a difference.” For her part, Liu credited Doherty with “thinking outside the box. The gender change creates a dynamic and chemistry [that you don't normally see]. I’m not saying that it’s romantic. It gives it a different shift – a bit of a tingle.”

FRIENDSHIP FIRST | Doherty assured the audience that the new male/female partnership was “not designed” to turn into a Will They/Won’t They romance. Instead, the series will “honor the relationship” between Sherlock and Watson, he promised, by focusing on what made the pairing special: their deep friendship. But first, they have to build them up to being friends.

A TALE OF TWO SHERLOCKS | What does Miller’s Frankenstein costar, Benedict Cumberbatch — a Sherlock himself in the PBS series — think of Miller’s take? “It was obviously a conversation that we had. He’s been very supportive,” said the actor. “We wanted to make sure [the two versions were] going to be very different.”

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FAMILY TIES | While Doherty “might hold off” on introducing Sherlock’s brother Mycroft for a while, another familiar name might enter the mix. “It would be a great shame to do a Sherlock project and not have [Professor James] Moriarty appear at some time,” said the EP. “It’s somebody I’m really looking forward to writing.” Until then, the “mysterious, shadowy figure” of Holmes’ oft-mentioned, never-seen father “will cast a shadow over a lot of what we do,” he continued. “We’ll build and eventually make him part of the series”

MAKING THEIR CASE | Miller took to the Holmes novels for inspiration, but the writers will be pulling from their own imaginations for the cases of the week. “We love the original stories,” said Doherty. “At the same time, what we love is the relationship [and] the mythology. Primarily, we’re looking to craft new stories.”

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