After many years of exclusive panels in Los Angeles; Paley Fest turned attention to the best of current TV productions in New York. Saturday night’s Elementary panel featured Jonny Lee Miller (Sherlock Holmes), Lucy Liu (Joan Watson), Aidan Quinn (Captain Gregson), Jon Michael Hall (Detective Bell), Carl Beverly (Executive Producer), Robert Doherty (Creator and Executive Producer), and Craig Sweeny (Executive Producer).
SPOILER LINE- DO NOT CROSS IF YOU’RE NOT CAUGHT UP!
Episode 2: The audience were treated to a complete screening of Thursday’s episode. Without ruining it all, look out for Holmes arguing on the internet. Although he case has heavy elements of current events references, but the producers stress Elementary is not a “ripped from the headlines” show.
The Elephants In The Room: Elementary has to contend with two other incarnations of the world of Sherlock Holmes as well as adapting the original canon. The cast admitted to having reservations about starring in yet another Holmes adaptation, but they were won over by the script and the new ideas it contained. The goal of the producers and cast is to take the source material and adapt it in ways not seen in previous versions. Miller’s copy of canon “looks like a hedgehog” due to all of his notes on Sherlock’s personality. The elements that are kept from canon are the ones that work with the story the writers want to tell.
A typical Holmes and Watson conversation
No Hookups: Doherty strongly believes it is too easy for Holmes and Watson to develop a romantic relationship. Although some fans who spot them filming on city streets believe it should happen, the idea is off the table. Liu doesn’t feel the sexual tension and sees the relationship accented with caring and other emotional connections.
“… A Hammer In The Back Pocket”: During the Q&A session, an Asian-American female fan praised Elementary for featuring a diverse cast of main and supporting characters. Liu stressed that her career has been a continued struggle against discrimination. The producers believe in promoting diversity by writing characters that cross boundaries and casting a wide net in casting. New York has many different varieties of people, and this comes through in the show.
The Season Ahead: Mycroft will appear in several more episodes, and will even cross the Atlantic. The cast filmed more scenes in London than what we saw in last week’s premiere. Bell’s brother will make a comeback as well. Moriarty will also be back to mess with Sherlock’s mind and heart. The producers are hoping Lestrade can also appear again. Filling a 24 episode order means the writers must think ahead to some extent.
This panel was not only entertaining, it was also highly informative. I left with a new appreciation for the show. Elementary fans, what are you looking forward to this season?
I used this Paley coverage article as a sample of my work for my Columbia School of Journalism application. It definitely worked in my favor! Originally published Oct. 7, 2012.