Elementary's executive producers Robert Doherty and Carl Beverly spoke to reporters including Digital Spy at Comic-Con recently, so read on to find out why Watson's now a woman, why there won't be a will-they-won't-they, and why this show is different from Sherlock...
Can you talk about how it came about that Watson is a woman in this show?
Robert: "[In preparation for the show], I read a handful of psychological assessments of [Sherlock] that real doctors have written up over the years. Somebody classified him as bipolar, somebody else said he had a mild form of Asperger's, and one of them happened to mention that he was classified as a gynophobe - he had just not a terribly healthy relationship with women, he was a little suspicious of them.
"And it just sort of made me laugh when I read it because I was like, 'Well, what would make him crazier than Watson is a woman? He's actually living with someone who's monitoring him who's also a woman'. All of that said, our Holmes is not a gynophobe, he's not a misogynist - it's just sort of what got that ball rolling.
"I also was sort of up for the challenge. I knew it would be inevitable that people would be fascinated by the 'will-they-won't-they' that would come up and I like that the question is there and it exists, but I also don't feel any rush to… In fact, let me be blunt - I don't want them to end up in bed together. That's just not what the show is for.
"I don't think that would be true to the spirit of the original relationship between the two characters, and that's important to me. I'd like to show that a man and a woman can be friends and go to work and live together and not end up romantically entangled."
Carl: "Robert often calls it a bromance, but one of the bros just happens to be a woman.
"I think it's a really apt description because there's this idea that a man and woman can't be together - on a show, especially - without needing to be together sexually or in love or whatever. And this is really just about the evolution of a friendship and how that happens. Watching that should be as much the story of this show as the mystery you see week in, week out about who killed who.
"You know, we love that and those stories will be great, but the mystery of this relationship and how the friendship comes into being, that should be something that draws people in too."
Obviously there will be comparisons to the BBC's Sherlock…
Carl: "We think it's fantastic."
Robert: "It's an incredible show. I have nothing but the highest regard for that show and Steven as a writer. I think sometimes we catch flak because we are a contemporised Sherlock. Sherlock has been contemporised dating back to the '40s. There were movies with Basil Rathbone set in the Victorian era and then suddenly there were movies with Basil Rathbone in World War II where they're fighting Nazis, so the idea's been around a long time.
"He's been everywhere - he's been to the future, he's been to the past, I've seen him in comics, I've seen him in books, I've seen many, many, many different takes and interpretations of the character and the franchise. They're all great. I don't think any of them hurt any of the others. Sherlock the character has big shoulders and I think he can carry all of us."
Carl: "I think if it's good and [the audience] feel like we're saying something or doing something original with the character and also honoring the historical truth of the character, I think they'll give it a shot and I think hopefully they will like it.
"But as Rob said, it's 120 years later that we're all attempting to pay honor to an iconic figure, including Sherlock. So we're all just in love with the same character and the same world and the same kind of mysteries. Hopefully… the world over people will be excited and compelled to at least give that a shot.
"But the intent is not to do what they're doing. The intent is to do something original and unique to Robert's vision for the show and the character."
How much are you drawing on the original Conan Doyle stories? Will there be references for fans, or will it be completely new?
Robert: "Any Easter eggs we're dropping in are very small; if you blink, you'll miss them. I like the idea of getting a little bigger and bolder with those things without alienating people who don't know the stories and the mythology as well as others.
"We're not looking to contemporise the old stories, really. When I look at the source material what I love and what I've always loved is the relationship and the mythology. The cases are brilliant, don't get me wrong, but it's not our first order of business.
"If somebody had a take on one of the stories and it seemed right for our show in New York with our Sherlock and our Watson, I'm open to it, but it's not our plan for the show. We want to tell our own new Sherlockian mystery week in and week out."
Will Sherlock's drug addiction resurface?
Robert: "It's funny - it's the other 'will he won't he'. Even at the script stage I always explained that it's an important part of his story and I think it's an important aspect of his character, ours and the original.
"The show will not live and die with his lingering addiction issues. It's not, 'Is this the case that's really going to send him back to the drugs?' We want to be as true to that particular problem as we can be, but it's not going to be what carries the show week in and week out. There may be a story down the line where it resurfaces but again, it's not what drives our show."
What are your plans for Mycroft?
Robert: "I'm interested in getting him into the show but not in the very near future. I think the character's great. I would want to make sure we had a take on him. I think we're more likely to see Sherlock's dad before we see Mycroft."
Are you expecting Sherlock's dad to make an appearance? Will we see him, or will he just be a voice like in a Charlie's Angels type situation?
Robert: "I think more Robin Masters from Magnum PI! With dad, that's a relationship that Carl and I were excited to get into, talk about and explore over time. For the time being, he's going to be very, very mysterious."
Carl: "But he definitely won't be a phone call!"
Robert: "When we see dad, when dad is really in the show, he will be in the show. There will be a voice and a face. But that's again a down the line kind of thing."
Carl: "We're trying to establish Sherlock and Watson's relationship, so if you start introducing too many characters to the world you can't really enjoy their relationship. They don't even know each other, so I think the idea's to live with them a little bit, let them get to know each other, and then slowly start introducing some of these other characters - his father, some of the other characters we've known from historically from the series.
"You just want to give the show some time so the audience can kind of find it and we feel like if we're just going for the historically accurate 'these are the people from the world of Sherlock' and we drop them in too fast, it's not quite as satisfying. It might be a little overwhelming for people who aren't as familiar with the historical characters... We want to take our time and earn the right to do a lot more of that."
How do you make Sherlock likeable and relatable when he also has these superpowers of deduction and so on?
Robert: "I mean, a lot of that comes down to your actor. We're quite blessed in that regard - we have a tremendously likeable, funny, clever person named Jonny.
"As far as writing it, because Sherlock's fun he's forgiven many, many things, and I think that's a quirk of character that works for a lot of successful [shows]. House, of course, was based on Sherlock Holmes. House would say the most horrible things in the world, [but] we like him at the end of the day because he's good at what he does, he's capable, he makes us laugh. I think Sherlock's always done that and ours will too."
Carl: "It's a function of Jonny Lee Miller and it's a function of the writing that even when the character's in his worst moments, still there's something about him that you like. There's something about him that you forgive. There's something about him that you're still curious about.
"So when he's going off on Watson or kind of going after her about something he realizes is true about her past - as he does in the pilot - even in that moment where he's kind of stepping over the line, you don't hate him for it.
"You kind of know there's some truth that he's trying to suppress and he can't help himself and when it finally comes out you're a little disappointed maybe but again, because Jonny Lee Miller is Jonny Lee Miller and accessible and just wholly likeable and because Rob wrote such a beautiful script, you still in some way want to root for Sherlock even in his toughest moments, even in his bad moments. So it really is a function of being blessed with good writing and good acting."
Elementary will premiere on CBS in the US and on Sky Living in the UK later this year.