It’s coming back soon to ITV. Here’s a taster…
ITV’s third series of Broadchurch started filming yesterday, with Sir Lenny Henry and Roy Hudd joining David Tennant and Olivia Colman on the cast. Other new faces will include Julie Hesmondhalgh, Sarah Parish, Charlie Higson and Georgina Campbell.
The new series will herald a brand new case for Miller and Hardy, with the detectives reuniting to investigate a serious sexual assault.
‘This is the final chapter of Broadchurch,’ said Chris Chibnall. ‘We have one last story to tell, featuring both familiar faces and new characters. I hope it’s a compelling and emotional farewell to a world and show that means so much to me.’
A classy and compelling John Le Carré adaptation
★★★★½ BBC1, Sunday, 21 February, 9pm
IT’S BEEN 25 years since the last John Le Carré novel made it to the small screen, and that was a now forgotten Thames TV version of A Murder of Quality.
Cinema has taken up the British novelist’s work with gusto since then, with five movies being made, including The Tailor of Panama and the dour but well-received Tinker Tailor Solider Spy in 2011.
This new realisation of The Night Manager, which is said to have cost £20m ($30m), could well be the best of the lot. The Beeb seems to have got just about all the casting and production decisions right.
Tom Hiddleston is terrific away from the big-budget pantomime of the Thor films, playing ex-British soldier Jonathan Pine, who is now working as a hotel night manager, a choice position from which to learn the peccadilloes and secrets of rich clientele.
Hugh Laurie – charm and sadistic evil
This is how he encounters the beautiful Sophie (Aure Atika), mistress of a shady businessman in Egypt, who passes on to Pine documents exposing billionaire philanthropist Richard Roper as a dealer in weapons such as napalm and other illegal ‘toys’.
Roper is played by Hugh Laurie, a million miles here from his buffoonery as Jeeves or the upper-class halfwits of Blackadder. In the trailer, Laurie looks like he might be the weak link in the pivotal role of villain, but he is superb. It’s a flesh-creeping portrayal of charm, intelligence and sadistic evil.
Hiddleston is cool but vulnerable as Pine, who is emboldened to be recruited by British intelligence into spying on Roper after Sophie is attacked for leaking the arms documents to him. [Read more…]
HERE IS an early glimpse of BBC1’s The Night Manager, the first TV adaptation of a John Le Carré novel in 20 years and which stars Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie.
The six-parter focuses on ex-British soldier Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston), who must become a criminal in order to infiltrate the murky nexus between the secret arms trade and the intelligence community.
Quality oozes from this drama (which we’ll preview soon). It’s a co-production with AMC in the States, which made Breaking Bad and Mad Men. In addition to major international stars such as Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Hugh Laurie (House), there is the abundantly watchable Olivia Colman (Broadchurch).
In addition it is directed by Susanne Bier, who won an Oscar for In a Better World, with a script by David Farr, whose credits include Spooks and Hanna.
Le Carré’s novel was published in 1993 and was one of his most acclaimed.
Hugh Laurie says: ‘I loved The Night Manager when it was published, and for more than 20 years have yearned to see it realised on screen. I am now thrilled and honoured to have the frontest of front-row seats. All the moving parts are finely machined – we just have to not mess it up.’
With this crew, that seems unlikely.
The Night Manager is coming soon! Watch this space…
‘You’re going to stop asking questions about me.’ Susan Wright
‘Why would I do that?’ Maggie Radcliffe
‘I know men who would rape you…’ – Susan Wright
David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker, Pauline Quirke, Arthur Darvill, Vicky McClure, David Bradley, Will Mellor, Carolyn Pickles, Matthew Gravelle
Identikit: The investigation of the murder of a boy in a small seaside town in Dorset and the effect it has throughout the community.
Let’s be clear: series 1 was terrific, while series 2 completely lost the plot. So Broadchurch gets in the Killer 50 on the strength of series 1, and the second outing will be discreetly ignored here (though this was CrimeTimePreview’s verdict at the time). Perhaps the key to Broadchurch 1’s huge success was that it was a project writer Chris Chibnall believed in so much that he wrote it for his own satisfaction, a labour of love, without being commissioned, without executive tinkering, before taking it to ITV. He was inspired by living near Dorset’s Jurassic Coast (it was filmed mainly at West Bay), and wanted to explore the impact of a boy’s murder on a seaside community. The body of Danny Latimer is found on the beach and during the next eight episodes we witness the crime’s emotional reverberations on the family, police, press, businesses and the local church. Where the victim’s place in the world is barely touched on in many cop shows, here Broadchurch perhaps picks up on the huge success of the first series of The Killing (Forbrydelsen) and became a drama with greater depth and characterisation than most series have. It is also, of course, a whodunit that got everyone talking (even journalists were self-righteously outraged when previews of the final episode were not made available to them), so it has the usual red-herrings and coincidences to knock down before the end. But Broadchurch had far more going for it than a mechanical Agatha Christie plot. The family’s agony was portrayed seriously through affecting performances, particularly from Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan as Danny’s parents – an early scene in which Mark identifies his son’s body is heartrending. And what a terrific ensemble cast, with Vicky McClure, Pauline Quirke, Arthur Darvill and Will Mellor among those giving the story great depth and colour. Then there is the dream team of leads in David Tennant and Olivia Colman as the tormented senior detective and local officer who had been expecting to get his job. Broadchurch could be a bit of a game-changer for British crime shows, veering away from the high body counts, forensic fantasies and cardboard characters of Midsomer Murders, Lewis, Silent Witness and the like. A third series will start filming this summer. After the implausibilies of season 2, it will have its work cut to recapture the specialness of the original.
Classic episode: The final episode was full of drama. The murderer is revealed halfway through and writer Chris Chibnall then brilliantly takes time to show how devastating the revelation is for Ellie, the Latimers and Hardy.
Spin-off: The US version, made by Fox, is called Gracepoint and went into production quite soon after the ITV version proved so successful. David Tennant reprised his role – with a change of name from Alec Hardy to Emmett Carver and an American accent – while Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn took Olivia Colman’s part as his police colleague.
Watercooler fact: The cast were not told who the murderer was so that the performance of the actor playing him/her would not be swayed by the knowledge.
|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.
|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
|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.
|Spot the new faces in the line-up for Broadchurch 2. Pics: ITV|
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
|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?
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
|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
|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.’
Arthur Darvill Rev Paul Coates, Eve Myles Claire, James D’Arcy Lee, Carolyn Pickles Maggie Radcliffe, Jonathan Bailey Olly Stevens, Tanya Franks Lucy Stevens
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.