Pin a tin star on Sherriff Roth and let him at the baddies
IT’S rarely a good idea to try and run away from your problems – they invariably catch up with you. And it’s even more foolhardy to think you can find the solution by escaping into the Great Wilderness. It’s wilder there.
And yet in the best traditions of tellyland that’s exactly what copper Jim Worth does in Sky Atlantic’s muchvaunted new drama Tin Star which has had such good reviews that it has already been commissioned for a second series even before real viewers got to see a reel.
Tin Star – that’s the badge Canadian coppers wear – reeled us in from the off in the opening scene last week with our protagonist confronted through his windscreen by a masked assailant or shooter, as they like to call them in this world.
This being Tim Roth, of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction fame, nothing could be truly certain and Jim ducked and blood splattered a young girl in the back seat.
An episode in and we are now fully up to speed with the Worths and emotionally involved with their story, the loss of their young son Petey who was killed in the crossfire, mum Angela who is lying in a hospital bed, dad Jim who is trying not to go back on the drink and daughter Anna who is being sized up by the leary locals. Welcome to Little Big Bear, the most boring place on Earth – no, not the wording on the town signpost, but teenager Anna’s assessment in the type of prescient miscalculation that always precedes a bloodbath.
Yes, this is the backwoods with backwoods people and, of course, bears but the most dangerous predators are, as is often the way, big business.
North Stream wants to bleed the area dry of its oil – er, sorry, I mean ‘build employment opportunities and community relations’. Nice touch that when Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks) who has been wheeled out to schmooze the locals went and bought up all the cakes on Mrs Worth’s (Irish actress Genevieve O’Reilly) stall at the market fair.
Maybe not bring them with her on any hospital visit though unless she wants the same colourful response she got from Jim after trying to spin poor Petey’s death to North Stream’s
advantage. It’s not just corporate who want to shut up Honest Jim, though, the locals seem only too glad of the offer of hush money and they don’t much care for this outsider riding into town either.
There’s only so much a man can take here and remember this is a man who dearly wants a drink.
So when one of the more intellectually challenged members of the community gets handy with his fists our Jim ensures that he’ll be uncomfortable on his bar stool for some time to come. All that’s missing from Tin Star is Sheriff Jim jumping on his horse, tilting his Stetson and whipping his gun out of its holster. We’re in for a modern-day Western here.
Jim is understandably out for revenge on those who killed his little boy, a dirty low-down ragbag gang of scoundrels, almost definitely in the pay of the company that wants to rob the town of its oil. They are of course all out for themselves.
He’s also got a suicide that looks like a murder to probe.
And unbeknownst to him but something he will find out soon but Anna (Abigail Lawrie) has just been given a lift out on a country road by the villain of the piece who started making eyes at her in the town salon, er karaoke.
Oh, and Jim has broken his promise to her not to go back on the booze.
Angela better get off that hospital bed soon and sort them all out.
Close bonds: Jim (Tim Roth) and Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly)