As a fan of the BBC’s Sherlock, I was more than a little skeptical to learn CBS had picked up their own show for a modern day retelling of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). Set in New York, rather than London, the show broke with convention early and often starting with the decision to cast Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. Far more prolific in terms of the number of episodes, creator Robert Doherty gives Sherlock a run for its money in this smart, and far different, adaptation of the world’s greatest detective.
Recently released from rehab, we meet Sherlock Holmes for the first time through the eyes of former surgeon turned sober companion who we learn was hired by Holmes’ absentee father to help transition the former heroin addict to a sober life. For the first several episodes Watson’s main role is to keep Holmes on the straight and narrow, but her interest (and insight) into Holmes’ work soon begin to transition Miss Watson into the role of Holmes’ apprentice and partner as the show’s First Season unfolds.
Working with New York Police Captain Tommy Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and his right-hand man Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill), Holmes and Watson will be called on to solve a variety of cases including murder committed by a coma patient, the return of a serial killer who preys on children, uncover a series of murders in a Wall Street firm, deduce the events that brought down a small plane, solve how an unbreakable safe was breached, investigate the death of a conspiracy theorist, help out in the abduction of the daughter of Holmes’ old drug dealer (John Hannah), step in to save Bell from being framed for murder, and solve a death on a subway platform,.
The season is highlighted by Watson taking on her own case, murder and robbery in a blizzard, and Vinnie Jones as the assassin M., who Holmes blames for the murder of Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer) which led to him loosing control over his addiction with drugs. The fallout of Holmes’ methods (in which he planned to torture and kill M.) would put a strain on his relationship with both Watson and Gregson over the next several episodes. Jones would return for one more episode bringing Holmes closer to his reunion with the woman he thought dead and his first meeting with Moriarty.
Although we don’t get commentary for any episodes, the six-disc set includes all 24 First Season episodes along with featurettes on the creation of the show, the choice of Liu as a female Watson, and the work that goes in to creating each episode’s mystery. Also included are a tour of the set by Liu, a collection of promos CBS used to launch and promote the show over its First Season, and six short “Power of Observation” featurettes on the characters, style, look, and setting of Elementary.