How many characters could survive being played by different actors contemptuously in different productions? Could you imagine two versions of James Bond being produced next year?
It seems that Arthur Conan Doyle legacy is going to live on and on; we can’t get enough of brilliant but flawed detectives. Both Elementary and Sherlock are very good, but if pushed I’d go for Elementary as the better one, mainly as I like the American concept of setting up a story with drama, threat, danger and denouement all in 45 minutes, Sherlock is feature film length (if feature films hadn’t grown to be longer than a day on Venus). A trend that started with Morse, you could sit in front of an episode for two hours and half an hour later forget who did what to whom.
There are other modern American TV shows that owe a debt to the original brilliant maverick, a couple that come to mind are: Perception, with a schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist; and Numb3rs with a mathematical genius. Both have pragmatic assistants, both are geniuses. Even The Big Bang Theory, one shining light in the dross on E4 has a Holmes/Watson partnership: Sheldon, brilliant but knows he is, unable to interact with normal life; and Leonard, with whom he shares an apartment, extremely intelligent, but not up to Sheldon’s heights, able to deal with the outside world and be Sheldon’s cushion to real life. They don’t solve crimes but their relationship is very familiar.
With his believe in spiritualism did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have any idea that he and his most popular character would live forever?