Can Sherlock Holmes Solve Sobriety?

By McCarton Ackerman 09/27/12

The legendary sleuth is re-imagined as a recovering addict in the new CBS show Elementary.

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Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as addicted
Holmes and his sober coach.
Photo via

Detective Sherlock Holmes is getting a modern-day remake this fall, and this time he's a recovering addict. In the new CBS show Elementary, created by Robert Doherty, Jonny Lee Miller plays the sobering-up Sherlock, who, freshly out of rehab, now lives in NYC. He's been released into the care of the modern-day Watson, this time re-imagined as a female surgeon-turned-sober companion played by Lucy Liu. Despite having lapsed in and out of recovery and ultimately destroyed his detecting career in London, there's additional incentive for Holmes to get sober this time: Watson has been hired by Holmes' rich father in a last-ditch effort to help his son get better, threatening to cut Sherlock off from the Holmes family fortune—which includes a luxury Brooklyn apartment—if he doesn't sober up. To keep himself busy and "of service," Sherlock restarts his career as a consulting detective, reporting to New York police Capt. Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn), who worked with Sherlock in London and is well aware of his demons. The newer, more baby-faced and emotionally pained Sherlock is a stark contrast from the strong and independent old Sherlock many are accustomed to, but early previews for the show have been overwhelmingly positive.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.