Television in translation: Drama focus

Sherlock Holms has appeared in a number of different films, books and TV series over a period of time. However, during all the reincarnations of Conan Doyle’s famous character, there has been cultural differences such as in the television show Elementary, it is set in modern day New York, with the lead character still being British, but his sidekick Watson, being cast as a female. This series takes a different look at the classic tale, where Holmes is a recovering substance addict who is being looked after by his sober counterpart, Watson. It is through this relationship that develops the usual relationship of Holmes and his sidekick Watson.


With this casting of a female lead for a usual male cast has added a sense of modernness to the classic tale. Being interracial has also developed a contemporary feel to the story. These cultural differences have been implemented into the television show to better connect with an American audience. The success of the television show is highly based upon the shows casting as well as motifs, some of the motifs include the language used and even things such as the use of Starbucks.


Asher-Perrin, E (2014) ‘Battling Super Sleuths: The Awkward Case of Elementary, Sherlock, and Building the Better Adaptation’, available online at

Penny, L (2014) ‘Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase’ New Statesman, available online at


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