In a totally unnecessary scene, right at the start of the first episode of Tin Star, a curiously etherial, cartoonish dear pointlessly ambles across a quiet road in a plot point designed to hold the protagonists up, so that they can talk to one another. A stop sign would have done just as well, frankly. And that is the moment it becomes clear that Tin Star is a second rate TV show. Which is such a shame.
Tin Star had so much promise. Starring the dazzling Christina Hendricks from Mad Men's and English Pulp Fiction actor Tim Roth, the latest show on Sky Atlantic is a Rocky Mountains revenge thriller that was recommissioned for a second series before the first one had even aired.
Horror writer Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later, The American) and the production team seem to have done away with subtlety. The baddies, from the oil company, are all shaven and heavily accented (possibly German, could be Russian, who knows) or are like Christina Hendricks, are astonishingly beautiful, half siren, half femme fatale.
The goodies thus far are bumbling and English – with the Canadian / America culture clash provides a modicum of light relief. Roth tells his fellow police officers to 'put the gun away' stating: 'I'm British I don't do guns' during a public altercation.
But, the plot is ridiculous in the extreme – without becoming a pastiche or a clever melodrama like the recently returned Doctor Foster. When we first see this sleepy Canadian town in action, there's so little going on that the police officers go fishing and play games on their work computers all day. Within a few moments – is it a week? – everyone is being murdered and there's an apparently unshakable, entrenched corrupt system in place, controlled by big oil. What?
It's not clever like Breaking Bad and it's often weird. But if you like a bit of excitement, and don't mind terrible CGI it'll be worth watching past episode one of Tin Star to see if it turns into something better.
|What||Tin Star, Sky Atlantic review|
|Where||Sky Atlantic | MAP|
07 Sep 17 – 31 Dec 17, Air times tbd