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CBS' Sherlock Holmes pilot, Elementary, will indeed be a modern take on the famed story.

For the first time, Holmes' famed sidekick, Watson, will be played by a woman with Lucy Liu nabbing the part, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Described as a modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with the detective now living in New York City, Dexter killer Jonny Lee Miller has been tapped to star in the project.

Liu's casting continues the Charlie's Angels co-star's return to the small screen with the actress currently appearing on TNT's Southland.

“I’ve loved being on Southland because it’s not a pampered environment," Liu told THR at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards. "You’re really doing it and you’re doing it live. Sometimes you don’t even know how you got there in that scene! There’s something really wonderful about that. I like being able to do indie films and TV. It’s a good balance for me.”

Robert Doherty will write and executive produce the CBS TV Studios project, with CBS vet Sarah Timberman (A Gifted Man, Unforgettable) and Carl Beverly on board as executive producers.

Liu becomes the first woman to play the popular sidekick, most recently played on the big-screen by Jude Law. She joins a roster of actors who have filled the role, including Nigel Bruce, Roland Young, Reginald Owen, Ben Kingsley, Arthur Lowe, Dudley Moore, James Mason, Robert Duvall, Martin Freeman and Ian Hart, among others.


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Seriously though. The only reason I can see for having a female Watson is so they have them be in some sort of relationship. Either lovers (ex or otherwise), married, or just divorced and still working cases, but with hostile snappy dialogue/banter.

This is going to a Big Black Hole of Suckage. It's going to suck so badly, the universe could implode.

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to watch my SHERLOCK blu-rays...

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It's entirely possible that they made Watson female just to shake things up, or just to "modernize" the story. After all, it's not like women were in the same place back in the 19th century; it's only in the 20th or 21st century that a woman would be able to have the social status of someone like Watson (doctor, former soldier, etc). Hell, it even works on the base level of differentiating this show from Sherlock.

Like Will said, it's the Lucy Liu casting that's weird, not that she's a woman.

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I'll be genuinely surprised if they don't tease a romantic relationship between the two of them. Having them just be close friends would be great, but I’m sure TV execs see things differently.

But uh… I don’t really care that this exists. It’s probably going to be awful. Most TV is. But at least in this case there are a few alternatives if you really need a Sherlock Holmes fix.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In fairness to him, I think anyone would be pissed off if someone piggyback-ed off of their back in an attempt to make a quick buck. And he does note that Sherlock isn't the first modernised version, but the timing is pretty suspect.

I think Sherlock Holmes is a big enough name to survive having multiple versions, especially if they're as disparate as Sherlock and Elementary sound like they are.

I forget the order, but Holmes and Dracula are the two most played roles in film and television, so I agree to that extent. I disagree that the two versions are as disparate as you say they are - on a conceptual level they sound pretty much the same, aside from the location moving to America and the Watson role undergoing some stunt-casting.

It's not worth crying blasphemy or getting to het up over Elementary. It simply exists as a pilot at this point and, as ever, we the internet are pre-judging it. Personally, I think it sounds like an awful idea, but I'll reserve judgment until I see it. Or ignore it entirely.

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  • 1 month later...

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