Most people that know me will not be surprised in the slightest that I am a huge fan of Broadchurch, which aired early this fall on BBCAmerica. I love a good mystery, and especially one that can keep me on my toes! While there were some things I “saw coming” in the show, in general, I enjoyed being along for the twists and turns and debating with The Boyfriend which characters were good and which weren’t.
I am not excited that Fox will remake Broadchurch in the US, starring David Tennant in the same role, that of disgraced and strung out DI Alec Hardy. He was phenomenal in the original, and his presence alone might make me tune into Gracepoint (the new title of the US remake) even though I don’t think we need an American version of an already wonderful, popular show. I’m not even sure that I’m excited that there will be a second series to the original. I honestly wonder what more there is to be said about the small, seaside resort town left grieving and confused after Danny Latimer’s death.
I have a few thoughts on these announcements. First, I wonder why the producers/writers aren’t changing character names. If it’s truly an “adaptation” and not a straight-up remake (which the change in location name and title seem to suggest), there’s no sense in keeping the original character names. If anything, it’s going to make viewing the new version a lot less interesting for people who have already seen Broadchurch.
Which brings me to my second point. . .there will be literally no mystery for the many people who tuned into the original when it aired on BBCAmerican unless they make some changes to the plot, which I really don’t want them to do. One thing that I loved about watching Broadchurch was that I constantly had to challenge my assumptions and beliefs about who could commit such a murder, why, and how. There were many stereotypes that the series resisted buying into and engaging. It will be hard to keep fans of the series involved in Gracepoint if they are simply porting over all of the characters and plot and changing only the location. However, I think there is a serious risk to enact or engage the stereotypes and assumptions that Broadchurch seemed to challenge if the producers and writers do attempt to make the plot more original.
Finally, it’s hard to get hyped up about a remake of something I love when I feel completely neutral about the recently-announced casting choices of two characters who have such strong and important roles. I’ve seen both Gunn and Weaver, and while I don’t dislike either of them, I can’t say that I feel very strongly about them either way. Perhaps this will be the show in which they impress me, but it will be hard to not compare them to Olivia Coleman, whom I have adored since I saw her in Peep Show and who handled some very challenging moments incredibly well in Broadchurch, and Pauline Quirke, whose positively charming IMDB photo makes her seem nothing like her Broadchurch character, who I both despised and loved at various points in the series.
On my drive home today, I also realized I’m just not satisfied with the new name they have selected (Gracepoint). Wouldn’t it make much more sense if we just called it New Broadchurch?
Any other fans out there? What are your thoughts on the upcoming “adaptation” set in the US?