A Canadian drama stars Anna Paquin as dedicated but damaged cop Annie Ryder
Bellevue is the small town where Annie (Anna Paquin) was born and raised and where she followed in her dad’s footsteps to become a police officer. In this opening episode Annie investigates the disappearance of a teenager, which has some strange and spooky links to her own troubled past.
All eight episodes are available now on catch-up service My5.
‘Annie is quite a damaged person and has had a lot of trauma in her life,’ explains Anna Paquin, who plays her. ‘She’s living in a way that is quite reckless. That makes her great at her job, but it’s not a stable existence.’
The eight-parter follows Annie’s investigation into the disappearance of a local trans teenager, Jesse (Sadie O’Neil), in the small town of Bellevue, while the reasons for Annie’s trauma are revealed to be deeply personal.
‘Her dad had been the chief of police years ago and had committed suicide when she was a small child because he couldn’t solve the murder of a local teenager – it basically drove him insane,’ says Paquin.
After her father’s death, the young Annie received a series of puzzling letters from someone posing as her dad.
Now, with this new case, the riddles begin again. ‘There seems to be a connection between the unsolved murder from years ago and Jesse’s disappearance,’ says Paquin.
Meanwhile, Annie’s life is also complicated by her relationship with on-off partner Eddie (Allen Leech, Downton Abbey), the father of her daughter Daisy.
After winning an Oscar in 1994 at the age of 11 for her role in The Piano, Paquin went on to star in the vampire drama series True Blood as Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress with fairy blood.
In the five years since the series ended, the 36-year-old has starred in Alias Grace and Flack, but she still regards True Blood as a watershed moment in her career.
‘True Blood changed everything for me,’ she reveals. ‘I was just 25 when the job started, and I was 32 and married [to co-star Stephen Moyer] with two children by the time it ended.
‘Also, because the show was so intense, weird and crazy, the cast and crew have remained super-close even after it ended. It was life-changing in so many wonderful ways.’
TV Times Rating ****
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As well as writing on sport and television for What to Watch, Richard McClure has contributed art and travel features for a wide variety of publications, including the Financial Times, The Guardian, and The Observer.