Elementary creator defends his decision to make Watson a woman

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012, 3:27 PM EST

When CBS announced it was making Elementary, many were up in arms because it reeked of being a Sherlock ripoff. Then we learned Watson was going to be a woman, and there were groans and eye rolls because ... well because.

Now the man who created this other modern take on Sherlock Holmes defends his decision to make Dr. Watson a woman.

While at San Diego Comic-Con—and following the showing of the series' pilot—Rob Doherty, Elementary's creator, told the audience that the decision to make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's John Watson Joan Watson instead was more than just a whim:

"When this opportunity arose, I did a lot of research—psychological assessments of the original characters by actual doctors—and Holmes struggled a bit with women ... there are moments when he doesn't quite get the fairer sex."

"It made me laugh—the idea of 'What would be more trying than Sherlock Holmes living with a Watson who's also a woman?'""

Actress Lucy Liu, who's playing Dr. Joan Watson, admitted: "It gives [the relationship] a little bit of a tingle," while Doherty added that the fact that Watson was now a woman would not change the tone of the Holmes/Watson relationship:

"It really shouldn't make a difference; it's a challenge of the series to not turn it into a will-they-or-won't-they. It's not about that, it's about honouring the source material and the bond."

What do you guys think? Was it an elementary choice to turn John Watson into a woman? Or was it made in order to avoid those Sherlock comparisons?

(via Radio Times)