Is Sherlock’s Role Monstrous? Elementary, My Dear Sue

Jonny Lee Miller as Zero Cool: I want a Sherlock with tiny blue glasses, payphones, and dumb terminals
Jonny Lee Miller as Zero Cool: I want a Sherlock with tiny blue glasses, payphones, and dumb terminals
“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Yes, Watson, there is, only she beat me to it! I hadn’t even gotten to writing this post when a producer of BBC’s Sherlock, Sue Vertue, who—it must be said—lives hours and most likely gajillions of brain cells ahead of me, voiced the same concern to The Independent about CBS’s casting for its own Sherlock update, Elementary.  (For our earlier, related grousing about the squicky title and other general suspicions, here’s that link.)

In specific, CBS just announced that it has cast Jonny Lee Miller in the lead role as The Great Detective. Now, Miller is a fine actor, and I expect actors to want to work. Loved him in the TV series of Austen’s Emma and as guest killer Jordan Chase in Dexter, for two. The new series will be based in New York City, and Miller’s had the American accent down since at least 1995’s Hackers. (Yes, I’m a cyber-crone.) But, his talent and my sentimentality aside, the first thing I thought upon hearing the news was what a weird way it was to get as close as possible to Benedict Cumberbatch.

Just last year, the two actors co-starred in London in a Danny Boyle production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre. (Much more about that in Playbill’s coverage, also the source of the fabulous comparison photos.) It wasn’t only notable because they jointly received the Best Actor prize for their portrayals of the doctor and his monster, but especially because they alternated playing each other’s roles nightly!

Stop choking me! I’m your doctor!

Playbill/ Catherine Ashmore











You lie! I’m the doctor!

Playbill/ Catherine Ashmore











Hurts! I need a real doctor. Where’s John?!

Playbill/ Catherine Ashmore







I don’t know! They haven’t cast my co-star yet!

Playbill/ Catherine Ashmore









What do you think of the casting? Brilliant move? Odd choice? Monstrous?


  1. Tatiana deCarillion

    I’m wary of this…project. I would rather have seen the Poe series, with Christopher Egan, come to TV. We are being inundated by Sherlock, at the moment, and some fringe fans will burn out on it, and the tide will turn, and Sherlock will go back on the shelf til someone wants to dust him off again 🙁

  2. Clare 2e

    You might be right. They say nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.