Here we go then. Back to the Jurassic coast and the small coastal town of Broadchurch, where DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller are back on the beat, investigating their last case. Thanks to a phenomenal first series, this British show has become a real heavy-hitter in the crime drama world – its almost Scandinavian-style mixture of a classic whodunit mixed with emotional, personal stories elevated it above many of its contemporaries. If the second series failed to build on the first series’ quality, this third series – after a long break where so much has happened on television since – has its work cut out to still remain relevant. Thankfully, Chris Chibnall, David Tennant and Olivia Colman are back on top form.
The first episode of SS-GB was an unsettling look at what Britain would look like if the Allies had lost World War II. London was cloaked in Swastikas and echoed with the sound Gestapo boots, its population starting to feel the full force of oppression. In the middle of it all was DS Douglas Archer (Sam Riley), at the start just trying to keep his nose clean and get on with the job. But as the episode wore on Archer was being drawn into an ever more dangerous position, at once scrutinised by newly arrived SS man Huth and courted by the Resistance. It was a noir story with a twist (that of alternate history), and one that continued to intrigue and unsettle in equal measure. Continue reading Review: SS-GB (S1 E2/5), Sunday 26th February, BBC1→
Olivia Colman is, as we all know, one of the UK’s leading actresses. It almost doesn’t need to be said. But she’s so brilliant in everything she puts her mind to – comedy, drama (I still can’t get her performance in Paddy Considine’s harrowing Tyrannsaurus out of my mind), you name it. There’s just something so natural and likeable about her, and Broadchurch she has fashioned a character who has really struck a chord with viewers. Ellie Miller is someone who has been put in extraordinary situations, but someone who we all, somehow, can relate to. That takes great skill to pull off, and Colman has the skills. We managed to get hold of an interview with Colman, which you can read after the old jumperoo. Continue reading Interview: Olivia Colman, Broadchurch→
Suddenly it seems that there’s subgenre developing that takes real-life crimes and scripts them up into a drama series. We saw the global success of last year’s American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson (indeed, there’s an excellent if lengthy three-part documentary about OJ on BBC iPlayer at the moment), and another story in that anthology series is on the way this year (focusing on the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans). Now US-based network USA Network has announced another scripted drama based on true crime – not just one, but two crimes, and two of the highest profile murders of recent times. Continue reading Unsolved to chronicle Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls’ murders→
As long-time readers of the site will know, Fargo is one of my favourite series. With Noah Hawley and a cast that includes Ewan McGregor (in two roles), David Thewlis, Carrie Coon and Mary Elizabeth Wanstead series three is really starting to gear up. It usually transmits around the end of the year, but this time around FX (the show’s US network) sprung a surprise yesterday – series three will air in the spring. This spring. Continue reading Fargo announces April transmission date; Channel 4 onboard for UK→
There’s a common sci-fi trope whereby the protagonists are somehow trapped in a limited area with something trying to get them – think Alien, or Village of the Damned, or Under the Dome. Fortitude is a perfect example of the genre – or is it?
As well know, one of the heavy hitters of British crime drama is back on our screens next week. Broadchurch, especially that gut-wrenching, incredible first series, has become a real phenomenon – Chris Chibnall’s scripts have been amazing, and it has really benefitted from having a brilliant cast, not least that central pairing of David Tennant and Olivia Colman. We managed to get hold of an interview with David, so have a butcher’s after the jump… Continue reading Interview: David Tennant, Broadchurch→
It really is all happening at the moment, Brian. The addition of Walter Presents to the outlets that carry crime drama has been a real boon, and the Channel 4-affiliated streaming service (soon to launch in the US) has brought us delights from countries like France, Holland, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil and Germany. In fact, German crime drama is a real burgeoning cauldron of good stuff at the moment, and the imports continue with a new crime drama set in Frankfurt, starting next week.
BBC4 has been a bit quiet on the crime front so far this year, with only repeats of The Young Montalbano occupying the Saturday-night slot so far. But from early March the channel goes back to doing what it does best on Saturday nights – Scandinavian crime drama. The first Scandi noir output for 2017 is series two of Danish yarn, Follow The Money, which proved to be a hit first time around.