Show of the Week: Whitstable Pearl

The sunny seaside meets murder most foul in this new 6 x 60-minute crime drama series, as British author Julie Wassmer’s novels are brought to the screen for the first time by Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen (Lilyhammer) and the producers of detective series Marcella

Kerry Godliman (DerekAfter Life), stars as Pearl Nolan, police trainee-turned-chef-proprietor of the eponymous restaurant in the English coastal town of Whitstable, who divides her time between serving up seafood delicacies and solving the crimes regularly brought in by the tide.

“Pearl’s business is about people, more than crime,” says James Durie, head of scripted at Cineflix Rights, of the show’s crime-solving heroine. She’s driven by an innate desire to help out the community that she’s been at the centre of her whole life. But the fact that she can combine this with her investigative skills, honed while training to be a police officer in her younger life, is a happy coincidence.”

Pearl is ideally situated to get to the heart of what is going on in town, with her restaurant acting as a hub for the community and a source of information for her new detective agency.

“Whitstable brings its own, very distinctive visual identity,” says Durie. “This small seaside town encapsulates a community which is as claustrophobic as it is picturesque. Viewers will meet the people that Pearl has grown up alongside and see the way the locals rub up against the DFLs (Down From London-ers) who flit into town for weeks at a time. Secrets and tensions simmer beneath the surface of this picture-postcard town.”

The series begins with the suspected murder of Pearl’s close family friend, which brings her into contact with DCU Mike McGuire, a recent arrival in Whitstable, with whom she initially clashes, before other, more romantic, sparks begin to fly as the two tackle further cases ranging from a death on an oyster catcher to a fatality on the local cricket pitch.

Crime drama is a rather competitive genre, but Durie says that what makes this show stand out is author Julie Wassmer’s well-rounded characters, and the cast’s portrayal of them, as well as the “cosy” but dangerous seaside setting.

“As Pearl, Kerry Godliman really delivers on the character front. She’s someone you immediately identify with and like, and who you want to succeed. Whitstable delivers on the other front, a beautiful setting with a host of characters and subplots to keep any crime writer happy. The combination is, we hope, the foundation for a long-running series that becomes a constant for schedules worldwide.”

Distributor: Cineflix Rights
Producer: Buccaneer Media
Broadcasters: Acorn TV
Logline: Cold death is served up alongside warm fish and chips in this seaside murder mystery series based on the Julie Wassmer book series