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Monday, 3 March 2014

From Pete's World: Elementary (S1E12 through S2E16 "The One Percent Solution")

In my earlier post about CBS' Elementary, not only was I somewhat factually inaccurate, but also had only seen the first half of the first season. Now, I am completely caught up (The last episode to air was "The One Percent Solution"), and I have also read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four,  and the collection of short stories included in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This gives me an increased perspective of what is taken from ACD's work and what is CBS' own creation.

Sherlock producer Sue Vertue
Elementary creator
Robert Dohetry
On the topic of CBS' own creation, I have come across information that is very interesting. When Sue Vertue, producer of BBC Sherlock learned that CBS would also be doing a Sherlock Holmes-based show, she took some interesting actions to assure that there was no copyright infringement from CBS' production on the rights BBC Sherlock has to elements of Sherlock Holmes. As ACD published his stories about over a century ago, and is now since dead, the characters in his stories and their plot is somewhat public domain. However, the way BBC Sherlock (and Elementary, for that matter) presents their characters is under their copyright. In short, Vertue took steps to make sure that CBS was not, in essence, making an American version of Sherlock, which is why the two productions are so incredibly different. I imagine that both productions are walking a very fine line with each other's presences. It has also, I assume, puched Elementary (and to some extent, Sherlock) to think outside the box and get creative with their story lines.

Natalie Dormer as Irene
Now, for plot. If you are looking for a general overview of Elementary, please refer to the earlier Pete's World post here.
The second half of Elementary's first season deals with Moriatry and Irene Adler, and the writers take a very interesting plot-twist. In the first episode of Season 2, we meet two pivotal characters. First is Gareth Lestrade (played by Jon Pertwee's son Sean!!) and the other is Mycroft Holmes.
Sean Pertwee as Lestrade
Yes-there is a Lestrade  and a Gregson. In BBC Sherlock, the characters are combined in to Greg Lestrade. In ADC cannon, there is a Gregson and a Lestrade. It begs the question--why did BBC Sherlock decide to have the characters combined?
Rhys Ifans as Mycroft
Mycroft is a whole separate bundle of joy. He looks old and a little sleazy, and is a successful restaurateur. The Sherlock-Mycroft relationship seems to have more family-based tension in Elementary, while in Sherlock it is more of an all-around stressed relationship.
Also introduced in the first episode of season one is 221b Baker Street. It is where Sherlock lived before he moved to New York.

Now that I have finished a fair amount of ACD canon, I'm resizing a lot of what I said about Elementary's Sherlock being not very based in cannon is predominately false. One thing I specifically remember is that ACD Sherlock practices single stick. However, it is likely that Sherlock got to a lot of classic ADC Sherlock traits before Elementary could get to them.

My hopes for this show are still very high, and I believe it has been renewed for a third and fourth season.

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