New Sherlock Show Makes Watson Main Character After Holmes’ Murder

A new Sherlock Holmes series from CBS, Watson, will finally put the focus on the legendary detective’s partner. It’s not the first time the broadcast network has adapted the world of Arthur Conan Doyle, since, back in 2012, CBS came out with Elementary. The contemporary procedural followed Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), a recovering drug addict and former consultant to Scotland Yard as he assists the NYPD in solving crimes. At the beginning of the show, Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) acts as Holmes’ sober companion.

Running for seven seasons and 154 episodes, the drama garnered positive reviews from both audiences and critics. Thanks to the chemistry between Miller and Liu, there was even an argument at the time that Elementary was the superior Sherlock Holmes adaptation, compared to the BBC series Sherlock, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. And, in general, the choice to cast Liu was praised, as it offered a worthwhile take on the iconic dynamic between Holmes and Watson.

Now, CBS is again adapting Doyle with a twist, per Deadline, with the series Watson. Described as a medical drama that includes detective elements, Watson unfolds a year after the murder of Sherlock Holmes by Moriarty. Dr. John Watson goes back to his medical career after the death of his friend and partner, but his old life isn’t done with him. Even as he attempts to focus on being the head of a clinic dedicated to treating rare disorders, it’s teased that the stories of Moriarty and Watson will inevitably intersect. The series will be written by Craig Sweeny, who was a writer and executive producer on Elementary.

Why A Show Centered Around Dr. Watson Is Great

While there are many important details about Watson that are yet to be revealed, including casting and story specifics, it continues a trend of Sherlock-related movies and television shows that are not chiefly about the legendary sleuth. Results, however, have been mixed. Netflix canceled The Irregulars, a gritty take set in the Sherlock world, after just one season, but the burgeoning Enola Holmes franchise, with Millie Bobby Brown in the title role and Henry Cavill as Sherlock, has been a hit. It’s all part of a trend to find new paths into big brands, as so much of entertainment has become dependent on reviving what is already established.

By putting John front and center and killing off his famous pal – at least at first – CBS hopes to find a fresh entry into the works of Doyle. There’s no telling yet if it will work, but given that CBS has a trusted reputation with procedurals, and given the previous run of Elementary, there are reasons to be encouraged about Watson. From a purely narrative perspective, the idea of Moriarty purely training his focus on the ever-reliable sidekick sounds like it could make for a fun time.

Source: Deadline

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