Sherlock VS Elementary

Today the world is oversaturated with reboots, sequels and updates of various movies, TV shows and book, and Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is no exception to this as it has been re-launched, recreated and adapted multiple times in multiple formats.

And so we have the contemporary rendition of the world’s greatest detective, meshing the use of modern technology with two Sherlock’s from two different worlds; the UKs BBC Sherlock Created by Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss in 2010 set in modern day London and Americas Elementary created by Robert Doherty set in modern day new york.


Straight away you can see the two shows have dramatic differences in casting, their personality traits, location and the drama culture each series follows. BBC Sherlock series portrays the traditional mystery genre depicted in past Sherlock and UK dramas with slow intense developing plots, whereas it’s American counterpart Elementary has followed a police procedural drama format.

The CBS Sherlock played by Johnny Lee Miller who rarely takes on private cases, for the most part works as part of a team. And although is abrasive at times, he is constantly called out on his behavior, and pushed back in line, which is very much like most American crime drams.

Not only is this but he is continuously being ‘fixed’ or finds the need to conform to reflect the attitudes accepted in their society, this is very unlike BBC Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch who not only does as he pleases regardless warnings receive from authority and mostly takes on private cases he also shows a displayed of lack of care & willingness to change or lead any form of ‘normal life’, (after all where’s the fun in that). The BBC Sherlock is also a virgin and as US drama almost always implements sexual relations or tension this would not translate well and so we have millers Sherlock who is sexually active.

Where Cumberbatche’s Sherlock is cold, distant and in general insulting and sarcastic to all, millers Sherlock although just as insulting at time though not as sarcastic as its not as accepted in American culture, and is overall a far warmer character than we are use to, allowing the audience to empathies and somewhat relate to him.

Along with the character change in Sherlock we have Americas Watson by Lucy Liu, which adds gender and cultural diversity, as well as the English gender reversed Jamie Moriarty/ Irene Adler played by Natalie. The UK characters although they hold true to the original characters to some extent would not be effective amongst the American audience. Along with having Joan Watson, Jamie Moriarty ads a dramatic plot twist common in all American drams.

As BBC Sherlock follows the original plot and characters in the books it can be seen as tribute and is well accepted as a reflection of British history in the UK although in order to be accepted in the US it was necessary to undergo such changes so that it may adapt to their culture in drama.


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