David Tennant. Olivia Colman. Jodie Whittaker. Arthur Darvill. Pauline Quirke. Vicky McClure. Lots of other familiar faces including Will Mellor. All in a new gripping drama on ITV. Yes, ITV.
Broadchurch: A new series set in a West Country seaside town where the body of a 10/11 year old boy is found, having been strangled, on the beach. It definitely needed it’s high profile cast to lure me over to ITV for what otherwise might have seemed like a standard crime mystery drama, and it’s the cast that’s going to keep me watching. (Of course readers will know that I do watch stuff on ITV, but generally avoid their Monday night crime dramas).
It’s almost like an Agatha Christie. There are so many suspects already and they’re all well-known actors so it could be any of them – well not Olivia Colman, the police detective, or David Tennant, her newly appointed superior – taking the job she thought she was going to get as DI – or the mother, Jodie Whittaker, who looked too young to be playing the mother of 15 year old daughter and 10/11 year old son, but at least that was explained later that she had her first child when she was 15. And it’s not Vicky McClure who plays a journalist who comes into the town of Broadchurch to follow the story.
So Danny/Daniel has been found dead and now Tennant’s character who is called Alec Hardy, but throughout they kept on calling him by both names so I was convinced his surname was Alecardy or something until I saw it on the caption when he did an interview, is in charge. There’s some infamous case that he was involved in before, which he seemed to have mucked up, so he needs to prove himself. Olivia Colman, Ellie, is the local police detective who is mother to Danny’s best friend – who deletes incriminating text messages and computer files when he finds out about the murder. It’s her first murder case, it seems, and she’s obviously close to the bereaved parents. And there’s the dad, a familiar actor, who is a plumber. The show starts with the Dad walking through the town of Broadchurch saying hello to all the characters. It’s annoying, but you understand why they did it – to introduce the viewer to them and the town. Anyway, he was out on a ‘call’ the evening of the murder so who knows what he was really up to. The most suspicious character so far, and so obviously didn’t do anything but probably knows something, is Pauline Quirke who lurks in and out of various shots looking moody and knowing.
It’s only the first episode in, and I’ve seen elsewhere that it’s been likened in form to The Killing – as in series one where there’s a murder and the drama looks at the family, the police, and the community etc. We’ll see if it elevates to that level or just becomes an Agatha Christie whodunnit with various twists. It’s written by Chris Chibnall, who wrote some Doctor Who and Torchwood episodes (but not the best ones) (and there are the obvious Doctor Who connections of Tennant and Darvill). We’ll see. As long as it doesn’t turn out to be the butler. Oh wait, there isn’t a butler ….