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All it would have taken to sell anyone on Fox’s new mystery thriller Gracepoint is the sentence, “Doctor Who and Breaking Bad’s Skyler White try to solve a murder together.” But the trailer above absolutely delivers the amount of drama that I would expect could draw these two award-winning actors together. I don't particularly feel justified in getting excited about a show based around a dead child, but I'm a sucker for any kind of dark mystery.
A remake/expansion of the acclaimed British series Broadchurch, Gracepoint is a 10-episode event series – assumedly so Fox can’t disappoint people by cancelling it – that focuses on the titular California seaside town and the tragedy of young Danny Solano’s murder. Leading the case are Detectives Emmett Carver (Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn), but damned near everyone in Gracepoint is brought into the investigation, from Danny's family to his best friend, as everyone in the town seems to be connected in some way. (My guess is, they're all in on it.) The ensemble cast of characters would take all day to get through, but expect to see Nick Nolte, Jacki Weaver, Michael Peña, Josh Hamilton, Sarah-Jane Potts and more. Gracepoint won't get anywhere near as eccentric as Twin Peaks in its depiction of a death turning a town inside out, but we’re hoping it’s at least as good as its source material.
And why wouldn’t it be? It was created by the same person, Chris Chibnall, who will serve as executive producer with showrunners Anya Epstein (In Treatment) and Dan Futterman (Capote). Chibnall penned the first episode, which was directed by fellow Broadchurch alum James Strong, who makes strong use of long horizons in the backgrounds of many shots, somehow adding to the solemn emptiness imbued into this story.
There's a lot to like about this depressing trailer, and it looks like emotions will be running at an all-time high throughout each of the ten episodes. No one likes living in a place where a child's murder goes unsolved, and I'm sure they like being slightly accused of the crime even less. My only regret here is that Tennant didn't bring a "Mel Gibson in Ransom" abundance of rage when he delivered his televised address. Maybe next time.
Take out your pen and pad and try and solve the mystery of Gracepoint yourself when the series airs Thursdays this fall. You can find the full Fox 2014-2015 schedule here.