Broadchurch 2, first episode verdict

Oliva Colman as Ellie Miller in Broadchurch 2 ITV
It’s a lonely road for Ellie Miller in Broadchurch 2. Pics: ITV

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]riter/creator Chris Chibnall has hit a bullseye in re-energising a popular drama that seemed to have reached a pretty conclusive end in series one.

David Tennant said ‘by the first commercial break people will be enthralled‘, and he was spot on. Because by then we had the first major twist – Joe spoiling everyone’s day by pleading not guilty to the murder of Danny.

Sandbrook’s as bad as Broadchurch

Getting detectives Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Alec Hardy (Tennant) back into the action was smoothly done, too. We’d assumed Ellie would have had to move to Timbuktu after husband Joe was exposed as the hateful small-town child killer, but traffic duty in Devon was bad enough.

JOE SIMS,CHARLOTTE RAMPLING and ANDREW BUCHAN in Broadchurch 2
Nige helps a distressed Mark, while Jocelyn looks on

We also found out more about Hardy’s big case that turned sour before Broadchurch – in Sandbrook. Hardy’s health was rocky in series one and he is no longer a detective, but he is still trying to protect Claire (Eve Myles), who testified against her dangerous-looking husband, Lee Ashworth, whom Hardy had pegged as a murderer. Ashworth walked free when the Sandbrook trial collapsed, and is now stalking Claire and Broadchurch.

Charlotte Rampling v Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Another terrific new plotline involved Charlotte Rampling as retired lawyer Jocelyn, fronting up to Oscar-nominated Marianne Jean-Baptiste as QC Sharon, Jocelyn’s former protégé and now defender

MARIANNE JEAN-BAPTISTE as Sharon, Broadchurch 2
Sharon has Danny’s body disinterred

of Joe Miller. Their polite but highly charged face-off on the Broadchurch sands at the conclusion of this opener has set up a blockbuster confrontation between the women in court.

My one doubt about the story now is that if Joe ends up being proved not to have killed Danny, Chibnall will have led us all up the garden path and it could end up making a nonsense of the drama that gripped us all in series one. Not quite on a level with Bobby Ewing dying in what turned out to be a dream in Dallas, but still potentially annoying.

Favourite scene from ep1? Mine was Miller resisting Hardy’s offer to ‘hug it off’ in the Ladies. Olivia Colman even blew David Tennant away in a heartbreaking scene that was still tender and funny. Superb.

Broadchurch on ITV Player
10 Lessons from Broadchurch 2, Mail Online

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