How Broadchurch inspired Ian Rankin’s new high-concept murder mystery game show

We're officially intrigued.

ian rankin

Crime author extraordinaire Ian Rankin has a game show coming out soon and it’s very much in his wheelhouse – it also sounds like an incredibly ambitious project.


Murder Island is coming to Channel 4 in October and it will see members of the public become amateur detectives, who will compete to solve a crime and to build a case that will hold up in court. The show is set to be six episodes long, and it was filmed on the remote Scottish island of Gigha.

It seems that at least some of its inspiration has come from Broadchurch, which Rankin says he binged during lockdown after being approached about making the innovative show. It seems the close-knit community feel and the twists and turns that Broadchurch had inspired the vibe that Rankin will be going for with Murder Island.

Speaking about the new show and its challenges, Rankin admits that he was hesitant to take it on due to how many different scenarios he would have to plan for. “It’s such a dangerous thing to try to do, it’s mad! But it stretched me in all kinds of ways because this isn’t normally the way I operate. It was a challenge but a really entertaining one, and it kept me sane in the first few months of the year when we were still in lockdown,” he told this week’s Radio Times.

Rankin also weighed in on the current trend of focusing on the perpetrator of the crimes rather than the victims, saying: “You can’t go past a page of TV listings without coming across serial killers from history, ‘The most evil person next door’, that kind of stuff. I’m very wary of focusing too much on the perpetrator and making them seem more charismatic than they are.

“That happens in fiction a lot, but in the real world, these people are usually sad, bland, ugly individuals. We shouldn’t be spending too much time thinking about them – we should be focusing a little more on the victims.”


Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out tomorrow. Murder Island is coming to Channel 4 in October. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news.