Liverpool Echo: Broadchurch Delivered Plenty And Promised Much More

Paddy Shennan of the Liverpool Echo has many good things to say about the new ITV drama Broadchurch. The eight part series which began last Monday stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman with Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker, Arthur Darvill and Vicky McClure also among a star-studded cast.

Read what he has to say below:

It was a week when fear and suspicion hung heavy in the air – and a new ITV crime drama beat a new BBC crime drama hands down.

The first episode in the eight-parter Broadchurch (ITV1, Monday) delivered plenty and promised much more, while the Beeb’s Mayday...well, see below.

Both (Kudos-made) dramas boasted fine casts, but that was where the similarities ended. There was more depth and a better feel and better pace to Broadchurch – yes, even the slow motion bits seemed to have a bit more zip about them.

We’re in a small seaside town where everybody seems to know everybody else (how annoying must that be?) – and the calm has been shattered by the discovery of the body of 11-year-old Danny Latimer on the beach.

And, wouldn’t you just know it, this case (and no, the boy hadn’t jumped off a cliff – he was strangled) is being investigated by two detectives who happened to find themselves working together for the very first time on this very day.

David Tennant plays the mysterious new cop on the block – DI Alec Hardy, who we know has some kind of troubled past involving his role investigating a murder case for a different force (yes, this is where Broadchurch reminded me of Charlie Brooker and Dan Maier’s excellent cop show parody from last year, A Touch of Cloth).

Meanwhile, Olivia Colman is DS Ellie Miller. She’s on her first day back after maternity leave and miffed because she thought she’d be the new DI. And to add to the intrigue, her son, Tom, also happened to be Danny’s best friend.

Yes, things can get very complicated in a small town.

Danny’s mum, Beth, and dad, Mark, are played by Jodie Whittaker (she was excellent in Marchlands and she’s excellent here) and Andrew Buchan, whose finest moment comes in a tender, touching and heartbreaking scene when dad talks to his dead son after identifying his body.

The top-notch cast also includes Vicky McClure, of This Is England fame. Hopefully, she won’t end up being undersold by her character, a ruthless and nasty national newspaper reporter (no stereotype here, then) who we see stealing a cuddly toy left at the murder scene by the boy’s grieving sister.

But there is a little humour along the way – Olly Stevens (Jonathan Bailey), an extremely ambitious reporter on the Broadchurch Echo, is shown looking a little put out when he learns he’s been turned down for a job.

“B*****ds!” he says.

The newspaper in question? The Daily Mail.

Cheer up, Olly, you’ve had a lucky escape!

Watch episode two of Broadchurch on Monday 11th March on ITV at 9pm

Source: Liverpool Echo