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12:16 pm - 12/19/2012

Elementary: Female Watson 'Started as a Joke'


Rob Doherty's choice to pair Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes with a woman resulted in fall's No. 1 new series, and inclusion in THR's 2012 Rule Breakers portfolio.

"It started out as something of a joke," creator Rob Doherty confesses of his decision to make the Watson in his Sherlock Holmes tale a woman. When he began to research the story's original characters, he came across a handful of experts who had written up psychological assessments of Sherlock; one of them had noted an aversion to women.

"I thought to myself, 'What would make Holmes crazier than taking the figurative rock he has in Watson and making him a woman?' I scribbled it down and then went back to my research," the 38-year-old Elementary showrunner continues. "The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try it."

The result: casting Asian-American film star Lucy Liu as the first female Watson opposite Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock and an impressive 13.9 million viewers tuning in weekly, making Elementary the No. 1 new series with total viewers this fall. (Among the key 18-to-49 set, the series ranks No. 2 behind only NBC's breakout Revolution.) And come February, the CBS drama -- one of the season's few hits with critics and audiences alike -- will get the coveted post-Super Bowl slot.
The show's stars, Liu, 44, and Miller, 40, still are making sense of the series' success, particularly rewarding because the show colors outside the lines in a way that excites both of them.

"To me, one of the best things you can do in this profession is to take a risk," says Miller, whose co-star plays sober coach to his recovering-addict Sherlock. Liu says the tweak in formula can liberate the story in other ways as well: "There's an endless supply of unpredictability that we can delve into and we can change and add. It will still be a pound cake, but it could be marble, it could be lemon, it could be poppy seed."


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DELICIOUS VIDEO @ SRC
la_petite_singe 19th-Dec-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)


Interested to see if the determined stans will gloss over this or get offended. (Like, imagine if someone from BBC Sherlock said "I bet making her a woman was a joke idea at first.")
zharia 19th-Dec-2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
lol wut. It sounds like he's saying, "wow a lot of people thought Sherlock hated women, wouldn't be ridiculous if Watson were a woman. Holy shit.. I should make Watson a woman."
la_petite_singe 19th-Dec-2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I would think people would object to the suggest that Sherlock (and especially this version) is written as a misogynist.
zharia 19th-Dec-2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
Wait, what? This version obviously isn't written as misogynist. Did you not read the post? "When he began to research the story's original characters, he came across a handful of experts who had written up psychological assessments of Sherlock; one of them had noted an aversion to women. " He notes that some analysis of the canonical readings of Sherlock suggest Sherlock might be kind of a misogynist. This makes him think lol it would be funny if Watson were a woman. He cames back to that idea with a more serious mindset and thinks, omg it would be great if she were a woman. Thus we are blessed with a retelling of a Sherlock in which he OBVIOUSLY ISNT a misogynist and Watson is a woman, aka Goddess Lucy.

You're either misreading the post or trying to wank for no reason.
la_petite_singe 19th-Dec-2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
That's...what I'm saying. This version obviously doesn't hate women, although Doherty doesn't mention that here--he's condescending to Joan sometimes, but he's like that to everyone--but I would think fans who like both this show and the original stories and feel that JLM is getting it totally right would say his suggestion that canon!Sherlock was a misogynist was incorrect. I've seen plenty of people who hate the BBC version saying that Moffat turning Sherlock into someone who doesn't respect women [slash being one himself] is a violation of canon.
zharia 19th-Dec-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Again, you can't read. "a HANDFUL of experts... ONE of them noted," no where does he say that Sherlock WAS a misogynist. And let's not kid ourselves, ACD didn't live in the most woman friendly time period.

idg what your problem is.
sherlockholmes 19th-Dec-2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
Let's not forget that ACD opposed women's suffrage.
wauwy 20th-Dec-2012 12:56 am (UTC)
You're either misreading the post or trying to wank for no reason.

You got it.
dirrtypony 19th-Dec-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)

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