The past three episodes of arguably Britain’s premiere whodunit have successfully – and rather rapidly – built up a cadre of suspects, all attendees of Cath Atwood’s 50th birthday party; the fateful night when Trish Winterman was brutally sexually assaulted. The conspiracy theories are already starting to flow thick and fast: was this, in fact, a sex party that got out of hand? Is that what Trish’s ex-husband Ian wanted to desperately erase from his laptop? Is Broadchurch a steaming Gomorrah of swinging and sex parties? Who knows. What we do know is that Hardy and Miller had a huge list of attendees to process, and not a lot of resources to process them with. But in episode four, the half-way stage of the series, things began move.
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Last week’s episode of this third series of Broadchurch saw Miller and Hardy really start to do the rounds and gather information on some of the key male attendees of the party where Trish Winterman was sexually assaulted. Suspects were beginning to emerge, and Trish’s own lead-up to her ordeal was called into question – she had (consensually) slept with a man on the morning of the day in question, and declined naming him in her police interview. So many things were bubbling away, and this episode kept the water simmering.
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After a triumphant return last week, where a brutal case of sexual assault was presented with both sensitivity and honesty, Broadchurch started its investigation of the crime in earnest this week. The list of suspects grew, the awfulness of Trish’s ordeal intensified and Miller and Hardy (especially Miller) were pure gold.
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Here we go then. Back to the Jurassic coast and the small coastal town of Broadchurch, where DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller are back on the beat, investigating their last case. Thanks to a phenomenal first series, this British show has become a real heavy-hitter in the crime drama world – its almost Scandinavian-style mixture of a classic whodunit mixed with emotional, personal stories elevated it above many of its contemporaries. If the second series failed to build on the first series’ quality, this third series – after a long break where so much has happened on television since – has its work cut out to still remain relevant. Thankfully, Chris Chibnall, David Tennant and Olivia Colman are back on top form.
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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? Continue reading
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. Continue reading
I really enjoyed the first episode of the second series of Broadchurch, and I wasn’t the only one – that series opener attracted a whopping seven and a half million overnight viewers. But there were some who weren’t so keen. A work colleague expressed mild dismay at the fact writer Chris Chibnall was rehashing old ground with the Latimer case, the not guilty plea of Joe Miller paving the way for a return to a case we thought we had already experienced. Since that first episode, I also read the ever-excellent Grace Dent’s review in The Independent, where she said that the show wasn’t much more than a grown-up soap opera. EastEnders set in Devon, with the patina of a Scandinavian crime series. At the time of reading it I didn’t agree but after this second episode I was starting to see her point. Continue reading