Heads Up: Channel 4 drama Southcliffe
Just make sure you don't mention 'Broadchurch'
What are we talking about? A new four-part Channel 4 drama; after a rash of shootings on a single day in a market town, a journalist finds himself returning to report on the dark secrets lurking in his home town.
Elevator pitch Small-town crime drama is a broad church: surely there's room for another?
Prime movers The script is by Toni Grisoni (Red Riding, The Unloved); it's directed by Sean Durkin, in his British TV debut – he had a critical hit with the film Martha Marcy May Marlene.
The stars Plenty of familiar British TV faces: Rory Kinnear, currently impressing in Othello at the National, plays the homecoming hack, while Sean Harris (The Borgias; Prometheus) is menacing as the lone gunman. And around town you'll spot everyone from Shirley Henderson (Anna Karenina; Harry Potter) to Kaya Scodelario (Wuthering Heights; Skins), Eddie Marsan (Tyrannosaur; Sherlock Holmes) to Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones; Skins).
The early buzz The Mirror went straight for a real-life-tragedy angle: "A TV drama about a killing rampage will revive horrific memories for the families of the 12 people gunned down by Derrick Bird ... Twisted Bird, 52, killed some victims with a .22 rifle or called them over to his Citroën Piscasso and blasted them in the face with a shotgun as he drove around Whitehaven … Families affected by his killings have not been contacted about the drama." Website Den of Geek were more positive: "It's another feel-bad drama, yes, but one with a provenance that promises neither to exploit nor to sensationalise the real-life events by which it was inspired. If anyone can convincingly tell a story about loss and grief, then this ensemble… certainly has the stuff to do it."
Insider knowledge It's set in a fictional town, but Southcliffe caused genuine alarm during filming in Faversham: local residents thought the crime scene was real.
It's great that … there's such a wealth of intelligent, subtle talents involved in what could be a sentimental or gratuitous show.
It's a shame that … Southcliffe will, inevitably, be compared to ITV's Broadchurch, with its 'small community rocked by violence' themes. And it's a hard act to follow.
Hit potential Perhaps a little gloomy for the current summery mood, but quality will hopefully shine through.
The details Southcliffe is on Channel 4 in early August.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Ed Miliband less influential than One Direction's Louis Tomlinson by official Doncaster power list
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Jimmy McGovern's new TV series 'Banished': Why Australia's past has such resonance today
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'