Billed on its release as ‘the new “Broadchurch,”‘ “Deadwater Fell” is a 2020 British crime drama also starring David Tennant, and it very much lives up to the legacy of his prior series. Tennant this time is Tom Kendrick, a local doctor whose family is beloved in their small Scottish village. When a house fire kills his entire family, leaving him the sole survivor, it throws the town into unrest as the investigation reveals uncomfortable truths about the Kendricks and their community. The story smartly plays on the audience’s expectations for Tennant given his past roles.
One of the best things about the series is that it actually isn’t too ambitious; creator Daisy Coulam seems to understand that this kind of story is well-trodden ground, and doesn’t make any attempt to reinvent the wheel. She instead settles for simply making a great crime drama with some less-than-obvious story beats, and in that she more than succeeds.
Though it hasn’t quite captured the audience’s attention the way other crime dramas like “Broadchurch” or “Luther” have, “Deadwater Fell” is a solid entry in the growing pantheon of similar dramas. It’s a worthy follow-up for Tennant too, who delivers another masterful performance, and showcases some other fantastic actors, like “The Good Wife” star Cush Jumbo.