David Tennant has expressed his aspirations for his new Fox TV drama Gracepoint the American remake of the award winning Broadchurch in which he also starred. David plays Emmett Carver, a similar role to Broadchurch cop Alec Hardy, though now a Californian police detective investigating the murder of a child in a small coastal community.
While there have been voices questioning the need to remake such a series as Broadchurch for the American market, it remains a fact that on its US broadcast on BBC America, audience figures were low, even by the cable channel's standards. Fox taking the option to remake rather than rebroadcast is not an unusual one, but the outcome is not always assured. Cracker and Prime Suspect were notable failures; however, The Office has proved to be a ratings winner. What is unusual is the inclusion of an original cast member in the remake. This does not guarantee success, of course: the American version of The IT Crowd never got past the pilot stage, despite the involvement of Richard Ayoade. David, however, remains confident, believing that past failures do not mean the same fate for this project.
"Every individual case has its own merits and demerits, doesn't it?" he told Postmedia News. "It works both ways. It always comes down to the talents of the people involved. I'm too close to this to really be objective about it, other than I'm thrilled to be part of this cast telling this story, as I was in Britain.
"The Office is a good example, though, it was brilliant, and it was such a fantastic show to start with. It was brilliantly reimagined over here. It started similarly, but ultimately became a very different show. It was equally successful in the end, but in a different direction."
David also commented on the reasoning behind remaking the show in the first place.
"We're two nations divided by a common language," he said. "There's a lot of traffic back and forth culturally, and I think there are huge advantages to that. Sometimes it backfires. On balance, though, I think we can bring contrasting sensibilities to the same piece of work, and get something exciting and new from it. I'm confident that's what's happened here."
Gracepoint, the new ten part event series from Fox, explores the impact on a tiny northern Californian town when a local boy is found murdered on the beach. Based on the BAFTA-winning UK series Broadchurch, cast and producers have stated that the series diverges from the original after the first two or three episodes, offering new twists and suspects and a new ending. Alongside David Tennant, the ensemble cast boasts recent Emmy winner Anna Gunn, Nick Nolte, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Zegers and Sarah-Jane Potts. The series was shot on location on Vancouver Island, BC.
Gracepoint premieres on Fox TV in the USA and on the Global Network in Canada on Thursday 2nd October at 9pm ET.