TV review: Tin Star, Sky Atlantic (3 stars)

TV review: Tin Star, Sky Atlantic

Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks star in this revenge thriller set in the Rocky Mountain

Appearances can be deceptive. Tin Star opens with bloody violence then cuts to 'one year earlier'. Little Big Bear in the Rocky Mountains seems like the perfect town. The Worth family have relocated from London to this small rural community. Jack (Tim Roth) is the new chief of police, struggling to find enough crime to keep him occupied; squabbling with his moody teenage daughter Anna (Abigail Lawrie) and goofing around with his infuriatingly cute son. It seems like an idyllic life until big business rolls into town.

Tin Star is about lies and duplicity. Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks) seems sweet as pie but is the canny and conniving PR for North Stream Oil. False promises bring a multinational company to Little Big Bear then lures in migrant workers. Bradshaw hides the truth behind spin while Jack, a recovering alcoholic, fights to control the darkness within. As big business takes over the entire township is changed forever. The community splits, half desperate for money, half want a return to peace and tranquillity. The final reveal of what really happened in those opening five minutes is even more brutal than most would guess. An act so vicious it unleashes a demon with a thirst for revenge.

Written and created by Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later / Brighton Rock) Tin Star's portrayal of small town life doesn't always feel convincing (a couple of rubbish CGI moments don't help). The message of big business standing for the evils of the world (corruption, exploitation, pollution) is well meaning but a little simplistic. However, Roth and Hendricks are always watchable, and after The Casual Vacancy and Murdered For Being Different Lawrie has proved she is a superb young actor.

Tin Star starts on Sky Atlantic, Thu 7 Sep, 9pm, with all 10 episodes available on Sky Boxsets and NOW TV.

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