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OVER the years, there have been myriad of TV series and movies based on the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. A character as timeless and fascinating as Robin Hood, Superman, Batman or Spider-Man – the interest never wanes for viewers.
The most recent series was BBC Entertainment’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch in the eponymous role.
Now Johnny Lee Miller, last seen as Jordan Chase in the award-winning Dexter, has been signed on to breathe new life into the character. And he plays the genius with modern sensibilities.
Now a resident of New York, the former Scotland Yard consultant is fresh out of rehab for his drug addiction. Trying to get his life on track he, thanks to intervention of his father, is forced to live with Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). An unlikely partnership as Dr Watson has always been of the masculine persuasion.
Suffice to say, it isn’t long before these two embark on an array of cases that set them on a perilous path, but they intrepidly set about solving the numerous homicides.
At last year’s Comic Con, the two actors shed more light on the gripping new series in an interview with Collider.com.
Miller explained: “I always feel that characters who have problems and issues to deal with are more fun to play, especially if you’re trying to balance that with a supposed genius for something and then make him not comfortable with that. You know, give him an edge. It leads into the relationship Holmes and Watson have.
“That’s a plus all around for me to bring some darkness into it and have some problems, and it’s something a little more edgy that we don’t necessarily see too much on network television.”
Expanding on his comment, Liu shared: “I do think there’s an element of mystery that’s involved in characters who are damaged and that CBS is taking a big risk for their network to allow that to happen and to have someone who had a history in drugs, or whatever addiction it was, and have a sober companion as well.
“I think there’s something dark and it allows you to go to different places. Watson is hiding behind what she needs to really look into which is her past and… the malpractice. She lost a lot of respect and her integrity and she’s actually more insecure than she lets on.”
Interestingly, Miller had a heart-to-heart with Cumberbatch about playing Sherlock.
He admitted: “I wanted to assure him that it was different enough and he was excited for me and very encouraging and we discussed it. We have not had a chance to get together a lot recently.
“It’s a wonderful character to play and he wanted to pass that on.”
When it comes to playing empowering take-charge characters, Liu is in her element.
Sadly, her TV career in recent years has been monopolised by guest appearances – until now.
Opposites attract and the differences between Liu and Miller are a compelling factor – along with the script – for the success of Elementary.
In the words of Holmes: “There is nothing like first-hand evidence.”
So decide for yourself!
• Elementary airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Wednesday at 8.30pm.