Gracepoint, review: It's Broadchurch set in a parallel universe but don't write it off just yet

It was Broadchurch but not as we knew it: The cast were more attractive, it was much sunnier and everyone seemed to have American accents

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The Independent Culture

Fox's eagerly anticipated Gracepoint aired last night but for anyone British in the audience the whole experience smacked of déjà vu – and not in a good way.

The repurposed US version of Broadchurch played out like a shot-for-shot remake of a show that frankly didn’t need to be made again so soon.

Remakes are supposed to offer something new, take Fargo or Sherlock which have put a new spin on an old favourite.

Pretty much everything was the same. The actor starring as murdered schoolboy Danny Solano looked like the spitting image of Oskar McNamara, who played Danny Latimer. While the forensics bloke had the same hairstyle as the one from Broadchurch. The only difference was that there was an English woman instead of an Aussie as the town’s hotel owner.

Those bemoaning David Tennant's American accent are wrong, yes, it seems odd to us Brits, but it's fine. Perhaps he should have stuck to his native West Lothian inflections but it doesn't stick out or distract from the story.

 

His partner in crime, Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn is great and plays off well with Tennant's Emmett Carver. Yet there is still a longing for Olivia Colman's softer DS Ellie Miller.

It's difficult for a British audience not to be naturally protective about Broadchurch and at times it is hard not to compare Gracepoint to the original ITV hit.

Creator Chris Chibnall has promised a different ending to keep things compelling and perhaps this is the selling point for British audiences.

There are 10 instalments of Gracepoint compared to Broadchurch's eight, so who knows how the show will veer off and change direction. Let's hope it does keep us on tenterhooks until the very end.

Either way, it's still an intriguing whodunit, even if it is like watching Broadchurch in a parallel universe with better-looking people and nicer weather. But perhaps we shouldn't write it off after one episode, despite it being a near carbon copy of the original.

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