Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of BBC’s Sherlock and villain of the upcoming Star Trek 2 from J.J. Abrams, has been respectfully quiet about Elementary, an American series that’s got essentially the same premise as Sherlock, since the show was officially announced earlier this year.
TV Line is reporting, though, that over the weekend he broke his silence–and offered some skepticism about one of the changes Elementary has made to the core of the Sherlock Holmes mythology, but support for the show overall.
“If I were the [producer], I’d be frightened of the dynamic of male friendship that you’d lose,” Cumberbatch said of the American series, which recasts Dr. John Watson as Joan and casts Lucy Liu in the role. “That is obviously the bedrock of the books as well. [Now] there might be sexual tension between Joan [Watson] and Sherlock, which is [a different dynamic than you'd have] between the two men. So, that’s a new thing to explore.”
Interestingly, Elementary’s showrunner told TV Line in a separate interview over the weekend that creating sexual tension between the two characters wasn’t in the cards.
“For me, it’s completely off the table,” Elementary showrunner Rob Doherty told TVLine at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in California. “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.”
In the bigger picture, “I wish them luck, I really do,” Cumberbatch says of Elementary, which stars the actor’s friend and onetime costar Jonny Lee Miller. “I think it will be great. It will be a different spin on it, because obviously, theirs is modern-day as well, so it needs to be different from ours, and I think the more differences, the better, to be honest.
The actor added, “I don’t see why they shouldn’t co-exist with us. I don’t think they’ll steal our audience. I think people who are Holmes fans who think they do a good job of it will have a treat in watching ours and the films. So I wish them good luck!”