It’s generally accepted that American remakes of popular British TV shows are usually not as good as the originals. Not only that, but today when British shows are becoming more and more accessible to American audiences, some are wondering – what’s the point?
None of this has dissuaded Fox from creating their own version of the hit ITV series, Broadchurch – since retitled Gracepoint - which will see David Tennant reprise his role (more or less) as a depressed and difficult detective sent to solve the case of a murdered boy in a small coastal town. His partner, Ellie Miller – originally played by Olivia Colman – will instead be played by Anna Gunn (Skyler White on Breaking Bad).
Today we have the first image from Gracepoint – courtesy of EW – featuring Tennant and Gunn on the hunt for a murderer. Check it out below:
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In Gracepoint, Tennant’s character is named Emmett Carver (his name was Alec Hardy in Broadchurch), but otherwise the show appears to be sticking with the original premise. Rather than being an eight-episode season, the Fox series will run for ten, but it will still investigate the murder of a young boy who was a friend of Ellie Miller’s son.
Broadchurch fans may be wondering what’s in it for them to watch Gracepoint. If it’s truly a remake, then hasn’t the series’ chilling climax already been spoiled?
Nope! Gracepoint will feature one major difference from its predecessor: the identity of the murderer. It’s a decision that will not only entice fans of the ITV series to tune in for Gracepoint, but also allow Fox’s show to be more than just another remake. Because surely, with a different murderer other elements of the show’s slow reveal will need to be altered as well.
Besides its addicting story, Broadchurch featured an acclaimed cast whose ensemble performance as the residents of Broadchurch was another reason for the series’ popularity and success. Most notable were David Bradley’s and Pauline Quirke’s performances, and their roles will be played by Nick Nolte and Jackie Weaver in Gracepoint. Also joining the Fox series are Michael Peña, Kevin Rankin, Virginia Kull and Kevin Zegers.
Only time will tell if Gracepoint can manage the mixture of suspense, tension and neighborly suspicion as well as Broadchurch did.
In the meantime, is yet another show exploring the small town murder mystery trope worth watching? What will Gracepoint bring to the table to make itself standout from Broadchurch as well as other shows of the genre? We’ll have to wait and see to find out.
Gracepoint will premiere on Fox during the 2014-2015 season.