BAFTA Screening of Broadchurch And Q&A Featuring David Tennant

Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall, director James Strong, David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker all took part in a Q&A session at BAFTA's Princess Anne Theatre in Piccadilly earlier tonight. The session followed the preview screening of episode one the eight part series which premieres on ITV on the 4th March.

David Tennant, who is currently shooting The Escape Artist for the BBC in London and the south-east was a late addition to the chat, not confirmed by BAFTA until just before the event. The Q&A session was introduced by Vicky Frost of the Guardian.

Here are some of highlights of the session:

Speaking of the amazing landscape in the location that the drama is set in Chris Chibnall said "We wanted to make something where something terrible happens in a beautiful place".

Chris Chibnall said that David isn't always the only actor that he and James Strong ever consider, but he is the best!

David Tennant said that he'd been drawn to the project by the strength of the script and the chance to work with the two directors again. He also joked that he would have been "really angry" if John Simm had got his role!

The actors discussed the many emotional scenes that the drama threw up, with Jodie Whittaker saying that they tried to achieve the scene in as few as takes as possible and with only a little rehearsal. Some of the scenes were extremely difficult to film and they cried a lot.

Some of the cast and crew discussed their experiences of living in small communities

David Tennant and Chris Chibnall both denied any knowledge of plans surrounding the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special

Olivia Colman joked with David Tennant that he wasn't in the first scenes of the drama as he was advertising Virgin Media. He replied, "And Greek yoghurt sells itself!"

Broadchurch is a skilfully written drama which engenders powerful and emotive performances from its cast. The seaside town of Broadchurch is small and close-knit, the sort of place where everyone knows each other. David Tennant plays DI Alex Hardy, a difficult and unlikeable big city police detective who is brought into the small community from Scotland following an unspecified event in his past in order to keep him out of sight. This tactic backfires when the community is thrust into the media spotlight following the death of a local boy. Olivia Colman plays his colleague DS Ellie Miller, a local woman who knows the family involved very well and has to deal with her own emotional response to the tragedy as well as cope with the abrupt and focused Hardy. Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan also excel as the anxious and dread-filled and then grieving parents. Also worthy of mention are the young actors who deal admirably with difficult scenes and subjects. The drama is beautifully shot with the coast of Dorset playing a major part and the beautiful, sensitive scenes are enhanced by the haunting score by Olafur Arnalds. 

There are eight parts to Broadchurch. If the remaining episodes are as accomplished as the opener then there is no doubt that it is going to hold its audience gripped and guessing over the entire two month run. And  it is likely to be an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. 

The cast of Broadchurch also includes Arthur Darvill as the town priest, struggling to keep the community working together, Pauline Quirke as scruffy local woman Susan, Vicky McClure as a national newspaper reporter and Will Mellor as telephone engineer Steve, with David Bradley, Peter de Jersey and Joe Sims also appearing. 

Watch episode 1 of Broadchurch on ITV on Monday 4th March from 9.00pm