We’ve already had a story about a series beginning filming today (Channel 4’s No Offence), but this is the biggie – it’s Broadchruch! David Tennant and Olivia Colman reprise their roles as DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller for the third series, which started filming today, with Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan returning to play Beth and Mark Latimer. Crucially there’s a brand new case and some brand new cast members, too.
Remember March 2013? That was when Chris Chibnall’s Broadchurch took the country by storm, becoming arguably the crime drama that set off this huge deluge of quality stuff we’re seeing at the moment. That first series was truly something special, and even if the second series didn’t live up to the first, there was still David Tennant and Olivia Colman to enjoy. Chibnall will soon be off to helm Doctor Who, but first he’s giving us a third instalment of the crime drama and ITV has announced who will be starring in it.
Broadchurch, the hit British crime drama written and created by Chris Chibnall, is now over for another year, with people scratching their heads and digesting and ruminating on what happened and why it happened and why it happened the way it did. There will be another, third series along next year but over in The America, the Fox network decided it’d be a good idea to remake the series, using Chibnall’s skill to craft and American-friendly version of the tale and David Tennant’s acting chops to bring his fragile but obsessed character Alec Hardy to a US audience, calling himself Emmet Carver. (I would’ve liked for him to be called Emmet Carvery, but that sadly didn’t happen.) Unfortunately Gracepoint only lasted one series, but even though it’s all over for Carvery and co, we’re now getting to see it in the UK.
I’ve had a bit of a break from things during the past few weeks, and I’ve picked a fine time to rejoin the fray – it’s Broadchurch finale time. If this second series has polarised people, we also all know that final episodes are subjective affairs where writers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. It’s very difficult to please all of the people all of the time, and I wasn’t expecting Broadchurch – which I’ve had my problems with throughout this second series – to hit everything out of the park. That would be an unfair expectation. All I wanted was a rollercoaster ride that finally tied up the fate of Joe Miller and resolved the Sandbrook murders. It’s too not much to ask, it?
After last week’s improvement, I had hopes that once we had reached the half-way point in Broadchurch it would have reeled me back in again. We saw last week that things had flipped slightly (well, a lot). Lee Ashworth became a good (ish) guy, having revealed he had been trying to clear his name by gathering evidence on the Sandbrook case himself, and Claire – a witness under Hardy’s protection – was now a prime suspect. Who, or what, would be revealed in this episode? Whose identity will have flipped about face this time?
After last week’s episode of Broadchurch, I was hoping that this third episode would pick up a bit. Or rather slow down, dispense with the Families At War shouting, and start to strip away a lot of superfluous meat from the bone. I understand there needs to be a set-up, and a bedding-in process for new characters, but so far so trying-too-hard. So far so too-many-characters. So far so just-too-much. During last week’s episode I wanted to take a break, get a bag of chips and sit on the beach and let Hardy, Miller and the Latimers get on with it in another part of town. The noise was getting too much. Chips in a plastic tray with loads of salt and vinegar. Yes, that would have been much better.