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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Broadchurch 2, ITV, David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker PREVIEW

Spot the new faces in the line-up for Broadchurch 2. Pics: ITV

Rating: ???

ITV: starts Monday, 5 January, 9pm

Story: Probably another crime in the seaside town of Broadchurch, investigated by Alex Hardy and Ellie Miller…

OMG, this is so exciting. Broadchurch 2 is so amazing they won’t let anyone see it!

What happens next is so thrilling they don’t trust the media to view it without incontinently blabbing

JODIE WHITTAKER as Beth Latimer, CHARLOTTE BEAUMONT as Chloe Latimer and ANDREW BUCHAN as Mark Latimer Broadchurch 2
How will the Latimers fit into Broadchurch 2?

all the show’s secrets on social media within seconds of the end credits.

For the first time in my experience of working in TV publications going back a decade or two, there will be no previews of the opening episode or any that follow.

Is this a slight overreaction? When the first series launched in 2013 ITV courted publicity and reviews, and the series was a huge success, reaching audiences of nine million and winning four Baftas, two Royal Television Society awards and an international Peabody gong. Was the series spoiled by the huge level of coverage the media devoted it?

Broadchurch secrecy

All of Broadchurch‘s success was deserved. But now that Doctor Who levels of secrecy have descended on series two, it suggests the makers are perhaps putting too much stress on the drama’s twists and surprises. Broadchurch wouldn’t have won its audience if it had simply been viewed to find out whodunit.

New character beside the seaside – Sharon (Marianne Jean-Baptiste)

It was also about the quality of the acting and production and the emotional impact of the storytelling.

Writer/creator Chris Chibnall says: ‘We’re doing this because we loved how audiences connected with, and responded to, Broadchurch the first time round. We know we’ll never replicate the way the first series took hold but nonetheless we’re doing our best to ensure our story goes unrevealed, and the audience can remain unspoilered, until it’s broadcast on ITV. We’d like everyone to see the pieces fall into place (and they will) when you watch episode one on that Monday night. And for people to find out – as much as possible – together, at the same time.

‘That’s not such a crazy idea, is it?’

New faces: Charlotte Rampling and Marianne Jean-Baptiste

We can at least reveal that the familiar faces – David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker – are joined by new characters played by Charlotte Rampling, Eve Myles, James D’Arcy and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, with the latter commenting on the show’s secrecy: ‘All I’d say is you

ARTHUR DARVILL as Rev Paul Coates in Broadchurch 2
Will the Rev Coates feature more prominently this time?

think you know what you know but you don’t know anything…’

There’s no denying it will be interesting to see how Chris Chibnall breathes life into a story that reached such a shattering climax. The show was filmed during last summer in West Bay, Dorset, with Tennant and Colman recreating their characters, detectives Alex Hardy and Ellie Miller.

But after the last series, which focused on the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer, Hardy’s health and career were shattered and Miller discovered her husband Joe was the murderer.

David Tennant: ‘Clever and exciting bit of writing’

Let’s leave the last scintilla of a clue to the new series to David Tennant: ‘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

DAVID TENNANT as D.I Alec Hardy and OLIVIA COLMAN as D.S Ellie Miller Broadchurch 2
In deep again: Miller and Hardy

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.’

Cast: David Tennant Alec Hardy, Olivia Colman Ellie Miller, Jodie Whittaker Beth Latimer, Andrew Buchan Mark Latimer, Charlotte Rampling Jocelyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste Sharon,

Arthur Darvill Rev Paul Coates, Eve Myles Claire,  James D’Arcy Lee, Carolyn Pickles Maggie Radcliffe, Jonathan Bailey Olly Stevens, Tanya Franks Lucy Stevens

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Broadchurch 2 – cast pictures

SO HERE is the cast for the second series of ITV’s Broadchurch in a script read-through. In a week when series one won three Baftas – best drama, best actress for Olivia Colman and best supporting actor, David Bradley – it seems there is already quite a lot of anticipation for the next instalment of what was one of 2013’s outstanding new crime dramas. Pictured here for the first time are returning cast David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan and Arthur Darvill, along with some of the actors who are joining the drama for series two including Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Eve Myles and James D’Arcy. And this is just a few months after former Doctor Who David Tennant was in America filming the US version of the series, called Gracepoint.

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