David Tennant Talks The Ending Of Broadchurch & The Legacy Of MILLAH!

The final season of Broadchurch begins on BBC America tomorrow, with David Tennant and Olivia Colman back in the roles of Detectives Hardy and Miller, reunited for one last case. Ahead of the premiere, David Tennant spoke to IndieWire about his time playing Britain's grumpiest cop and the influence that the series has had on UK drama. 

Read what he had to say below:

When we first got involved, it was a one-season deal...then the first one just took off in a way that no one really saw coming, and Chris rather shyly says, “I could probably make this a trilogy, I’ve sort of got the stories in my head.” 
I don’t know in the US — and this is just, of course, self-centred egotism — but I do often see things coming on the TV in the UK and thinking, “That’s a show that wouldn’t exist before Broadchurch.” It feels like it’s had an influence and I think that’s just because Chris created something very new and at the same time recognizably truthful and honest and something that just caught the public’s imagination. 

It’s not just about crime, it’s always been about the aftermath of crime and how that affects the lives of the people that are left behind...you’re invested in the cost of the crime that has taken place and the way that has wreaked havoc on people’s lives and the community’s life...Not only was it a cracking thriller, but it was full of these characters that you could absolutely recognize and invest in. I think that’s when drama really comes to life.

It’s always managed to attract the most fantastic actors — all people you would expect to lead a TV show in their own right, and it’s been a real privilege to be amongst that. From Olivia and I’s point of view, we’ve always felt kind of smug because we got to act with everyone...It all comes down to Chris Chibnall’s writing because that’s what attracts actors. 

[The interrogation scenes] can be quite gruelling as well because they’re also very long scenes. They’re often very wordy scenes, and they’re often quite emotionally charged, so they’re not easy days at work. But they’re days that are very exciting because they’re often the dramatic turning points of the story and everyone is on their mettle to do their best work, and that’s very exciting to be around.

It’s quite intense, for Olivia and I. We’re in pretty much, not every single hour of every day, but we’re in it quite a lot. There’s not a lot of opportunity for  any other big projects. I mean, I’d be doing the odd session of DuckTales or something, but it was a pretty intense few months.

There’s always inevitably talk of taking it further and doing more with it, but that was never the intention...there was always the expectation that we wouldn’t overdo it simply because there’s a plausibility issue. It’s a small town in the west of England, there just wouldn’t be that many appalling events going on there. After a certain point you’ve got to accept that that would stretch credibility. For the sake of the truthfulness of the situation, we had to kind of walk away from it. I don’t think anyone seriously talks about there being any kind of spinoff because I think we all know that that’s not what should happen. 

It’s nice to know that you’re choosing to walk away from something rather than the enthusiasm for it evaporating and having to shuffle off because nobody wants you anymore...you can walk away with your head held high. 

…and on Hardy’s “MILLAH!” catchphrase:

People shout it at me in the streets sometimes, actually. Which is a bit odd because it’s not actually my name. But it obviously pleases people for some reason.

Read the full interview on IndieWire

Broadchurch Season 3 sees Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller on the hunt for the perpetrator of a serious sexual assult. Jodie Whittaker, Arther Darvill and Andrew Buchan also return and are joined in the cat by new faces Lenny Henry, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Charlie Higson and Sarah Parish.

Watch the Broadchurch Season 3 premiere on BBC America tomorrow night from 10pm/9c