So They Made Watson A Woman On Elementary For The Sexual Tension With Sherlock, Right?

Starting this Autumn as part of CBS’ new line up will be Elementary, a modern day spin on the character and casebook of Sherlock Holmes. Yes, another one. Set in New York, this time. It’s been a hot topic of conversation at Bleeding Cool since we first caught wind of it.

One of the biggest tweaks from Conan Doyle’s original comes with the casting of Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson. I wouldn’t say a Lady Watson is necessarily a bad idea, and I certainly like Liu enough. Though some folk were immediately sceptical, of course, and perhaps we might even say cynical.

And that was even before trailers like this one happened.

When the trailers rolled out, a fair number of viewers started picking up and commenting upon traces of flirtatiousness, wanton smiling and, of course, that gratuitous toplessness.

And so it started to seem, perhaps, that we’d be on for a show charged up with a real TV staple: the ‘will-they won’t-they’ drive. Consider Moonlighting, or The X-Files for what may be the closest comparisons.

But maybe that’s not the case at all. Showrunner Rob Doherty has promised that there’s definitely no plans for any romantic interplay between the detective and his companion.

Doherty was speaking to TV Line and said:

For me, it’s completely off the table. It’s just not in my head for Season 1 and, looking ahead… I just don’t feel like that’s a part of the show….

And there was much rejoicing in certain quarters of the internet, despite the inevitable truth that it would be similarly excitable online groups who set about breathlessly writing Holmes-on-Watson fan fiction within hours of the show’s premiere.

But hang on… Doherty wasn’t done with just those few words. And he was about to smudge his original statement. He went on:

We have a mind-bogglingly attractive pair in Jonny and Lucy… but that’s one of the reasons I feel we the writers don’t have to write to it. There’s a natural sexual tension when you put them in a room, so you’re just go to feel it. So, are we going to write to it? No. Are they going to act to it? No. But it will be there.

And there it is. They did want an erotic cake. They just want to eat it too.

Doherty also commented that he wanted to:

honor the original relationship

and that:

the original Holmes, to the best of my knowledge, never slept with Watson.

Which seems, at face value, to support his first point, underlining the absence of will-they, won’t-they.

But of course, you can also take it in support of the second point, that sexual tension is inevitable when these actors appear on screen together, because what kills sexual tension more efficiently than actual sex?

Again, see Moonlighting or The X-Files.

I can imagine a take on Holmes in which he sleeps with Watson and everything’s still compelling. I’m not asking for it, but I’m sure it’s not impossible. I guess Elementary isn’t it, not this side of insane network pressure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that version come along one day. In fact, I don’t keep a close eye on all of Rich’s XXX stories. Maybe he’s already written about one there, eh?

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