The BBC’s Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, finishes up its run on PBS in the U.S. this weekend — its ratings have been phenomenal, more than doubling the typical viewership for its timeslot. The two SherlockHolmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law have combined earned well over a billion dollars worldwide. And now the American network CBS is launching a modern-day Holmes series set in New York City, starring Jonny Lee Miller and, as a gender-switched Watson, Lucy Liu. A sneak peak at Elementary (which will debut sometime in the autumn):
(Doesn’t look much different than Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which features an NYPD officer who uses Holmes-esque methods to solve cases.)
Why is Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting detective everywhere — and so popular — at the moment? What is the modern appeal of Sherlock Holmes? Does his emotional coldness and daunting intellect have something to say to us that strikes a particular chord right now? Or is Holmes a perennial favorite that storytellers will be returning to and updating far into the future?
What do you think?
(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)