Creator: Chris Chibnall
Stars: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill, Jodie Whittaker
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Broadchurch is a British television crime drama. It premiered in 2013 and ended in early 2017. The show contains 3 series, 8 episodes each.
Detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) are the two main characters. They do not have time for your shit, they just want to solve the case. They are mostly tired because everyone keeps lying and hiding things from them, thinking they can get away with it. Ah, I just love these two so much.
Broadchurch is so well-written and so beautifully shot, it’s impossible not to love it. It’s very smart, heartbreaking and totally captivating. The cinematography is stellar and the soundtrack -composed by Ólafur Arnalds- is so delicate and emotional. I think what I love most about this show is the depth of the characters and the fact that you can’t really figure out which one is guilty. Literally everyone is a suspect; they are all shifty and behave in such suspicious ways it’s difficult to point out just one of them.
The people of the town are portrayed as flawed, imperfect individuals with secrets they desperately want to keep for themselves. The characters are so complex and multidimensional and human you just can’t help but empathise with some of them. As the mystery unfolds slowly, new suspects are added in the case and their secrets are unearthed.
“The death of a young boy sparks a complex murder investigation that puts an entire town, its residents and its secrets under a national spotlight. Local police officer Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) is begrudgingly teamed up with shady newcomer D.I. Alec Hardy (David Tennant) on the tense case. And it’s not long before she is forced to look at her own community in a whole new, disturbing, light.” (rottentomatoes.com)
In the first series of Broadchurch, an 11-year-old boy named Danny Latimer is killed in a small coastal town. Recently transferred Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller are leading the investigation, searching for the boy’s murderer. In such a close-knit community everyone knows each other, which is why Miller is reluctant at the beginning to believe that someone from their community is the killer. There are all kinds of red herrings to throw you off the murderer’s scent and, let me tell you, I did not see that coming. The show does a remarkable job of depicting all the ways a horrible crime such as this can shatter an entire community. Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan as Danny’s parents are incredibly good, you can really feel their grief and heartbreak. Sublime performances all around.
“Series 2 of the complex crime drama finds the community of Broadchurch attempting to rebuild itself following the shocking events of Series 1. As the case goes to court, more devastating secrets come to light.” (rottentomatoes.com)
Series 2 of Broadchurch revolves around the court case after Danny’s killer is caught. To everyone’s surprise and outrage, the killer pleaded not guilty. Mark and Beth Latimer are still struggling to deal with the loss of their son. A brilliant, retired lawyer named Jocelyn Knight (Charlotte Rampling) is hired to represent them. We also get immersed in one of Hardy’s old cases which had to do with the disappearance of two young girls. Their main suspect’s wife, Claire (Eve Myles), has come to Hardy for protection because she feels threatened by her husband, Lee Ashworth (James D’Arcy). Not as strong as the first series, in my opinion, but still extremely interesting and full of suspense.
“A local woman has come forward about being raped after her friend’s party. Detectives Hardy and Miller begin to investigate the case, questioning everyone who were at the party that night, however, they soon find out that a lot of the guest have secrets so they try their best to uncover the attacker.” (rottentomatoes.com)
The third series of Broadchurch begins when Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) goes to the local police station to report that she has been sexually assaulted. Trish was brutally raped late at night at her friend’s birthday party. The investigation is difficult, given the location of the attack, the number of party guests (around 80 people) and various other circumstances. The community is, once again, under scrutiny as the police are trying to identify Trish’s rapist.
There were moments I found it difficult to watch this final series; the rape, the police procedures, the suspect interrogations were so detailed and brutally honest. I felt such anger and devastation; how could someone do something so abominable? And unfortunately, the social stigma of being a rape victim is still present. A significant number of people who have been raped stay silent and don’t report it because they don’t want anyone, not even their own families, to know. Society tends to blame the person who has been sexually assaulted instead of blaming the perpetrator, which makes it even harder for sexual assault survivors to come forward. “She must have done something to provoke it” and “Look at the way she is dressed, she is asking for it”. No, no, and just no. For more information about victim blaming and rape culture, visit the following links: x, x, x.
Overall, Broadchurch is brilliant. Excellent performances by all the cast; there is simply no bad acting in this show. David Tennant and Olivia Colman are exceptional as always, you can’t go wrong with these two. Also, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love David Tennant’s accent? I don’t think there is. Broadchurch is an outstanding TV show, from start to finish. I wish I could watch it again for the first time.