A Preview of Gracepoint

Full disclosure: y’all already know that I’m down with my Canadian HITGs, and one of the primary reasons I was interested out of the gate in Gracepoint was that it would be filmed in Vancouver with a who’s who of top Canadian talent. The premiere episode delivers on that–we get Alisen Down, Kevin Zegers, Tom Butler, Brendan Fletcher, Linda Darlow, and Adam Greydon Reid.

What will be the pull, or the push, for many viewers, is that it’s a remake of the recent critically acclaimed ITV series BroadchurchDr. Who‘s David Tennant, who headlines that series, has come over to the US version, complete with an American accent. I did not watch Broadchurch, so similar to The Killing, I’m taking the Americanization at face value. And I like it. It’s a strong drama, lighter (a scoche) than the The Killing and Top of the Lake, to which it also feels tonally similar, with a beautiful seaside town holding some dark secrets.

The plot is straightforward — a 12 year-old boy, Danny (Nikolas Filipovic), starts the episode in tears and standing at the top of a seaside cliff, and the next morning he’s found at the bottom of that spot, on the edge of the beach. His oblivious family doesn’t realize he’s gone until shortly before his body is discovered. And despite what we see in the opener, the medical examiner rules that it’s not a suicide and it’s not a fall, so we have a mystery.

Into that story, we introduce two detectives, Ellie Miller, local resident who expected a post-vacation promotion but instead returned to find an outsider hired over her. That outsider, Emmett Carver, played by Tennant, takes the lead on the case and seems to have a secret past that calls his abilities into question. On top of those dynamics, we have an extended assortment of small town folk, most notably Nick Nolte, as a wildlife devotee who was close to Danny.

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The cast is solid — Anna Gunn, in her first regular role wince wrapping Breaking Bad, headlines opposite Tennant as Ellie, and their dynamic is fractious, to say the least. There’s also something up with Ellie’s son, Tom (Jack Irvine), who was Danny’s best friend. He has a very interesting response to the news that his friend has died. Down and Zegers are the town’s newspaper team. Michael Peña and Virginia Kull are very good as Danny’s parents, who react very differently to their loss. Also look for Sarah-Jane Potts in a rare US series role.

The episode order is for a fixed 10 episodes, but Broadchurch has already been ordered to a second season, so the door is open for more episodes to follow. Gracepoint airs Thursday night at 9/8c on FOX and 9e/p on Global TV in Canada. Here are a few sneak peeks. You can see several more on the FOX YouTube channel.





Photo and Video Courtesy of FOX

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