TV picks of the week: 'Broadchurch'

David Tennant and Olivia Coleman have a dysfunctional relationship in Broadchurch.
David Tennant and Olivia Coleman have a dysfunctional relationship in Broadchurch.

TV pick of the week: Broadchurch

Be warned: If you like a good crime drama - and Broadchurch is clearly that - do not Google it.

The series was first broadcast by ITV in Britain more than a year ago.

That eight-episode season got the UK hooked on its whodunit, which comes with the sort of quiet dread and psychological grip those clever Scandinavians have made a speciality of in recent years.

Since then it's screened everywhere from BBC America to Air New Zealand in-flight entertainment - this writer managed five or six episodes on a transtasman return late last year. Unluckily, I've already had the ending revealed by reading a recent interview with someone associated with the show.

There are already plans for a US remake by Fox which will star David Tennant - who stars in the original - as well as a second ITV series.

So while TVNZ had this long earmarked as a winter season Sunday night drama, it's really taken far too long for such a spoiler-risking programme to see the light here.

But it is a great series, easily the best British crime drama to hit our screens in an age.

It's also one which engages as much emotionally as it does with its guessing game surrounding the murder of an 11-year-old boy in the town of the title, a picturesque seaside holiday hamlet in Dorset on England's southern coast.

It's written by Chris Chibnall, whose past work includes Doctor Who, Camelot and the British version of Law & Order.

Broadchurch's Time Lord connections don't stop with the presence of Tennant as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy. Among the Broadchurch locals is Arthur Darvill (onetime companion Rory Williams) who plays an enigmatic local vicar, just one of the gentle village's characters who may be hiding something.

Tennant's performance as Alec Hardy, a brusque big city detective inspector sidelined to the provinces, is a long way from being the former resident of the Tardis.

But the soul of the series belongs to Olivia Colman. She plays Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, a local cop who is juggling family with a career and who, as the series begins, has returned from leave to find that Hardy has taken her promised promotion. She's forced to partner up with him on the murder case in which the victim is a lad who is best friends with her own son.

And just as this is no typical Brit police drama, and though it might be influenced by the Danish likes of The Killing, it still feels utterly English in its rhythm, setting and atmosphere. Tennant and Colman aren't the usual odd buddy cop partnership. Their mutual resentment makes for a dysfunctional working relationship which offers a little light relief in a series otherwise racked with a palpable sense of grief.

- Russell Baillie

When: Sunday 8.30pm
Where: TV One, 8.30pm
What: Scandi-murder-by-the-sea

Music pick: The Voice Australia

Running a week behind its broadcast across the Tasman, the Aussie version of the singing competition format takes up residence on TV2 on Friday and Saturday evening primetime from tomorrow night. This year local gal Kylie Minogue and Black Eyed Pea take over the spinning chairs from Delta Goodrem and Seal, joining Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden and Latin star Ricky Martin as coaches.

The show's executive producer, Adrian Swift, says Minogue and have changed the make-up of those auditioning, with Kylie luring more female singers and the hip-hop star bringing in more rappers.

"Kylie has given us a really strong core of women who are really excited to see her ... and we've never seen Kylie like this before.

"It's a younger crowd, a lot less ballady and a lot more poppy and they've also responded well to Will and Kylie."

The Voice Australia
When: Friday 7.30pm
Where: TV2
What: Making pop rockers out of Ockers

Food pick: Topp Country

With a momentary lull in the number of local food shows in primetime with the end of MasterChef and The Great Food Race, it's time for the Topp Twins to have a go at their own culinary caper. But this is the go-find-a-feed sort of programme with Lynda and Jools Topp heading around the country to "seek out the real people behind Kiwi cooking".

Though the Topps will be taking their own not-quite-real people along for the ride. Camp Mother and Camp Leader will present their own "Saucy Tips", while rural blokes the Kens will close each episode with a poem celebrating the country lifestyle and what it means to be a Kiwi. Which is just the sort of touch MasterChef and Food Race lacked, eh?

Topp Country
When: Sunday 8pm
Where: TV One
What: Ken and Ken like a barbie

Outdoors pick: Get Your Fish On

It's not the first fishing show to hit our screens but Get Your Fish On is the first televised seafood escapade where you might be in danger of learning something. Premiering tonight, the 13-part series presented by Mandy Kupenga will cover locations from the Far North to the East Cape in search of different species with two teams competing (Kupenga and friend vs locals) for the biggest catch of the day (which the losers have to cook).

The show will also explores the fishing history, tikanga and traditional fishing knowledge in each location as well as offering fishing tips on the best rigs for targeting specific fish, the latest gear and newest techniques.

Says Kupenga: "It's about everyday people, all different ages with a range of fishing experience having fun out on the water, sharing time, respecting and appreciating our beautiful coast and gathering kai."

Get Your Fish On
When: Thursday 8pm
Where: Maori TV
What: Fishing for the whole whanau

Thriller pick: Last Resort

This show about how a US nuclear missile submarine going rogue for good reasons dates from late 2012 and was canned after its first season. But it picked up great reviews for its initial instalments and may well find a following among fans of everything from Crimson Tide to Lost to 24 to The Unit.

Co-created by The Shield's Shawn Ryan, Last Resort tells how the captain of the USS Colorado, Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher), finds himself and his crew accused of being traitors after he questions an order to fire missiles into Pakistan. When their vessel itself becomes a target, they escape to an island in French Polynesia and effectively become their own tiny nuclear power, holding the world at bay while trying to prove they are caught up in a greater political conspiracy.

As well as well as Braugher (recently seen in cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine) the series stars Scott Speedman as Braugher's second-in-command and Robert Patrick as the captain's former shipmate.

Last Resort
When: Wednesday 8:30pm
Where: Four
What: A nuclear stand-off in the Pacific

- TimeOut

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