In the new Sherlock Holmes adaptation by CBS titled Elementary. Johnny Lee Miller will be starring as Holmes. It’s set in Manhattan. Wheeeee!
Oh my, this news has received a wide range of reactions, some of which seem very, very odd (I mean, I love Bandersnatch and Bilbo’s BBC version as much as anybody, but this is hardly going to hurt it – just watch both! And watch the Iron Man/Sky Captain movie version too! WATCH ALL THE VERSIONS!).
Sarah Rees Brennan and Kate Linnea Welsh tackle some of these reactions, but my favourite one has to be the fans arguing that Johnny Lee Miller’s English accent sounds so fake (which has to rank up with the US-based Whovian twitterer who asked if the Whoniverse was ready for an American actor to play the Doctor and proposed Hugh Laurie (tweet long ago deleted)).
Anyway, back to Lucy! The personality shown in the clip above seems fairly classic Watson (if we draw a line through those few decades where he was depicted as buffoonish) – a strong sense of decency, fair play and honour, intelligent and empathic with some lasting damage of her own to work through, and a lot of conflict with Holmes on the proper way to do things while nonetheless admiring his intellect and insights. What I think will work particularly well here is that the constraints of canonical Watson (which will have to be adhered to strongly in other ways in order that the gender-switch doesn’t kill belief in the character altogether) should work against most possible temptations to exoticise her just because of her Asian ancestry. No wonder she took the part.
As someone who fondly remembers Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce’s outings as the legendary duo and most of the dozen or more English-language adaptations since (Richard Roxburgh was a fave) I’m really looking forward to seeing this to add to my WATCH ALL THE VERSIONS! scorecard. Maybe it won’t work for me when I get to see it, but I’m very much hoping that it does.
Who is your favourite Holmes/Watson combo, either actual or ideal? Den of Geek has a list of their top 10 Sherlocks – how many of these have you seen?