In a world where crime dramas are a dime a dozen on American television, it was a bit surprising to learn FOX was keen on adapting the British crime series, Broadchurch, for their network. All right, so it’s actually not all that surprising. How many times has American television nicked an idea from TV across the pond? Countless, and usually not to great affect.
Yet there’s hope this American version of Broadchurch won’t be awful and terrible and completely unwatchable.
First though, a little background on Broadchurch. The ITV series aired in early 2013 and was a suspenseful “whodunit” that managed, through its excellent cast and superb writing, to break free of many of the tired tropes which often plague crime/mystery television. Created by Chris Chibnall (Life on Mars (U.K.), Torchwood, Doctor Who) and starring David Tennant and Olivia Coleman the series was a smash. So much so ITV is interested in a second season, even if Chibnall admitted a continuing series wasn’t his original intention.
The first season dealt with the fallout from a young boy’s suspicious murder in the small, close knit, coastal community, Broadchurch. Choosing to focus on not only the ongoing investigation, but also how murder and the media frenzy around it can tear a town and its residents apart, Broadchurch delivered a shocking and chilling conclusion. And not only for viewers as only four members of the cast were aware of the killer’s identity while filming!
Having quite the hit on their hands, ITV made a deal with BBC America to broadcast the series stateside, again to great success. The next logical step? An American adaptaion.
Dan Futterman (Capote, In Treatment, Foxcatcher) and Anya Epstein (In Treatment, Homicide) have been signed as showrunners and will join Chibnall as executive producers. The American Broadchurch – it’s still unclear whether this series will retain the original’s name – is set to begin filming in January and will air on FOX in the 2014-2015 season. But here’s the real kicker, and why this American remake has the potential to not only be good, but great: David Tennant is reprising his role as the lead male investigator!
Not only is choosing to keep the series’ lead a smart decision for any remake, but when your lead is David Tennant, with his already massive, built-in Doctor Who fan following, it’s a no-brainer. There’s still the role of his fellow investigator to cast, played by Coleman in the original, and her role is arguably even more important to not only the series’ premise, but also to the chemistry between the two detectives. So, no pressure on making the right choice of actress to star opposite Tennant.
What do you think, Kabooooomers? Will the American Broadchurch capture its audience with the same intensity as the original? Is it the right choice to keep Tennant as the lead? Sound off in the comments below!