Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Sherlock Holmes’ brother Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) “will absolutely be back” in Season 2 of CBS’ Elementary, creator/producer Robert Doherty confirmed at this evening’s PaleyFest: Made in NY panel. Doherty said the series plans to include “as much as we can get” of the character. “You’ll see him a couple more times in the first 12 (episodes) and four more times in the back 12,” said Doherty, who was joined on the panel by EPs Craig Sweeney and Carl Beverly and cast members Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill. The panel was moderated by TV Guide’s Bruce Fretts. Doherty added that Mycroft will be coming to New York and “circumstances will draw him back into Sherlock and Joan’s orbit”. Producers also confirmed that guest Natalie Dormer (as Irene Adler) will return “around midseason” and that the show hopes to have Sean Pertwee return as Inspector Lestrade but nothing has been confirmed.
In other casting news, Hill, who portrays Detective Marcus Bell, said: “I would be very surprised if we got out of this season without a little bit more of Bell’s brother” (played in Season 1 by Malcolm Goodwin).
Also new this season: Viewers will meet Captain Gregson (Quinn)’s wife and learn “some unwanted private details” of the relationship, joked Quinn. One thing’s for sure, however: Miller’s Sherlock Holmes and Liu’s Joan Watson will not become romantic partners. Said Doherty: “I feel like a broken record— it’s just not what we set out to do. It’s too easy to turn it into a romance”. Doherty said updating Holmes’ character to a recovering drug addict just out of rehab made it easy to find a plausible reason for two cohabiting hotties to maintain a platonic relationship. The producers envisioned Watson as the “sober companion”. Although Liu agreed with producers’ choice, she joked:” When ratings fall, tops will come off”.
Panelists received high praise from audience members for diversity in casting. One woman who described herself as first-generation Chinese said she had given up her own dreams of acting because she believed there would be no roles for her. She thanked Liu for “de-colonizing the British literary canon”. “It’s so kind of you to say that—and what a way to term it,” Liu responded. Liu said actors and even producers, cannot make nontraditional casting choices without the support of studios and networks. “These guys can push all they want to, but you really have to have someone to say yes to you,” Liu said.
Liu acknowledged that “an actress of ethnicity has a much harder journey “ but encouraged the woman to pursue her dreams. “To be honest it’s never too late for you,” she said. “You just have to have a hammer in your back pocket.”