Sherlock Holmes was a dab hand at deduction. He observed, he
deduced, then he solved.
Despite being fictional, he would have observed, for
instance, that fellows with tattoos were invariably from the
Truman Capote knew that little truism.
''I have seldom met a murderer who wasn't tattooed,'' Capote
''I know from experience that there's always something
terribly flawed about people who are tattooed.
''Most people who are tattooed, it's the sign of some feeling
of inferiority, they're trying to establish some macho
identification for themselves.''
Sherlock Holmes was eccentric, certainly. He kept his cigars
in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in a Persian slipper, and
his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into
But know this: Sherlock Holmes would not have had tattoos all
over his back and arms.
Sherlock Holmes would not have identified himself with the
criminal classes. He would not have had a feeling of
inferiority. He would not have needed to establish some macho
identification for himself.
So why does Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) have tattoos in
Elementary, the updated version of A. Conan Doyle's
classic, coming soon to Prime?
Let's move on to Dr John H. Watson.
Everyone knows Dr Watson received his medical degree from the
University of London in 1878, and trained at Netley as a
surgeon in the British Army.
Everyone knows he joined the British forces in India, saw
service in the second Anglo-Afghan War, and was wounded at
the Battle of Maiwand.
Everybody knows he is not now, and has never been Lucy Liu!
So why is Dr Watson Lucy Liu in Elementary, the
updated version of A. Conan Doyle's classic, coming soon to
What next? Starsky and Holmes? CSI Baker Street?
In Elementary, Joan Watson is assigned as a ''sober
companion'' for Holmes, who has just come out of rehab.
He has moved from his former life as a consultant at Scotland
Yard to New York, where police allow him to tramp across
crime scenes, act all hyperactive, and help them solve
I don't know. Young people might like it.
I prefer to remember Holmes like this: ''Holmes lay with his
gaunt figure stretched in his deep chair, his pipe curling
forth slow wreaths of acrid tobacco, while his eyelids
drooped over his eyes so lazily that he might almost have
been asleep were it not that at any halt or questionable
passage of my narrative they half lifted, and two grey eyes,
as bright and keen as rapiers, transfixed me with their
And that was the narrative of John Watson. Not Joan.