Watch The Trailer for ‘Elementary': 2012’s THIRD Sherlock Holmes Franchise

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and (Joan) Watson in Elementary

This was always going to be a tough sell to Anglophenians. No matter how talented an actor Jonny Lee Miller is, no matter how good the scripts are, the idea of CBS creating a TV series based on the character of Sherlock Holmes, at a time when there are already two successful franchises using that name, one in the cinemas and one on the TV, is not one that demands a commemorative cake be baked in the shape of a massive (and non-sarcastic) lightbulb.

And that’s chiefly because, no matter how complex a character Holmes is, the full map of his emotional world has already been explored, and very recently. You want Victorian detail amid modern action sequences and a lot of banter? May I direct you towards Robert Downey Jnr? You want the vicious mind games and Holmes’s snarling intellect? Benedict Cumberbatch is your man.

So where is there left for this production to go? Well clearly there was a brainstorm among creatives, and clearly someone said “hey, y’know what’s really hot right now? Sherlock Holmes” and then someone else wondered what if you took one of the most celebrated bromances in all fiction, and y’know, sexed it up a bit? What if Watson was a woman? What then? And what if they lived in New York? That’d be fairly gritty and new, wouldn’t it? And if we got a Brit to play Holmes, but play him like House, only British and less druggy… hey we’re really cookin’ now!

Here’s the trailer. It’s got the action movie brashness of the Sherlock movies and the modern day sensibilities of the Sherlock TV show, only set in Manhattan so there are fewer iconic Britishisms all around and as a Sherlock he is far, far less rude or cocky than either Benedict or Robert.

But y’know what? That deduction moment, where Sherlock spots the thing no one else does? Never gets old, no matter who does it.

Next week: What if Mrs Hudson was an alien? What if Lestrade was a robot? etc.

Update: Sherlock Holmes holds the world record for ‘most portrayed literary human character’

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser is a British writer, broadcaster and the the author of the book Stuff Brits Like. He is Anglophenia's resident Brit blogger, having written BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog, the Top of the Pops website, and for NME, the Guardian and elsewhere. Favorite topics include slang, Doctor Who and cramming as much music into Anglophenia as he can manage. He invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
View all posts by Fraser McAlpine.