Elementary (TV Series)

I read “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes” in my early teens and it made a huge impression. It was my first introduction to the world of crime fiction and that of a detective and I although I still watch, read and listen to a large variety of crime fiction, Sherlock Holmes remains my favourite consulting detective.

Sherlock Holmes is the world’s most famous fictional detective and there have been a great many adaptations over the last century portraying him with various degrees of differentiation from the original character. Elementary is a personal favorite.

It’s a brilliantly clever procedural police/detective/crime drama, which is not that common in this prolific genre, but where it shines is in Sherlock Holme’s and the supporting cast’s characterization. Jonny Lee Miller is a Sherlock like no other and Lucy Liu is the perfect Watson.

Product Information

Price: £9.99 (series DVD boxset)

Season 1 – 3 also available on Amazon Instant Video (£1.49 – £2.49 per episode)

Retailer: Amazon +:

About CBS Television Studios

“CBS Television Studios (CTS) is an American television production company that was formed on January 17, 2006 by CBS Corporation merging Paramount Television and CBS Productions. It is the television production arm of the CBS network (CBS Productions previously assumed such functions), and, alongside Warner Bros. Television, it is also the television production arm of The CW Television Network (in which CBS has a 50% ownership stake).”*

The making of Elementary

Genre: Crime drama, procedural, detective
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over
Target gender: Unisex/gender neutral
Created and directed by Robert Doherty
Based on The works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Actors: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, John Noble, Natalie Dormer
Location: New York, United States
Country of origin: USA
Original language: English
No. of seasons: 4
No. of episodes: 94 and counting (final episodes of season 4 airing in May 2016 in the US)
Production & distributor: CBS Television Studios
Original network: CBS
Aired on: September 27, 2012 – present
DVD release date: Dec 2013 (#1), Aug 2014 (#2), Sept. 2015 (#3), TBC 2016 (#4)

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Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles: Dutch, English
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 – 1.78:1
Number of discs: 6
Classification: 15
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: 21 Sept. 2015
Run Time: 976-998 minutes per season



Elementary has been a TV series that balances the art of entertainment with the illusion of reality on a katana’s edge. It deals with highly sensitive issues, like addiction,  recovery and failure with integrity, depth and empathy. Its characters are flawed and they make mistakes, act impulsively, struggle, fail, succeed and in the aftermath of both successes and failures, they take responsibility and do what they can to move forward.

Each new case taken on has also been entertaining, clever and well structured. The cases blend with the narrative of the characters and Elementary succeeds where many have failed to strike the perfect balance between the case and the backstory, without making either feel unimportant or contrived.

It isn’t always serious and despite the weighty content at times, there is very little doom and gloom. Instead, the underlying current in the show is generally positive without being glib or dismissive. Highly recommended.

The review is based on Elementary TV series. Click to read more about our eco icons and access icons used in this review. This article was first published on 7 May 2016.

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