Perhaps no character in literary history is more beloved than Sherlock Holmes. Known for his powers of deduction, Holmes is able to solve crimes with precision by using these immense powers. Holmes is also considerably charismatic. In the American version of Holmes, called Elementary, Holmes is a recovering drug addict, and Watson his sober companion. They both live in New York City in this version, in the modern day. In the BBC version, called simply Sherlock, the characters are more traditional, in that they are both men, but, they, too, are in the modern day – modern day London.
There are many differences between the modern adaptations and the novel version of Sherlock Holmes. The two adaptations are considerably different from one another as well. It is not just that Watson is a woman in the American version, and that Sherlock and Watson are in modern day London in the BBC version. It is the overall tone and feel of the characters – Sherlock is very different in all three versions, and Watson is as well. Sherlock knows considerably more in the modern adaptations than he does in the novel version. There is an erotic subtext in both the American version and the BBC version, although, in the American version, the erotic subtext is more “acceptable” as the characters are of the opposite sex from one another. Drug abuse is handled differently in all three versions as well. What is clear is that, while all three versions, and all other versions of Sherlock Holmes, are different from one another, they all have a charismatic Holmes at the center, which is why they all are successful in their own right.