CBS' "Elementary" will provide another new take on the classic characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson this fall, and Executive Producer Robert Doherty confirmed on Sunday the cast is growing to include the detective's main nemesis - Moriarty.
"I feel it's important, at the end of the day, to be true to the spirit of the character," the EP said on Sunday at CBS' portion of the Television Critics summer tour in Beverly Hills, referring to the development of the new James Moriarty.
"I feel like there's a little more wiggle room in [creating] Moriarty in that... in so many of the books, he was such a shadowy figure. I think he was described as, 'he's the spider at the center of the web of crime in London,' and so quite often you're dealing with his agents," the EP continued. "He has a finger in every pie. He's the man behind the man, behind the man. We may be able to make some use of that -- in other words -- there are a few dominoes we knock over before we ultimately get to him... because I want everyone to be surprised."
Doherty confirmed viewers will also get to meet - at some point - Sherlock Holmes' father, the man who hires the sober companion - Dr. Jane Watson (played by Lucy Liu) - to look after his son, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller), following a rehab stint.
Liu said on Sunday that her character isn't a crime solver right away in the new take. Her initial role is to look after the troubled Sherlock.
"She's sort of on the sideline right now, observing him because she's his sober companion, so she's not engaged in the mystery," Liu said. "She's engaged in him and from that point on, then you get to see how that sort of blossoms out. But that is the main epicenter of where she comes from."
It's well known that Miller starred on the London stage last year with PBS (and in the UK, BBC) "Sherlock" star Benedict Cumberbatch in "Frankenstein."
Asked again about the connection and if he'd spoken to Cumberbatch about the role (he has), Miller shared a newer story - that long before "Elementary" came around, he used to call his friend about his version of the character.
"I would call him up like a groupie after every episode came out and wanna talk to him about it," Miller said.
Miller's Sherlock is quite different from Cumberbatch's. He's certainly more rock 'n' roll in many ways, and the part allows Miller the luxury of not having to cover up his tattoos.
"I don't really have many regrets in my life, but some of my choices in the '90s made for some rather time consuming makeup calls and [that was] rather frustrating [for] other people that I work with. So yeah, it's a huge relief," he said.
"Elementary" premieres Thursday, September 27 at 10/9c on CBS.
-- Jolie Lash
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