THE CORONER “First Love.” BBC, UK. 60 minutes. 16 November 2015 (Season 1, Episode 1.) Claire Goose as Jane Kennedy, Coroner, Matt Bardock as Davey Higgins, Detective Sergeant, Grace Hogg-Robinson as Beth Kennedy, Jane’s daughter. Director: Ian Barber.

   The story in this first episode is better than average, but as the first episode, it fails badly in introducing the players. A synopsis on IMDb helps:

   “Following the failure of a relationship high-flying solicitor Jane Kennedy returns to the small Devon coastal town of Lighthaven, that she left when she was a teenager. She takes up the position of coroner investigating sudden, violent and suspicious deaths. Jane moves back, with her teenage daughter Beth to live with her mother. In her new role Jane must work alongside Davey Higgins, the boy who once broke her heart, who is now the local Detective Sergeant.”

   There are just the beginning of hints at all this in the episode itself. We don’t get a clear statement as to why Jane Kennedy has moved back to her home town, only that she has, nor what her relationship withe Davey Higgins is and/or was. They are working together, she as the local coroner (and how does it happen she has the job so quickly?), he as a local police office, and (for the most part) comfortably so.

   The mother-daughter relationship, on the other hand, is obviously prickly. There is a lot of that going around. See Dicte, the first episode of which, from 2013, was reviewed here. In fact, the story line is very much the same. Young girl falls for an iffy guy from a faster crowd than her mother wants her to be anywhere near.

   The boy friend in this episode happens to have been the best friend of another young boy who is suspected of committing suicide by jumping off a high stone tower. It is possible, however, that he may have been pushed, and it is up to Jane and Davey to check into it before Jane can prepare her final report.

   In spite of the strong sense of déjà vu on my part, which arose only by the sheer chance of seeing the first episodes of both series so close together, the story itself is well done. This is another series I can see myself spending more time with (streaming now on Britbox.)