Pilot Perception: Gracepoint

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Gracepoint, Fox in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada, Thursdays at 9/8c

The Pedigree: The show was written and executive produced by Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch, Law & Order: UK). James Strong (Broadchurch, Doctor Who) directed the first episode.

The Cast & How You Know Them: The show stars David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) and Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), with a supporting cast including Nick Nolte (Luck), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), Josh Hamilton (American Horror Story), Michael Pena (End of Watch), Virginia Kull (Boardwalk Empire), Kendrick Sampson (The Vampire Diaries), Kevin Rankin (Justified), Kevin Zegers (The Mortal Instruments), Sarah-Jane Potts (Holby City), and Jessica Lucas (Cult).

The Premise: Gracepoint is a remake of British mystery show Broadchurch, in which two police detectives — one newly hired from the big city and one with roots in the community — investigate the murder of a young boy in a small seaside town.

A Taste:

What Works: This first episode, at least, is pretty much a point-by-point remake of the original, though the EPs say it will diverge in the future — and it left me very curious to see when and how that happens. Again, as with the original, this sets up a solid mystery, strong leads, an intriguing supporting cast of characters, and plenty of beautiful scenery and filming. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more.

What Doesn’t: I’m not sure how much of this is in my head, or due to having seen a version of this already, but this pilot didn’t have the same intensity or seductive tone for me as the first hour of the original, and since I couldn’t help but compare, I was a bit disappointed in that. It also didn’t do enough to establish the characters as part of a tightly knit community, which is pretty important to the concept. Tennant’s American accent is better than I expected but still a little distracting.

Our Favorite Line: “He’s, uh, he’s from the city.” “Sorry to hear that.”

You Might Like This if you like slower crime shows in which one investigation stretches out across many episodes, like The Killing, Top of the Lake, or, of course, the original Broadchurch, though some Broadchurch fans will find this repetitive and may or may not want to go through it again.

If You’re Interested: Catch up on the first episode on the Fox or Global TV sites or On Demand, then set your DVR for Thursday at 9/8c.

(Photo courtesy of Fox.)

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