Review: Robert Doherty, Writer. “Pilot.” Elementary. Directed by Michael Cuesta. Originally broadcast on 27 September 2012. Los Angeles: CBS Television Studios, 2012.
Sherlock Holmes reenters the American canon of detective fiction in the new series Elementary. Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), a recovering drug addict, is joined by his companion, Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). The series remains true to the abrupt nature of the Conan Doyle originals in many ways while innovating for a darker, twenty-first-century setting in New York City. Holmes has the dry, humorless exposition one would expect from the character, but readily admits to using Google at one point because “not everything is deducible.” Fans will readily note Holmes’ insistence on everything right now sense of timeliness as well as his self-destructive tendencies. The characterization of Joan Watson, a replacement for the original John, also falls in line with the canon in many ways, most notably where the intellect of the average human being succeeds in a place that Holmes’ higher order of thinking and abrupt nature cannot connect with most people. In the end, the two combine their talents to solve the mystery.