'Broadchurch' and 'The Killing': Is Olivia Colman The New Sarah Lund?

Olivia Colman has top billing in new ITV whodunit drama Broadchurch, likened by many to Denmark's tour-de-force crime-drama 'The Killing.' Like the Scandinavian series, Broadchurch focuses on the investigation of a murder in a close-knit community - in this case, a Dorset seaside town. David Tennant is along for the ride, while Vicky McClure, Doctor Who's Arthur Darvill and Andrew Buchan also make up the cast. The show has been talked up since being announced last year, though should we believe the hype?

"The Killing was so brilliant that it seems a bit up yourself to say this is 'the British Killing'," an unequivocal Colman told The Independent. The Peep Show actress - often considered one of the most versatile yet underrated actresses in Britain - plays a local police detective teamed with an abrasive outsider (David Tennant) to lead the murder investigation. Sounds familiar, though it's hardly surprising ITV and the BBC are mirroring the tried and tested formulas done so well in Denmark and Sweden. 

Colman's performance as a charity shop worker enduring domestic abuse in Paddy Considine's directorial debut Tyrannosaur was, arguably, one of the finest performances by a British actress for many, many years. The movie, also featuring an incredible turn from Peter Mullan, won several awards including the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. "It changed everything, really," Colman said the picture. "It's funny. I've always done bits of drama, but clearly nothing anyone had ever seen."

Olivia ColmanDavid Tennant
Olivia Colman [L] and David Tennant [R] Lead A Murder Investigation In 'Broadchurch'

Unfortunately for Colman, a pilot for 'Bad Sugar' - the comedy co-starring Julia Davis and Charon Horgan - has not been picked up by Channel 4, though the actress remains upbeat. "It's been decommissioned. I think there might be some new blood and it's not their baby. I don't know. Politics." However, it's likely to be Broadchurch that gets many talking about Olivia Colman in the coming weeks. 

Broadchurch runs for eight episodes, starting on Monday evening on ITV (March 4, 2013).

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