Part musical, part thriller, part drama, Blackpool brings the glitz of Vegas to the English seaside town in a gripping and witty whodunnit.
Ripley Holden (David Morrissey) is a small-time entrepreneur desperate to make it big with his new state-of-the-art amusement arcade. The opening extravaganza is overshadowed by the find of a dead body on the premises. DI Carlisle (David Tennant) is called in and quickly finds he has more on his mind than murder, when he falls in love with Ripley's long-suffering wife, Natalie (Sarah Parish).
As the murder investigation deepens, Carlisle closes down the arcade for investigation and calls in Ripley's son, Danny (Thomas Morrison) for questioning. Carlisle suspects that Danny is hiding something, possibly covering for his dad - as evidence is found at the arcade linking Ripley with the victim. Adding to Ripley's worries is a huge tax bill, his planning permission denied and the discovery that his daughter Shyanne (Georgia Taylor) is having a relationship with a man his age.
Danny goes on to confess to the murder but Carlisle doesn't believe him. When Natalie finds out he is a detective she tells him to stay away from her family. This gives Carlisle a renewed impetus to nail Ripley, his love rival. However, events take a startling turn when Danny attempts suicide.
The series comes to a finale with the wedding of Shyanne and Steve. Ripley gives Natalie and Carlisle his blessing and in return all charges are dropped. Danny then confesses that he committed the crime, in self-defence, and that he is gay. Ripley hands over the arcade to Danny, who is now in the clear.
Blackpool was critically-acclaimed when broadcast in autumn 2004 and won comparisons with Dennis Potter because of the spontaneous song and dance routines.
In 2005, it was nominated in the Best Drama Serial category at the British Academy Television Awards, eventually losing out to Channel 4's Sex Traffic. It did, however, win the Best Mini-Series and Grand Prize accolades at Canada's Banff Television Festival. In December 2005, it was nominated in the Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards.
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