Elementary Jonny Lee Miller Lucy Liu

Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Robert Doherty and Carl Beverly all came down to the Comic-Con 2012 'Elementary' panel to give us a closer look at this new take on Sherlock Holmes. After CBS released some preview clips along with a new photo of the detective pair, we were ready to see what this show was all about, but the panel did us one better.

We had a chance to check out the pilot episode, and while we’ll have a full review in the fall when the show airs, we thought we’d give some first impressions. First off, Jonny Lee Miller electrifies as Sherlock, and we needn’t bother with all the ‘House’ and ‘Sherlock’ comparisons.

The first episode deals largely with a murder taking place in the opening minutes -- a Doctor’s wife strangled in his home. Having been picked up by Joan Watson as his sober companion, Holmes practically sweeps through crime scenes like a Tasmanian devil picking up details the police had missed.

There are enough twists, and clever deductions to keep the pilot moving, but the key focus really is the dynamic between the pair created by Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Both manage to size each other up pretty well, and make an engaging dynamic that needn’t necessarily be hampered by the “will-they-won't-they” dynamic

So, what of those famed similarities to ‘Sherlock,' or even the Robert Downey Jr. movies? Miller maintains a friendship with ‘Sherlock’ Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch, whom he says has been nothing but supportive, and excited even though they both get to portray such a wonderful character. As for Miller’s version, he drew primarily from the books.

And how about the female Watson? Without necessarily falling into romantic tension. Cast and crew feel that turning Watson female creates a dynamic and chemistry change that isn’t often seen in other versions of Sherlock Holmes. There’s a very strong link between male-to-male relationships, but a certain “tingle” that can only be explored between a male Sherlock and a female Watson

Writer Rob Doherty noted that in actual assessments of the Sherlock Holmes character, the detective famously struggled with women, and it made him laugh to think how Sherlock would deal with such a strong friendship with a female Watson. The more he thought about it, however, the more he realized it shouldn’t matter as the relationship is so strong anyway. There will be a challenge not to lean on romantic tension, but who knows what might happen?

“It would be a shame” if Moriarity wasn’t a part of any Sherlock Holmes project eventually, but the producers want to hold off on Sherlock’s brother Mycroft for the time being. Instead, Sherlock’s father, oft-mentioned in the pilot, will cast a large shadow over the first season, as a mysterious figure. There won’t be too many updates of classic Sherlock Holmes tales either, as the writers like the idea of exposing Holmes to unfamiliar things, a la New York and a female Watson.

Keep with us for all the latest on ‘Elementary’ from Comic-Con 2012!