DESPITE the likes of Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks proving it’s still a channel to savour, Sky Atlantic’s hit rate with it’s home-grown dramas has been frustrating of late.
Riviera, Fortitude and Guerilla have all proved big budget flops, so does their new much-hyped 10 parter Tin Star fare any better?
Initial signs are encouraging. Tim Roth is excellent in this opening episode as Jim Worth – an English copper transplanted to the Canadian Rockies in search of a quiet life as he recovers from alcoholism.
Apparently hundreds of officers from the UK have relocated to Canada in the past decade, opting for what they perceive to be a higher standard of living, lower crime rates and better opportunities for their children, all of which gives the writers an interesting and realistic ‘fish out of water’ premise.
It all seems rather jolly at first as Jim gets used to marauding moose, inert deputies and a teenage daughter longing to return to London.
But like its close cousins Fargo and the aforementioned Twin Peaks, there’s something dark going on behind the breathtaking scenery and cosy yard sales of Tin Star.
It comes in the shape of an oil company looking to build a refinery and their PR rep Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks in sizzling form).
Very soon, and despite opposition from Jim and the local doctor, the refinery is built and the doctor is lying dead in her car from a suspected suicide.
A brilliant string-laden soundtrack ramped up the noir-ish thrills as Jim and
his very likeable family
began to realise they
probably weren’t going to
find their new home quite
as safe and welcoming as
they first thought.
Through it all Roth gave a great performance, full of hunched shoulders and careworn expletives and by the shocking ending of this first episode (no spoilers) it was pretty clear this was a man unlikely to stay away from either the bottle or his gun for much longer.