It’s all in the adventure . . . BBC Sherlock gets it right – Elementary doesn’t

I’ve just come across this lovely quote from Stephen Moffatt, creator of BBC Sherlock – ‘Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures, and that’s what matters.’

It is this sense of adventure that really sets the original 56 stores apart from other detective fiction. Holmes and Watson have adventures, and we love sharing in them. They don’t just work with the police to solve murders – they enthusiastically bound off in pursuit of evil step-fathers, missing brides, wronged lovers, jellyfish and red-haired eccentrics. Sometimes, no actual crime has been committed but the mystery remains fascinating.

BBC Sherlock captures this very well, as did the Granada series. Elementary is too much of a police procedural, too typical of the crime drama genre. Jonny Lee Millar’s Holmes dutifully works with the police in a very official capacity as consultant, investigating grisly murders that are straight out of CSI.

BBC Sherlock is 90 minutes of pure adventure. Fast, fun and a televisual event that deserves complete concentration. Elementary is something I watch while eating my tea – (perhaps not a great idea when people are getting their throats cut and bleeding to death)

It’s been quite a week for Sherlock fans. The first script read-through for series 3 began on Monday 11th March, with filming due to start on the 18th. Benedict  Cumberbatch has confirmed that series 4 has already been commissioned. The adventure continues . . .

About barefootonbakerstreet

Author from Shropshire
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7 Responses to It’s all in the adventure . . . BBC Sherlock gets it right – Elementary doesn’t

  1. Pat says:

    Perfect point of view!

  2. Jonathan miller says:

    I certainly disagree, Elementary is a different interpretation of a modern day Holmes, not the same as the other 2 and I don’t feel it should be judged by the others either

  3. Jennifer says:

    It’s true that the plots of Elementary are simple police procedurals, with the occasional larger mythos story, but it’s so fascinating to watch Elementary and see in which direction the Holmes/Watson dynamic is heading. In Sherlock, it’s the adventure that surprises. In Elementary, it’s the characterizations. Cumberbatch and Freeman do a brilliant job of inhabiting the classic duo, but Miller and Lui are reinventing them. Both series are amazing.

  4. I agree with the original post. I watched the pilot of Elementary and that was it. I was done. As Cumberbatch’s Sherlock said…Bored. Bored. Bored. I believe the characterizations are completely off…Holmes needs to be intense, Miller (although a good actor) is not, and Watson (gender aside as I don’t mind the swap)actually seemed one up on Holmes at times. Lui could have been an excellent female Holmes, for instance.

    Unfortunately, Cumberbatch retracted his comments on a fourth series. We simply don’t know now, but there is always hope. 🙂 In any case, everyone involved has stated the desire to keep doing them well into the future. That’s always a good sign.

  5. Who says:

    Agreed. By taking huge liberties, Elementary is so far away from the canon that I can’t consider it as an incarnation of Sherlock Holmes, and I’m saying this as someone who don’t mind they shift the story to NYC, or have a female Watson (actually I think Liu would make a better Holmes than Miller.) Both leads’ performances simply don’t occur to me as Holmes and Watson.

  6. Resa Haile says:

    I agree with the second and third commenters. In Elementary, the friendship of Holmes and Watson *is* the adventure–and a grand adventure at that. We as Sherlockians/Holmesians are lucky to live in an age where so many are moved to offer interpretations of the characters.

  7. Hellhound says:

    I agree, but I love them both. They are simply different. Elementary is better (in a way) at portraying Watson and their relationship. Watson shouldn’t be showed as an ordinary sidekick, destined to left behind and out of things. Whose most common expression is one of surprise – “watta heck’s happening right now?” And I have to admit, even BBC Sherlock makes that mistake sometimes, despite the fact that it’ll always!! be my favorite. He may be ordinary compared to Holmes, but he is most definitely not ordinary compared to the rest of us. 😀 And their relationship seems to be much ‘warmer’ in Elementary. In Sherlock, he is just a bit too cold, and you always have the doubt – does he really care about his friend? When something good happens, they try to make it very small and immediately load it with other cold, idonthavefriends stuff. Which is bad, because when I read the books, it was always absolutely clear to me that they are best friends and such. No doubt. But of course, there things I don’t like in Elementary. The cases are not that deep, and the timing of the show (accidentally around the same time Sherlock appeared…) But well, we can enjoy both.

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