Acorn TV's new original mystery series Whitstable Pearl lands next week, and aims to explores the dark undercurrents of murder and debauchery swirling beneath the surface of the English seaside town of Whitstable, famous for its native oysters and buffeted by the prevailing winds and spray of the North Sea.
Based on the much-loved novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare by Julie Wassmer, the series stars After Life's Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan, a woman who has always dreamed of becoming a detective. However an unplanned pregnancy in her early twenties left her police career in tatters before it ever truly began. Instead, Pearl resolved to pour all her energy into raising her son, Charlie (Rohan Nedd), alongside working with her mum, Dolly (Frances Barber), to build the family seafood restaurant - the eponymous Whitstable Pearl - into a thriving business.
Eighteen years have passed since then, and the restaurant has become an iconic feature of their coastal hometown, Whitstable. With Charlie all grown up and making plans for his gap year, Pearl can’t help shaking the feeling that there is more to life than just serving oysters and cava. Determined to rekindle her passion for life, Pearl sets up a private detective agency. Known amongst the community for her caring and compassionate nature, locals soon flock to her with all manner of cases. When a new mysterious client arrives in Whitstable and demands Pearl investigate an old family friend, she is left feeling conflicted over what she should do. Pearl reluctantly agrees to take on the case, believing she can help get her friend out of whatever trouble he’s managed to land himself in this time. However, when his body is discovered under gruesome circumstances, Pearl is unwilling to accept the official verdict that it was a tragic accident.
Standing in the way of her detective work is DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles, The Musketeers), the new Kent police chief who has transferred from London in an attempt to escape from his past. Pearl and Mike clash at first, but then Mike becomes the only other person to share Pearl’s belief that Vinnie was murdered. When a second body shows up, Pearl finds herself pulled into the seedy underbelly of this picturesque town.
Set beneath huge skies and amid the lengthening shadows of a picture postcard town just miles from London, the friction between the locals and the moneyed arrivals from the city is palpable as centuries of village tradition grates against the inevitable pressure of money and gentrification.
Watch the trailer for the new series below.
The first two episodes of Whitstable Pearl premiere Monday, May 24 - a day-and-date debut across Acorn TV internationally in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. A new episode will drop weekly on Mondays for the next four weeks.
Will you be giving this Acorn original a look? Let us know in the comments.