It has been a long time coming, longer than it took for the series that Gracepoint was based upon, but at last the finale has aired and the “real” killer (Suspect everyone? Come on Fox, seriously?) For those who saw the original seaside murder mystery, Broadchurch, either when it aired in the United Kingdom on ITV or later on BBC America, this slightly homogenized and pasteurized American version never really felt as good or as devastating as the shorter series starring, David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker. The former Dr. Who played the same role in both shows.
English mysteries are an exceptional form of entertainment, that Gracepoint is a remake of what has been termed an outstanding seaside murder whodunit, is a compliment to the original, but someone should have told Fox that more is not better. Anyone who has seen the superior ITV (which stands for Independent Television) production either on English terrestrial channels or on the “American made” BBC America network, which presumably shows the best of British telly regardless of who makes it across the pond, knows that by this time in the original show, the killer was caught.
Gracepoint, the almost frame by frame remake of Broadchurch from the United Kingdom, is stubbornly using a campaign of “who killed Danny.” Really? The tagline is hashtag #suspecteveryone but honestly, what is the point? Anyone who has a subscription to BBC America or has access to amazon.com knows who the killer is already. The issue with the way that FOX is flogging their American remake of a British seaside mystery is not that the network has chosen to make the series fit U.S. expectations, but that they are ignoring the fact of the show being a shot for shot re-imaging. The whodunit even has the same male lead, David Tennant.
Gracepoint, aka Broadchurch American style continues its frame by frame replication of the original ITV drama with David Tennant as the lead detective with issues in both. Some things are different, despite the fact that overall the show is the same. Tennant’s “problem” in the British version is handled by pills, in the U.S. show he has a hypodermic needle which he shakily stabs into his thigh. While this may look more dramatic, or more realistic from an American point of view, it also makes it seem that Emmett Carver could suffer from diabetes rather than a mental issue, which the other show hints at with a bit more finesse.
Gracepoint began on FOX Thursday after quite a good bit of buildup and it turns out to be a British mystery, literally as it is a frame by frame re-shooting of Broadchurch, the 2013 ITV award-winning television show in England; while the locale of the story has changed, by any name the series is essentially the ITV drama sans tea and scones. There are some things that have not been altered in this move across the “big pond.” The former Doctor Who actor David Tennant plays the exact same character but with a significant name change, Hardy in the ITV drama and Carver in the FOX version.