Broadchurch Season 2 In The USA: David Tennant On What To Expect From The New Season

As the new season of Broadchurch will premiere in the USA next week on BBC America, read what David Tennant has to say about what's in store for fans...

What can we expect from the new season of Broadchurch?
It's a very different type of story. I think we all found it hard to predict where Chris (Chibnall) was going to go and how he was going to tell a story faithful to season one without underselling the veracity of it. It would have been ludicrous and a bit disappointing to discover another body on the beach and begin another eight episodes of whodunnit...he absolutely doesn't do that. Tonally it's the same show but structurally it is completely different.
This is a really clever and exciting bit of writing, still a thriller but not the same type. Without giving anything away, it is almost impossible to describe but by the first commercial break people will be enthralled.

How did it feel to be back in West Bay?
I loved being back in West Bay. A lot of people assume we film the whole thing in Dorset but of course we don't. We film the beach scenes, anything to do with water down there everything else in London for interiors and we use locations around Bristol but West Bay is the location that everyone recognises - the Jurassic cliffs (that poor Danny was found at the bottom of in season one) still feature prominently in season two, we'll see the police station again and other locations audiences have seen before. We always enjoy coming back here -
this is where Chris Chibnall our writer lives, so he writes to his locale.

Is it getting harder to keep the Broadchurch secrets?
No, I don't think it has got any harder to keep the secrets. I think it frustrates those around you but I am well practised at not giving anything away; withholding everything. I don't mind it. I quite like being the holder of secrets. I get frustrated if I'm the one that doesn't know them, but happy to be in the slightly superior position of knowing what comes next...
We had the advantage in series one where nobody really cared because no one knew what was coming. This time there’s expectation which is difficult to manage. But if that means we’re a victim of success then that’s a good thing.

What can you tell us?
It's a very different type of story, it would have felt wrong for series two to be another body on another beach. Writer Chris Chibnall has created a story which is structurally very different but is still absolutely in that world both tonally and emotionally.

Has it been difficult keeping storylines under wraps during filming?
Early on we were stalked quite heavily by photographers and there was some graveyard stuff that made it into some of the papers which led to speculation, some of which was accurate, some wildly inaccurate. But it feeds the beast, gets people interested so I guess a bit of speculation won't do any harm.

How did you feel to read episode one?
It was exciting to be back in that world and we pick up where series one left off in many ways. I was absolutely hooked again, Chris has structured that first 15 minutes beautifully.

How difficult was it keeping the identity of the killer secret in season one?
I didn't know until episode eight arrived in a brown envelope, which was about two thirds through filming. It was quite good because in each interrogation scene I genuinely didn't know who was lying and who wasn't. I remember a point half way through filming when Chris [Chibnall] came on set and showed us a sequence of early footage. We were all crushed into the upper floor of the dining bus before filming and he was shaking with nerves. He said, ‘I know some of you want to know and some don’t and I've decided I’m not going to tell you!’ So the suspense was eked out even longer. A similar thing happened with script distribution this time.

Is it nice that people now recognise you for Broadchurch rather than simply Doctor Who?
Well it's certainly different, yes. Not that I'm ever sad to talk about Doctor Who or to be recognised for that. I will always be terribly proud of it but, yes, it was lovely to be part of something else that seemed to attract an equal level of enthusiasm.

How did the new cast — Charlotte Rampling, Marie-Anne Jean Baptiste, Eve Myles, James D'Arcy and Phoebe Waller-Bridge — integrate?
Extremely well mercifully. If it were all to end today, there are a lot of people I'll miss. It's one of those jobs you come away from with a much heavier phone book. Everyone's bonded by being a Broadchurcher.

You've also appeared in the American remake Gracepoint, how was that experience?
It's very unusual to be asked so that's one of the main reasons to do it. It was too extraordinary an opportunity to turn down and it was the same but different. As I finished filming Gracepoint in Canada, the first script for Broadchurch season two arrived and I thought it would be interesting to read it. So I did and I thought it was fantastically clever and brilliant and thrilling but completely disorientating. It suddenly felt like an entirely different world so I put it down until I caught the plane home.

Do you see Emmett Carver, your character from Gracepoint, as a totally 
different character to Alex Hardy?
I wouldn't say Carver and Hardy are completely different characters - in my head they occupy very different spaces. Clearly in many ways they are quite similar but don't feel like the same person, in fact they feel quite distinct. Although the story is in many ways similar, Gracepoint feels like a different world.

Did you feel protective of the character?
You do think, 'I don't want anyone else to have a go'. I thought if they're going to let me have a try, I'm going to take that opportunity. Then you get there and it's its own thing with its own life and momentum.

Did you watch the season one finale as it went out?
I couldn't because I was on a night shoot in Cardiff for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who at the time but I was following its progress through text messages I was receiving between takes. It was exciting and really felt like an event.

Thanks to ITV Press and TV Choice.