For two quality series, Claire Goose and Matt Bardock have done their best to make the town of Lighthaven in south Devon safe for residents and visitors alike. Goose starred as Jane Kennedy, a single mum/coroner who returns to her hometown to investigate murders alongside former childhood sweetheart Detective Sergeant Davey Higgins (Bardock) in two series of The Coroner.
Yesterday, the BBC turned the tables and confirmed that, after 2 series and 20 episodes, it would not be commissioning a third series of the show. “After two fantastic series, The Coroner won’t be returning as we look for opportunities to bring through new programs for the BBC1 daytime audience,” a statement explained. “We’d like to thank the brilliant cast and production team for all of their hard work.” Unfortunately, there will be no team assigned to investigate the latest murder of a quality series cut down in its prime. Suddenly, visions of Home Fires and Crimson Field come to mind as two other very strong series that never made it past the first or second series due to the commissioner’s ax.
Fans of the popular BBC1 daytime drama reacted with anger last night to the news that the BBC was cancelling the show after two series. Poldark actress Beatie Edney, who also stars in The Coroner, criticized the BBC for failing to recommission a drama with such a strong female cast. Edney, who also plays Ross Poldark’s servant Prudie Paynter in Poldark, plays Jane’s mother Judith. Ivan Kaye also stars as local publican Mick Sturrock.
While The Coroner‘s writer Sally Abbott thanked the fans for their encouraging words she did say that she thought the show could live on: “I’m sure every writer feels this but The Coroner doesn’t feel dead to me,” she wrote online. “There are so many more stories and God how I love our characters.” It was Abbott, you might remember, who said from the outset that said she based the characters of Jane and Davey on the unresolved sexual tension between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey in the 1949 film Adam’s Rib.
Tellyspotting had the good fortune just prior to the premiere of series 2 on BBC1 to speak with Coroner EP, Will Trotter, and series co-stars, Claire Goose and Matt Bardock. These three, along with Sally Abbott and fans of the series, deserve a third series.
As was done after the earlier cancellation of Home Fires, a petition through Change.org has also been launched by fans of the show urging the BBC to reconsider their decision. An informal online poll being conducted by Radio Times asking if ‘the BBC was right in axing The Coroner‘ currently stands at 96% to 4% against the cancellation.
Series 1 & 2 of The Coroner are currently running on a number of public television stations in America.