Tin Star - Season 1

posted 9 May 2018, 08:54 by Paul Woodward

Genre: Crime / Drama

Stars: Tim Roth / Christina Hendricks / Genevieve O’Reilly / Abigail Lawrie / Oliver Coopersmith

Creator: Rowan Joffe

Certificate: 18

Year: 2017

Policeman Jim Worth, a recovering alcoholic moves his family to a rural Canadian town to escape his past and have a fresh start. He becomes the sheriff of a small town which has just had a big oil company set up a refinery in the area this brings up a few clashes with residents and Worth himself. These clashes lead to a major incident that leads to the death of his five-year-old son. The series then sets Worth out on a path of vengeance to find and kill his son’s killer.

This is a great show, which is very British, not just in some of the dialogue and the fact the script never dilutes our language to appease an American audience but in it’s tone, how it’s shot, it’s has a very British chiller feel. It’s just set in Canada and a beautiful backdrop it is – it turns the series into something quite unique. The story could have quite easily been set in England, but it would have been even darker I think – it would have been far grimmer and make it even more uncomfortable to watch Jim Worth’s descent into the bottle and obsession with finding his son’s killer.

As the series progresses you not only see Jim succumb to the bottle you also see him change into Jack Devlin, an alter ego we learn was part of his career as an undercover cop. It touches on Jim having a split personality, a darker more immoral side which is called Jack, it’s not in a supernatural / mental health thing, the show points to it as the effect of Alcohol. The more Jim drinks the more like Jack he becomes. At the start of the series he is a mild-mannered family man but by the end he is a brutal immoral vicious bastard with seemingly no conscious.

There are a few sub plots thrown into the mix to keep the pace of the show moving, although it can be quite slow moving and atmospheric at times. Some of these sub plots are used to keep us guessing to the true reason Jim and his family were attacked and also keep Jim busy as he discovers the truth. There is some great script writing throughout and I loved episode nine which sees the truth revealed in a complete flashback episode – which had nothing to do with anything that we’d seen previously – It was all about why Jim is been hunted. This episode alone is dark, disturbing and totally heart-breaking with some wonderful performances by actors who literally only appear in this one episode.

Roth eats up the scenery in a fantastic and demanding role as he plays almost dual personalities, the morally corrupt and vicious Jack and the caring family man Jim. I love Roth’s performance, but it’s hard to like Jim/Jack as he is worse than many of the ‘criminals’ he goes up against. I like how the show questions how we think about people and it really delves into the grey area of how people function, Jack is a hero hunting down his killer and protecting his town – but how he goes about it – is it justified? I’m glad there is a season two in the pipeline because we are left are really bad cliff-hanger, that trust me will have you screaming at the TV.

Abigail Lawrie delivers one of the shows best performances, which is littered with outstanding acting, as Anna Worth a deeply confused and conflicted teenager caught up in the maelstrom of events that surround her. She gets drawn to and manipulated by the series big nasty ‘Whitey’ a truly disturbing young man who Oliver Coopersmith brings to unsettling life. Christopher Heyerdahl plays yet another creepy bad guy, he does this sort of role so well. The script does it’s best to make you think he is the real big nasty of the series a lot of this is used as smokes and mirrors to distract you from the truth about Whitey’s motivations. He’s still an arsehole with a terrible agenda, but you discover there is no connection between him and Whitey, which its very easy to assume there is during the first few episodes. It’s never confirmed or even hinted at, it’s just a conclusion viewer’s will come to – again clever script writing.

Rowan Joffe story is full of intriguing characters and is really enjoyable as you discover truths and we get to know the main characters. Joffe has also done a great job giving the show a strong British flavour even though it’s set in Canada.

A Fantastic series, if you’re looking for something to keep your mind ticking as you binge watch it get Tin Star on your watchlist! It’s worth it just to see Roth chewing up the scenery with his superfluous performance as Jim AND Jack!

8/10

Review By Woody

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