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Elementary: Season 3

Paramount // Unrated // August 25, 2015
List Price: $55.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted September 9, 2015 | E-mail the Author
Elementary Season 3 DVD Review

Elementary Season 3 continues the modern-day interpretation of the beloved classic literary character of Sherlock Holmes and his partner Watson. Elementary is a production of CBS Studios and is executive produced by Robert Doherty, Craig Sweeny, Chris Leanza, Carl Beverly, and Sarah Timberman. The series was created by Robert Doherty (Medium, Tru Calling, Star Trek: Voyager).  

The series brings the character of Sherlock Holmes to modern times. In Elementary, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) works with his partner Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), and both are involved in solving mysteries and they work on cases with the NYPD and Captain Thomas Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill). Each episode is mostly a standalone story but the character journeys and interactions are part of the ongoing storytelling.

In the third season of the series, Holmes and Watson start the season separated from working together. However, it isn't long before the two are once again reuniting to work on new cases. The relationship between the characters continues to be a complicated one as Watson wants to have a more personal life outside of working with Sherlock. Despite trying to work apart they end up continuing to work together on most of their cases and remain close.

This season also introduces a new character to the series: Kitty Winter (Ophelia Lovibond), who Sherlock takes on as a new associate to help him when Watson is not around to do so. Sherlock helps to guide her and look out for her and takes on a sort of paternal role in her life. Watson is also introduced to Winter by Holmes and she gets involved as well.

Elementary remains a procedural drama with comedic elements thrown into the mix. Some of the series fun and success comes from the way in which Jonny Lee Miller brings Holmes to life with his incarnation of the character. Miller has a decidedly odd and unique way of performing the famous character and does so with much wit and enthusiasm. The chemistry of the actors is impressive as Sherlock and Watson have a good friendship on the show.

The production quality of the series is quite strong. There are a number of impressive elements of the production work done for the show. The series has strong art direction by Clay Brown. Costumes by Rebecca Hofherr are impressively designed and are complimentary to the series. Production design elements are by Andrew Bernard. The series has impressive sets to behold. Series cinematography is led by head cinematographer Ron Fortunato. Fortunato gives the series a distinctive aesthetic with it's look and feel.

The series writers consists of creator/executive-producer Robert Doherty, Craig Sweeny, and additional writing by staff writers Jeffrey Paul King, Bob Goodman, and Jason Tracey. The series has great characterizations and does a good job of making these newer Sherlock Holmes mysteries interesting and engaging. The writers did a pretty good job in changing things up a bit this season with the way Sherlock and Watson collaborate.

The series is primarily directed by John Polson, Guy Ferland and Seith Mann. The series has a consistent style which is successfully done by the directing team. The directorial effort is well fitted with the quality efforts by the other production members who work on the show. The series has strong production merits and the creative team does a good job with the show. Elementary continues to be a well-made series which fans will enjoy.

The DVD:


Elementary - Season 3 arrives on DVD with a generally impressive and pleasant presentation. This release is a substantial improvement over the previous season set and offers a nice presentation.  The clarity is generally solid, colors are impressive, and the cinematography is well reproduced. Though the previous DVD season set had some encoding issues this set is much better and Elementary fans will be pleased.  


Elementary is presented in both English 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.0 Stereo. Audio clarity is impressive with good dialogue reproduction (which is the most important element of this presentation).  The music used on the series also sounds quite good. This is a solid audio presentation that gets the job done.

Subtitles are provided in English SDH (for the deaf and hard of hearing) and Portuguese.


Audio Commentary on the episode The Female of the Species by Lucy Liu.

Watson Style (7:39) is a featurette about the costumes designed for Lucy Liu to wear as Joan Watson, with Liu talking about the style of her character.

Hello Kitty Winter (7:20) explores the new character in the third season of Elementary, Kitty Winter, who is performed by Ophelia Lovibond.

Partners in Crime (24:35) is about the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson. With interviews and clips from the series, this featurette explores the partnership of the characters leading the show.

The Elements of Deduction (12:33) is a making-of featurette with interviews which explores the ways in which the writers and production members work to make the show have strong stories and be a well-made series.

Bell on the Scene (11:16) is partially about the importance of the character Detective Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) to the series. It also has other behind-the-scenes making-of clips and focuses on the production of the series.

Gag Reel (4:25) is a standard outtakes reel of the actors goofing up during the production.

Final Thoughts:

Elementary remains an entertaining, well-made, and impressive series with a modern spin on the Sherlock Holmes character. Fans of mystery series and of the lead-performers Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu will continue to find it to be an intriguing series with strong production qualities, writing, directing, and performances from the cast. Season 3 has good PQ/AQ and a small but decent selection of supplements. Fans should consider picking it up for their DVD collections.


Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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