Earlier this week “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” show runner Steven Moffat had a few choice and bitter words to say about the new CBS pilot “Elementary.” He told the BBC, “It isn’t a version of our show. They’ve just decided to go off and do one of their own, having been turned down by us to do an adaptation of our version. So how do you think I feel about it? Annoyed is in there.”
As Moffat continued, however, he went a little off the reservation: “The bigger problem for us with Elementary is, what if it’s terrible? What if it’s awful? Then it degrades the brand. I remember there was a legitimate American version made of Coupling, actually adapted from our version. It was terrible and it was a disaster and it did sort of diminish the original. So if there’s this completely unrelated rogue version of Sherlock going around and it’s bad, it can be bad for us.”
Well, slow your roll there Moffat. As incredible as your show is, you in no way invented the Sherlock “brand” and there are those who still claim Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett is the one true sleuth (sorry, RDJ), so I don’t think your reputation is in any way threatened by this new American effort. Also, nobody outside of the Lindsay Price Fan Club and obsessive internet bloggers remember the US version of “Coupling,” so cool it with the histrionics. Moffat concluded his rather unpleasant interview with a veiled threat: “I hope they know their Sherlock Holmes very, very well indeed because we know what’s in our show and wasn’t in the original. So if we did discover our material had made it into somebody else’s show we would have a problem with that.”
Up until today both Moffat’s hysterics and my general disdain for the show were based on little more than a cast list and a logline. But, never fear, gentle readers, I’ve judged things on far less and today we have a little more fuel for my spiteful fire. The first, blurry images have been released from the set of “Elementary” and while the miscast Lucy Liu looks gorgeous (nice hair, nice bag, is your skirt supposed to look like it’s tucked into your tights?)…
…I have to ask, “What in the name of sanity has Jonny Lee Miller got on his neck?”
For reference, this is how one ought to wear a scarf.
It’s a little unwise and unfair, I think, to give Miller that sad scrappy little scarf (or any scarf at all) given that it’s become an iconic accessory for Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. It invites unfavorable comparisons and made me wonder, do the British do everything better? Let’s find out. Who Wore It Better: British (pictured right) vs. Crappy American Rip-Off (pictured left) Edition.
The Sexy Stubble: Steve (Justin Chatwin) vs. Steve (James McAvoy) in “Shameless”
The Ugly Ties: David Brent (Ricky Gervais) vs. Michael Scott (Steve Carell) “The Office” (No, you’re right, Michael Scott isn’t “crappy,” but I’m still a David Brent kind of girl.)
The Angelic Blonde Hair: Justin (Randy Harrison) vs. Nathan (Charlie Hunnam) “Queer As Folk”
The Dopey Expression: Josh (Sam Huntington) vs. George (Russell Tovey) “Being Human”
The No-Nonsense Sneer: Det. Jane Timony (Maria Bello) vs. DCI Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) “Prime Suspect”
The Glower: Lt. Gene Hunt (Harvey Keitel) vs. DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) “Life On Mars”
The Sultry, Undead Pout: Aidan (Sam Witwer) vs. Mitchell (Aidan Turner) “Being Human”
Joanna Robinson put “Being Human” twice because, damnitall, the BBC version was really fun for a couple seasons and she cannot emphasize enough how crappy she thinks the American version is. Also, in case you were hoping to correct her, she already knows Miller is British.