Broadchurch Creators Ensure That Details Stay Secret

Lucky ticket holders at the Bridport Arts Centre last night got to view an exclusive advanced screening of the new ITV drama Broadchurch – but series writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall insisted that they keep plot details a secret.

The producers of the drama staged the screening as a special thank you to locals after their small Dorset town was used as a filming location. Chris Chibnall, himself a Bridport resident, based the story around the coast and harbour of West Bay, although much of the footage was shot in the North Somerset town of Clevedon.

Chris Chibnall appeared at the event along with director James Strong and producer Richard Stokes to pass on their personal thanks and to answer questions about the drama and filming. He said, “If you found roads closed, let us run riot in your caravan park, or if you were anyone who just didn’t complain when you weren’t able to do something if we were filming – thank you very much.”

Broadchurch explores what happens in a small community when it becomes the focus of police and media scrutiny following the unexplained death of a child. The events and outcome of the drama are so veiled in secrecy that even the cast were not told the outcome – it was shot in sequence with scripts being sent out only shortly before shooting. In September, David Tennant, then mid-shoot, told fans at the Lords of Time convention that he had little idea about what was coming up and that all he could say was that the events of the first couple of episodes take place over just a couple of days. He said of the process: “If you are playing someone who is investigating a crime and the crime is actually unfolding as you go from an acting point of view, that’s very helpful as you can’t second guess. When you’re playing those initial interviews with characters and you genuinely don’t know what the truth is you can’t load those scenes with ‘actorly’ tricks; you have to play it for what it is which can only make it more real. You can be as exasperated about the mystery of the characters as the audience will be.”

Chris Chibnall said that the cast and crew had their own sweepstake on who would be the culprit, and that David Tennant stopped him in the car park one day to say to him, "I'm annoyed you won't tell me and I think you're absolutely right not to!"

Broadchurch will begin on ITV within the next few weeks. Click here for more information.