Your Questions Answered: Chris Chibnall And Richard Stokes' Twitter Q&A

Broadchurch creator and writer Chris Chibnall and series producer Richard Stokes held a Q&A session on Twitter this afternoon to celebrate the release of the crime drama on DVD. Hundreds of questions later, this is what they had to say:

Chris Chibnall

@faithful_viewer: “what was it like to work with David and Arthur again after Doctor Who?
Miserable. Divas.

@JuanSam26: “Is there a difference writing for Tennant in Broadchurch vs. Doctor Who?
Very different characters so yes!
@JuanSam26: “Haha thanks, but I meant as an actor if there's a change in how you write to his acting style now vs then
DT is so versatile that you hope to find him new things to do. That was part of our initial conversation. 

From one of the cast!
@JoeSims10: “there's a chap called Nige in s1 who both me and my Nan thought was brilliant! Is he in s2?
Is your Nan available?

@RyanJL: “Upon reflection, is there anything at all you would change about S1? Even the smallest thing?”
I would put @JoeSims10’s Nan in it.
really good question. always is on every show. But less on this than most. We had to cut some (not many) scenes with great acting in

@RealJayneLake: “I'm struggling 2 keep all the plot in the air at the same time with my stuff. Any structural/practical tips?

@Grumblenook: “Is there anything you could tell us about Series 2. Any hints, clues, teasers?
No! (This is easy)

@can “can you talk about the casting? Why and how did you pick the cast members and why?
I had some actors in mind while writing (eg Olivia, Arthur), others such as Jodie and Andy just did irresistible readings.

@JosephBegley: “relevance of the clocks being wrong in the first episode?”
Metaphor for death/lives now being in stasis

@madmumof3: “Who, out of the Broadchurch cast, would you most like to have dinner with and why
All of them. Every night.

@JillOusey: “Broadchurch is coming to BBC America in August - will there be a Region1 DVD released?
Don’t know. Hope so!

@chrisrooke: “Most difficult part of creative process? Realising horrendous emotions, keeping killer below radar, etc?
Probably keeping all the plates spinning emotion, plot, character development, reality vs thriller. A cocktail of stuff

@caravansusan: “favourite scene from any episode?
Too many to choose. I do love the Hardy/Miller dinner scene (& invite!)

@benjaminpmoore: “Did you write the scripts so a different resolution was plausible?
I had a contingency up my sleeve, yes

@ShastriVCParsad: “Why no blu ray?
Not our choice. We made it in HD so would love a BluRay.

@SoarsparksPoppy: “Was it difficult filming something so emotionally devastating in a place near to where you used to live?
It was certainly a bit stranger than I had anticipated. But the West Bay & Clevedon communities were ace.

@MartyN1994: “Which scene did you enjoy shooting the most?
I felt very proud & sad (& cold) the night of the beach bonfire

@benjaminpmoore: “Do you completely map characters out in advance or allow them to expand as they go along?
Genuinely, both. Map everything out, have a plan, then change and expand if a better idea occurs!

@trilbyauton: “Did you ever get to the stage where you thought something was too emotional to be written, or a step too far?
Asked that q all the time, many days had to step away, take long walks & deep breaths. Eps 1 & 8 esp tough

@SV_lover: “Did you originally plan to crate more than one series?
I hoped to, yes. But never expected this response.

@TenOncominStorm: “At what point of having the idea and developing it, did you feel like you should spread it and show ITV?
When I had ep 1 script, a set of series storylines, ideas of casting, some images & a mouldboard!

ifantweets: “Is there more to Susan's backstory than we saw? Did she actually not know about her husband?
There’s always more to characters than you can put on screen.

@gill_kirk; “Great and inspiring that this came from yr spec script: how true was the final to your spec idea?
Very close. Thanks to an AMAZING, collaborative team and extraordinary actors, the finished show was better.

@sterkc: “was it Killer first and then story? Or Story and then pick a Killer?
Characters first, then story, then killer evolved out of the mix.

@benjaminpmoore: “How do you resolve conflict btwn character's natural response & demands of plot arc?
Plot via character

@DanielVipond: “What sort of camera was Broadchurch filmed with?
Arri Alexa

@CDrape01: “Have you been tempted to buy property in the area? Seems idyllic!
I live here already. It is

@CameronYardeJnr: “Can you believe the critical, cultural and ratings success? Rare for a show to be all 3
Utterly stunned. We honestly feel very grateful and humbled. We know how rare it is and appreciate it.

@RichardLeeWalsh: “Did you have sleepless nights worrying that the ending would be leaked?
Yes, and I love that nobody did

@Grumblenook: “What was it like weaving so many red herrings into the plot?
A LOT of fun

@Mai_C_Actress: “do you see yourself in any of the characters? Including good and bad traits
Yes. Especially Ellie & Hardy

@laverosa_c: “any advice for budding script writers?
Read. Watch. Study. Write. Rewrite. Listen to notes. Write. Persist!

@lorrainewood73: “great choice of location west bay im off there myself soon and where in particular you recommend for dinner?
Watch House cafe, Riverside Restaurant, Three Horseshoes Powerstock…

@laverosa_c: “Why not put the script on @bbcwritersroom? We would love to see a script
Haven’t been asked!

@stuartwitts: “What made you choose @OlafurArnalds to score the series?
Because he is a genius. Loved listening to his work & he outperformed what I thought he’d bring

@240719991: “At the start did you think it was risky having 8x 1 hour episodes on the same plotline?
Right from the start and every single day. But I kept writing anyway.

@DazBear1969: “who set out the mood and style of the show? You or the directors?
Teamwork. Broadchurch is teamwork. We discussed what we all thought it should be. Then stuck to it.

@BroadchurchUK: “ was Olivia Colman just as jolly as she was on the BAFTA night? She seems lovely!
We ADORE her.

@SoarsparksPoppy: “was there any cast member who was similar in personality to their character?

@what_thefez: “sci-fi or mystery?
Both! And others!

@alfie_barker: “best tips for writing a crime drama?
Plot it all out. Approach from character. I think.

@RJHSwain: “Do you prefer having creative control over a big multi-part series or to write single eps for existing shows?
I love having responsibility and being able to fully take the blame.

@samfreeman__: “explain this - on Tom millers phone ;)
His phone was still on Florida time!

@Tobiiiaaas: “What is the key to a great script?
Oh, blimey so many things, characters you love & a story that transports?

@LucyPeirce: “where is the hut where danny was killed i went to west bay i couldnt see it xx
On the cliff at Eype.

@claireejfurner: “Did you have ideas for a 2nd series whilst writing the 1st or was it purely motivated by the success?
2nd series motivated purely by story! I have another story. Never chase success!

@TenOncominStorm: “Do you have any annoying habits that you do when in the flow of writing?

@GKMarshall: “For how long had Broadchurch been in the works before being picked up?
About nine months of work, very roughly. Unusual route, though, being written on spec.
@Mai_C_Actress: “Did you ever stop and think 'this is too surreal, someone's playing a joke on me.’
Still thinking it.

@RJHSwain: “Do you have any particular routines or sources of inspiration (e.g. listen to music) while writing scripts?
I listen to a lot of music. I switch off the Internet (Freedom app). And I go for walks to solve problems.

@BBC6Breakfast: “How did you feel when this happened with Colly and Jodie!?
It was our first day of location shooting on the beach. We were in a script meeting. A l moment of concern!

@jwarley: “you said before that you wrote Broadchurch on spec, how much of it did you write before it was picked up?
Episode one, character biogs and storylines for the whole series.

@Dymvue; “I don't remember the detectives ever investigating Danny's life at school, wld have thought that necessary.”
Lots of procedural scenes you didn’t see. Multiple points of view, so we couldn’t show every piece of investigation (deliberately)

@MarkAttrill1: “will you be using my parents newsagents again in the 2nd series? Bag of free sherbert lemons to tempt you
We’re tempted! Already been buttonholed by a brilliant performer wanting to be the new newsagent!
@ComedyAnorak: “What is the one piece of advice you would give to new writers?
Finish the piece. Write another. Repeat!

Richard Stokes

@ClaireTaylor_: “whats it like working with David Tennant?” 
He is an utter joy. Charming, brilliant, professional.

@Grumblenook: “did you envision David Tennant and Olivia Colman as Hardy and Miller from the beginning?
Chris always had Olivia in mind for Ellie! David was cast very soon after from a very short short-list!

@Grumblenook: “How did you entice stars like David Tennant and David Bradley to Broadchurch?
It's all about the quality of the scripts. Actors respond to great material.

@RealJayneLake: “I'm struggling 2 keep all the plot in the air at the same time with my stuff. Any structural/practical tips?
White boards and index cards are your friend. Always really useful to see the structure in one

@RealJayneLake: “What's your favourite British TV drama from the last five years?
So many recently - Downton series 1, Scott and Bailey, always a big fan of Silk before I produced it.

@Grumblenook: “Is there anything you could tell us about Series 2. Any hints, clues, teasers?
No, and be honest - wasn't one of the great enjoyments of series 1 *not* knowing what happened next?

@madmumof3: “Who, out of the Broadchurch cast, would you most like to have dinner with and why
As actors they were all utterly lovely and any of them. As characters - maybe not Susan. Or Joe. Or Nige. Or Hardy

@Grumblenook: “I feel like there is a hidden metaphor in relation to the now deceased slug. What was it?
There was always something in the house that was unwelcome. The slug is the killer under Ellie's nose.

@yazzyfizzle: “Was Steve really a psychic?”
Very deliberately left open. Always written and played that it could go either way.

@caravansusan: “What was your favourite scene from any episode in Broadchurch?
A lot to choose from; the dinner scene with Hardy and Ellie, the interview scenes in ep 8 David Bradley's death

@twindy5: “Did you film any of Broadchurch in Portishead? You had mentioned wanting to early on.
Very little in the end as we found most of our locations in Clevedon.

@SV_lover: “If you were on a desert island with a Broadchurch character, who would you choose and why?
Well, the list of who not to choose is probably easier! No murderers, grumpy cops or relatives of weird families!

@rebelheart77: “And when and how did Joe Miller get the keys to the hut?
The keys are under a stone by the door. We showed this but cut the scene for time in the edit.

@identity_no2: “relevance of Danny arguing with the postman?
It was how Jack remembered it but it was a red herring. Again - scene cut from last ep helped explain this.

@Grumblenook: “In retrospect, if you could change the killer to another character - who would you choose?
Emotionally this was always the right choice for the show. Couldn't be anyone else.

@awkward912: “Anything you regret not being able to do/not doing in a different way?
The December storms prevented us from shooting the boat out at sea. Wish we could have done that

@mLouisep: “was the accused Jack storyline in effort to prepare us for what happened with Danny and Joe?
More a parallel - a story of how Mark could end up emotionally (grieving for his lost son) and how press speculation can spiral.

@CameronYardeJnr: “Can you believe the critical, cultural and ratings success? Rare for a show to be all 3.
no, still can't believe the response. A rare feeling and one we're all treasuring.

@MlleEmmie: “most beautiful memory of doing Broadchurch?
a few as the cast/crew were great to be with. Filming on the beach, meals at the Bull. Wrap!

@northernlass73: “were you shocked about how much we all loved broadchurch?
Not so much shocked as delighted. We all aim to be that good - but rarely achieve it.

@Grumblenook: “What was it like weaving so many red herrings into the plot?
Both difficult and fun. Keeping the plates spinning is hard but creatively exciting.

@SoarsparksPoppy: “Was there ever a day of filming when everything just seemed to be not quite working?” 
We were hit by hurricane Sandy on its way back from NY. That wasn't a great night shoot!

@BroadchurchUK: “did you have to do the walk up east cliff in west bay? (Bloody killer if a hill!!)
Yes - on all three recces and for filming!!

@twindy5: “Any chance of a different ending to make sure U.S. viewers are 100% unspoiled?
er ... no. Sorry.

@BroadchurchUK: “was Olivia Colman just as jolly and hyper as she was on the BAFTA night? She seems lovely!
She is. An utter star who kept coming in to the production office and making us tea

@oliviarose18xx: “would you ever consider reversing the plot next series and show it from the killers perspective ?
Have you seen 'The Fall'?

@MlleEmmie: “I noticed a bit similarity with "Twin Peaks", an amazing similarity for me. Is it desired?
It was an influence for sure both editorially and stylistically.

@Hannah_Aldis: “How hard was it to keep the identity of the killer a secret?
Everyone who knew had the goodwil not to spoil it. We also covered ourselves. No advance DVDs

@davidrdoyle81: “Was there any part that you watched back and thought, "Could've done that better!" ? Good job btw :-)
Not much, tbh, but some exterior sequences in the last block were tough to schedule with the weather

@Grumblenook: “How difficult was it to establish so many possible theories and have them all live until the finale?
v v difficult which is why you have a good team around you. Our script exec was @hoyleslick

@identity_no2: “who kept the spirits up on set most of the time?
A lot of very funny talented cast in our show. All of them made us laugh.

@Jayne_1966: “What was Olivia Coleman's reaction when told Joe that was the murderer
Initially shocked and then, after a few minutes - realised it was the only place to take the story.

@Taaait: “Are you aware that doing series two is going to be challenging after it's massive success? Expectations are great.
Yes - that had occurred to us. Fortunately God invented gin.

@LucyPeirce: “Whose your fave character you and Chris xxx
So difficult to pick one. Any team that had great chemistry - Hardy/Ellie, Mark/Beth Karen/Olly

@MlleEmmie: “The worst part of being a screenwriter? ( I'd like to be, so...I prepare myself LOL)
It's *never* perfect - there is always more work that can be done on character, plot, polishing.

@ringbing: “Whose idea was it for Paul Coates to have a guitar in his office? Will he play it next series maybe?
Our marvellous design department who knew he could play.

@TimelordVamp: “who was the first person cast in Broadchurch?”

@ringbing: “will we ever know why the clocks in the Latimer house stopped when Danny died?
It's in a Hardy short story - a metaphor for death, lives lived in stasis.

@mandnailsea: “who was the postman and was he just a massive red herring? Ps thanks for filming in Clevedon..
You're welcome and yes - a red herring. A scene from last ep helped explain but cut for time.

@Manipulator73: “One thing I found a bit odd. U said Nige Carter had Size10 feet? REALLY? He looks huge
Small feet !

@mLouisep: “how important was the location? ie: did you hear that accent when writing dialogue?
Location was hugely important as Chris embedded the story into the South Coast geography.

@ZomgItsMe29: “What was the weirdest thing which happened on set?
Probably Olivia dislocating her knee and filming being stopped because of the Dec. storms.

@identity_no2: “why's Hardy afraid of the water? esp. in the dream sequence?
Did you see the size of those waves??

@yazzyfizzle: “Why did Pauline Quirke give the skateboard to Tom?
re; Pauline giving the skateboard - she knew she'd been found out by then and, ultimately, wasn't guilty of the crime.

@sterkc: “anyone from the cast or crew that figured out who the killer be the scripts?” 
Some, but none the motive.

@sterkc: “favorite @OlafurArnalds song? And why?
Beth's theme. Breaks my heart.

Broadchurch starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman was released on DVD today. Order your copy here