Fox Lands David Tennant to Lead US Adaptation of UK Series ‘Broadchurch’

By October 2, 2013

Broadchurch - David Tennant

While many viewers know David Tennant from his stint as “Doctor Who,” lately the actor has been getting acclaim across the pond for leading the UK murder mystery drama series “Broadchurch” on BBC America. The series just completed its first season, and now it’s prime for a remake in the United States on Fox, and the leading man is coming with it.

TV Line has word that Fox has picked up Tennant to lead the US adaptation of the show, but rather than using his natural British accent as he does on the original series, he will thrown on an American accent.

For those who haven’t taken note of the British series, it follows the investigation of the murder of a young boy in a British seaside town. Two detectives lead the charge, the strong yet compassionate local Detective Sergeant, Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), and the by-the-book Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (Tennant), who is also Ellie’s newly appointed boss. By circumstance they are partnered to solve the murder, keeping the newspapers from derailing the investigation and trying to prevent the crime from impacting tourism at the beach where the boy was murdered.

Broadchurch - Title

This situation seems strange for Tennant to be playing practically the same character in such close proximity to the original role as the series will likely continue in the UK beyond the first season. (It’s a bit different from how Mark Strong reprised his role in the US version of “Low Winter Sun,” as the original British version was long over by that point.) It’ll be interesting to see how American audiences receive the new show. Though Tennant will still likely turn in a solid performance, I think there’s something stirring about him speaking with his natural accent that will be lost in the transfer.

It’s doubtful that any of the other British cast will come along for the series, which is currently being developed as a limited series that will start shooting in early 2014. However, the original series’ creator Chris Chibnall will write the premiere episode while Dan Futterman (Capote) and Anya Epstein (“In Treatment”) will serve as executive producers and showrunners.

For my money, adapting a series like this is smart, especially in the limited capacity, because the Brits have always been top notch when it comes to keeping their TV series short and sweet, barely ever letting them fall from glory before ending on a high note. Thoughts?

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.