‘Coroner’, the Canadian drama TV series, is a character-driven crime thriller. It is created and developed for CBC by showrunner Morwyn Brebner. ‘Coroner’ Season 1 premiered in January 2019 and was well-received by both critics and viewers. It was the highest-rated new drama series premiere on CBC in more than four years, and also premiered as Universal TV’s highest-ever rated debut series in the UK.
‘Coroner’ follows the story of Jenny Cooper (played by Serinda Swan), a recently widowed woman who has moved cities to start a new job as the chief coroner. She uses her skills to interpret the language of the dead bodies and helps local police make sense of mysterious and unnatural deaths. The show is not made like standard procedurals in the genre, which are mostly driven by their crime plots. Coroner is character-driven in the sense that the focus remains on each character’s individual growth and how they connect to the ongoing plot. But is ‘Coroner’ based on real-life events? Let’s find out!
Is CBC’s Coroner a True Story?
No, Coroner is not based on a true story. ‘Coroner’ does not draw inspiration from any true happenings but is based on the Jenny Cooper novel series by M.R. Hall, published in 2009. There are dissimilarities from the books, though. In the books, Jenny Cooper is a solicitor before being appointed as coroner, while in the show Cooper is a former ER doctor. The books are based in England while the show is based in Canada. Another notable difference is that in the books, Jenny is recently divorced instead of widowed as in the TV series.
Apart from these few alterations here and there, the plot keeps close to that of the book series. Jenny Cooper is not depicted as the perfect, almost inhuman level of genius crime-solver as most protagonists are in such shows. She suffers from severe anxiety and panic disorders and at times, she lets these issues get the best of her. She makes mistakes in her work also, as most of us normal mortals do and that makes her even more relatable. Jenny is a workaholic who immerses herself in her work as an escape because her personal life is so messed up. Again, very relatable in this day and age.
The show also explores Jenny’s mutually codependent relationship with her teenage son (Ehren Kassam). Since she had him as a teenager herself, the lesser age gap serves as the reason why they seem to have such an unconventional mother-son dynamic.
The show also stars Roger Cross as Detective Donovan McAvoy, who partners up with Jenny to solve mysterious crimes. Detective McAvoy and Cooper start out being less than fond of each other but as the show progresses, their respect and admiration for one another grows mutually. Their friendship doesn’t come without its tests, though and audiences will have to wait and see whether their friendship survives the fights and lapses in judgment.
There are other characters in the show as well – pathologist Dr. Dwayne Allen (Lovell Adams-Gray), his assistant River Baitz (Kiley May), and Jenny’s assistant Alison Trent (Tamara Podemski). As far as romantic interest is concerned, that is taken care of by smolder-sporting and enigmatic ex-soldier Liam, played by Éric Bruneau.
Read More: Where is Coroner Filmed?