Both CBS in the USA and the BBC have released television series based on the Sherlock Holmes stories but set in the modern day. Both were developed at roughly the same time in the early 2010s.

They both involve many of the original Conan Doyle characters but with with some obvious modifications (Dr Watson is a doctor in both, but female in the CBS version).

Other characters also appear. Lestrade is a Scotland Yard detective in both series, but Sherlock works mostly with a different American policeman in the CBS series. Moriarty appears in both series as does Sherlock's brother Mycroft.

But even the named characters are often very different.

What are the major differences among the characters in original source material, the CBS series and the BBC series?

  • 1
    It's more the tone and execution style. BBC's Sherlock tends to have a dark psychological & emotional edge, as Sherlock himself is a high functioning sociopath hunting other sociopaths and is laced with fun technological quandaries. His disdain and quick-wit makes him on point compared to source material. CBS' Elementary is much lighter, faster, over the top, episodic take on the source material and really leaves any "British" elements behind, with Watson more of an equal, making it tonelly the further away from the source material. – Darth Locke Aug 23 '18 at 22:00
  • The differences in each of the shows are great enough, that this one question seems too broad for answers on this Stack. One question per show might work a bit better - especially if only some characters are discussed. – Todd Wilcox Aug 24 '18 at 15:48
  • @ToddWilcox IF I asked what the key differences between the shows were, I think you would be right. So I restricted to key characters also present in the original. I don't think that is too broad. – matt_black Aug 24 '18 at 15:50
  • I meant that it's a large list of differences for just one character from one series, then multiply that by the number of characters you're asking about (which isn't clear - just Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, Mycroft, and Moriarty?) and then double that amount for both series. Splitting it into two questions would at least cut the length of complete answers in half, which would help a lot. Clarifying exactly which characters you are curious about would help also. – Todd Wilcox Aug 24 '18 at 16:23

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