ROCK­IES HOR­ROR SHOW

Bloody vengeance tale Tin Star of­fers a mod­ern spin on the West­ern

Empire (UK) - - PRE.VIEW - WORDS HE­LEN O’HARA

AT FIRST GLANCE, Sky At­lantic’s new West­ern Tin Star has lit­tle in com­mon with the 1957 An­thony Mann clas­sic of the same name. The two have no for­mal con­nec­tion, horses have given way to 4x4s and six-shoot­ers to hand­guns. Make no mis­take, though; writer-di­rec­tor Rowan Joffe (Be­fore I Go To Sleep) has drawn from the same dusty well with a ten-part tale of cor­rup­tion and re­venge high in the Cana­dian Rock­ies. It may be set in a con­tem­po­rary world of cor­po­rate in­ter­ests and le­gal re­straints, but fans of the genre will de­tect plenty of shared DNA.

“[Rowan] has drawn from clas­sic Westerns and thrown them right into the mix,” ex­plains his star, Tim Roth. Roth plays Jim Worth, a worka­holic Lon­don de­tec­tive who’s de­camped to the moun­tains with wife An­gela (Genevieve O’reilly) and their two kids to re­gain con­trol of his work/ life bal­ance. In­stead, he finds his work/bloody corpse bal­ance spin­ning rapidly out of con­trol. “Yeah, there’s a fair amount of vi­o­lence in Tin

Star,” con­cedes Roth. “There’s a comic ele­ment, but when we do in­sert that [vi­o­lence], you have to re­spect it.”

Roth’s law­man of­fers up that clas­sic West­ern archetype: the strong, quiet gun­slinger forced to con­front his own past, and likely shoot a lot of peo­ple in the process. “It had an an­ar­chy about it that I thought was fun,” says Roth. As the new sher­iff in town, he finds him­self bat­tling cor­po­rate cow­boys from North Star Oil, a com­pany — rep­re­sented by Christina Hen­dricks’ sin­is­ter PR boss, Mrs Brad­shaw — which dom­i­nates the town.

Joffe, who re­vis­ited another clas­sic crime genre with his 2010 re-adap­ta­tion of Brighton

Rock, isn’t merely re­tread­ing fa­mil­iar West­ern beats. “I wanted to tell an un­der­cover cop story that was quintessen­tially Bri­tish and re­al­is­tic,” says Joffe. “I loved the idea of Roth’s vic­tim be­com­ing the avenger, to the point where you can no longer tell who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy.”

There’s a new sher­iff in town, in other words, and he may turn out to be as dan­ger­ous as any of the black hats. If Joffe suc­ceeds in mixing clas­sic West­ern tropes with mod­ern, com­plex char­ac­ters (no­tably Worth him­self, who proves to have a

se­ri­ously dark side), that may prove to be an un­der­state­ment. What Tin Star lacks in horses and oats, it makes up for in bru­tal vi­o­lence. TIN STAR IS ON SKY AT­LANTIC SOON

Above: Former de­tec­tive Jim Worth (Tim Roth) finds his re­tire­ment plans have, er, changed.

Here: Christina Hen­dricks, the PR face of North Star Oil.

Below: Be­ware the lo­cal young guns.

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