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Elementary Boss Dishes on the "Darkness" of Holmes, Moriarty's Potential Return and His Casting Wish List

Natalie Dormer, Elementary CBS

The third season of Sherlock may be premiering in the U.S. this weekend, but it's not the only Holmes-centric show on TV right now.

Robert Doherty, creator and showrunner of the CBS drama Elementary, took the stage with the bosses of three other CBS dramas at the TCA press tour on Wednesday to talk about the show.

Doherty was asked about the BBC series but says he hasn't seen it. In terms of his own ideas for the famous detective, Doherty said he was drawn to the idea of a "broken Sherlock Holmes…a guy who is trying very hard to get back to where he was. We try to stay true to the darkness of the character."

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Many viewers were shocked in season one when they discovered that Moriarty and Natalie Dormer's Irene Adler were actually one in the same, and that Elementary was gender-swapping yet another classic Holmes character. But Doherty says that was part of the point.  

"It seemed appropriate, given the plan to have a female Watson. There was symmetry to the plan that I liked," Doherty said of also making Moriarty a female. "It also seemed the best way to break our Holmes was to say he made the mistake of falling in love once. Moriarty was devious enough to romance him and break him down."  

While fans of established characters like Sherlock Holmes can often get quite upset when such extreme changes are made, Doherty said that most of the backlash he experienced came even before the show ever aired.

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Elementary Patrick Harbron/CBS

"There was great skepticism about a female Watson, but once we were through that gauntlet, and people started to watch the show, and many of those concerns dropped away, I felt we had earned a lot of people's trust," Doherty said. 

Unfortunately for fans of Game of Thrones' Dormer, who "was the only person" Doherty wanted for the role, she will not be back for the rest of the season. "We unfortunately will not have a second crack at her this year as she's very in demand," adding, "We could not adore her more." 

However, several other esteemed English actors will be returning, including Sean Pertwee as Inspector Lestrade, and Rhys Ifans as Sherlock's brother, Mycroft. Doherty also announced that British actress Jean Alexander will be guest starring in an upcoming episode, as a character who goes by the letter "C" and has been anonymously exchanging erotica with Sherlock over the Internet. 

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Other Brits on Doherty's casting wishlist? Luther and Professor Snape!

"I love Idris Elba. I'm a big fan of Luther, and he's amazing," Doherty said, "At various times, for different characters, Alan Rickman's name has been bandied about. If the opportunity to work with him ever materialized, that would be great."

Sounds great to us, too.

Elementary airs Mondays on CBS at 10 p.m.

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