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.
Channel 4: Monday 15-Thursday 18 July, 10pm
Story: Four seemingly unconnected stories about people at crunch moments in their lives, including single-mum Carol, whose sons are wanted by the police, and illegal immigrant Ying…
HATS OFF TO CHANNEL 4 for steering clear of the period dramas and cop procedurals we see so much of on the other sides.
Last year they gave us the thought-provoking Murder: Joint Enterprise (which will return), earlier this year we had the jaunty but not entirely successful Utopia. Now C4 is stripping this new rough-edged, four-part drama through the week.
Outside of Jimmy McGovern, most TV dramas steer clear of working-class life these days. Run, however, is an honest attempt to bring talented established stars and newcomers together to tell four linking tales that take a walk on the poverty-stricken side of Britain that goes on all around us.
Olivia Colman ditches that nice detective persona from Broadchurch to play a foul-mouthed single mum, bringing up two teenage boys who have few redeeming features. Dean batters his girlfriend Tracey, while Terry tags along.
Carol herself is the kind of woman who is vilified in the media these days for not being middle-class enough. She is coarse, ignores Dean giving Trace a ‘slap’ and nicks stuff from the warehouse where she works. She lives on an estate, is separated from her psycho boyfriend, played sublimely by Neil Maskell, and is fighting to hold her life of tears and fags together.
It is while Dean is dragging Trace around by the hair in a car park that a passerby sees him, and carries on passing by. Being a nutter, Dean wants to know what the stranger is looking at, before joining forces with his brother to beat the man to death. Downton Abbey it ain’t.
Carol has an inkling that something’s wrong when she finds the boys’ bloody clothes in the laundry. When she suggests to their father they should tell the police it was an accident, Kieran – whose normal mode of communication is with his fists – punches her.
Run is created and written by newcomers Marlon Smith and Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan and succeeds in
getting us to see the world through Carol’s eyes. It’s brutal, and the language will make your eyes water at times. But for all its bleakness, it finds the traces of humanity that still bind people together despite their poverty and lack of opportunities.
Part two follows up with Ying’s story. We’ve seen her buying stolen goods from Carol, but learn that Ying (Katie Leung) is an illegal immigrant facing a painful future in debt to a Snakehead gang. Wednesday’s story is about struggling heroin addict Richard (Lennie James), and Thursday’s about Kasia (Katharina Schuttler), a Polish woman in London who is struggling to make a living while contending with her gambling-addict boyfriend.
Hard-hitting and affecting, the stories are well-acted and refreshingly frank.
IT’S BEEN the most talked about crime series of the year and a real triumph for ITV. Audiences and critics were gripped by the whodunit and seven million people were tuning in, which in these multi-channel days is a blockbuster figure.
But despite all the hoo-haa about whether young Danny’s killer was his dad or his friend or the vicar or creepy Susan, the eight-part drama had a lot more to it than the jaded mechanics of a traditional whodunit.
Broadchurch broke the mould of police procedurals by discarding the corpse before each ad break that is the norm in shows such as Midsomer and Lewis along with the clever detectives deducing who the perpetrator was. It was about the gut-wrenching tragedy of the Latimer family, the behaviour of the press, the strife at the police station and the role of the church.
It was beautifully written by Chris Chibnall and had a first class cast, headed by David Tennant and Olivia Colman, brilliantly supported by Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Vicky McClure, Arthur Darvill, Pauline Quirke and Will Mellor.
Chibnall reveals in the excellent special features on this new DVD release that he wrote the drama on spec because it was something he really wanted to write. And that desire to produce a really good, heartfelt story before taking it to ITV is perhaps the secret to its success.
• Broadchurch on DVD, released 20 May, running time 400 minutes on three discs. RRP: £25.99. Cert TBC
We have one copy of the complete series of Broadchurch worth £25.99 to give away. All you have to do is join the CrimeTimePreview gang (see the column on the right) to enter a prize draw for this fantastic series. The first name drawn on the closing date of Friday, 24 May, will be sent a copy of the DVD.
This offer is open to UK residents only. Prize Draw entrants must register as members of CrimeTimePreview (see column, right); one name will be drawn on the closing date (Friday, 24 May) and will be posted a free copy of Broadchurch. The selectee will need to provide their postal address. No prize alternatives. If anyone registers but declines the Broadchurch DVD, an alternative winner will be selected. Good luck!
|Shaun Dingwall as Inspector Lock and Paddy Considine as Jack Whicher. Pics: ITV|
ITV: Sunday, 12 May, 8pm
Story: Jack Whicher is no longer an inspector and has left the Metropolitan Police under a cloud. But when he saves a country lady from a robbery in a dangerous quarter of London, he learns that this woman, Susan Spencer, is desperately hunting for her vulnerable young niece, Mary.
KATE SUMMERSCALE uncovered a quite jaw-droppingly fascinating Victorian tale when she wrote her non-fiction book The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, which ITV then made into an engrossing drama in 2011.
This second film, again starring Paddy Considine, steps away from fact into fiction by imagining how the real Inspector Whicher got on following the ignominy of failing to solve the Murder at Road Hill House in 1860. Whicher suspected the correct culprit – Constance Kent – of murdering her younger half brother, Francis, but failed to bring her to trial.
|Olivia Colman as Susan|
Private inquiry agent
Constance later confessed and went to jail (her death sentence was commuted) and she lived to a ripe old 100 years anonymously in Australia. Whicher, one of a new breed of detectives and an inspiration for Charles Dickens’s Inspector Bucket, found it hard to live down his failure to secure conviction, and had ruffled the feathers of his social superiors for his conduct of an investigation into a well-to-do family.
Summerscale’s book reveals that Whicher married his landlady, Charlotte Piper, in 1866 and the next year was working as a private inquiry agent, though he probably didn’t need the money as he had a decent police pension.
Searching for a vulnerable young woman in dangerous London
The new film, entitled The Murder in Angel Lane, is written by Bafta-winner Neil McKay (Appropriate Adult, Mo, Heartbeat) and based on further historical research.
So fictional Whicher comes to the aid of a country lady, Susan Spencer, who’s had her purse clipped by a thief in a rough inn in London. She reveals she is desperately trying to find her niece, 16-year-old Mary, who is looking for the young man, Stephen Gann, who made her pregnant.
Played with emotional intensity in another terrific performance by Olivia Colman, Susan employs the former inspector to track down Mary.
Will we see more of Jack Whicher?
|Going mad? Whicher is incarcerated in the asylum|
Whicher is pitched into a puzzling murder inquiry and territorial rows with some of his old police colleagues, arriving eventually at a sinister lunatic asylum – a reminder of how awful those 19th-century institutions could be. It is a complex story of stolen inheritances, murder, police corruption and illegitimate children.
While it lacks the power of the original true story, this new drama is an intriguing insight into a dark side of the Victorian age. The production, acting and writing are all very sharp, and there seems every possibility that Jack Whicher won’t be allowed to fade into history just yet and is nicely poised for future investigations.
Cast: Paddy Considine Jack Whicher, Olivia Colman Susan Spencer, William Beck Chief Inspector ‘Dolly’ Williamson, Tim Pigott-Smith Commissioner Mayne, Shaun Dingwall Inspector George Lock, William Postlethwaite Stephen Gann, Mark Bazeley Thomas Gann, Sean Baker Joshua Gann, Alistair Petrie Dr Casement, Joanna Jeffrees Nursemaid, Siobhan O’Neill Housemaid, Asher Kemp Baby Stephen, Justine Mitchell Sister Anne, Angela Terence Charlotte, Sam Barnard Robert, Justin Edwards Rev Marlow
|Oskar McNamara as Danny. Pics: ITV|
• Broadchurch revealed its secrets in the final episode last night and confirmed its position as the best new UK crime series since Sherlock. The Beeb, BSkyB, Channel 4 and ITV churn out dozens of murder dramas each year but none has generated the buzz that Broadchurch did.
Much of the watercooler chat was about whodunit, but Broadchurch was a much better show than those that are simply puzzles over a perpetrator’s identity, intriguing though that was. The bookies, and most of us in the audience, strongly suspected it was Joe, anyway.
Broadchurch worked so brilliantly because it learnt from the first series of The Killing and was a seering exploration of a crime and its painful fallout for a community – ambitions way above most TV crime fare. Central to the whole story was the Latimers and the heartbreak and confused loss they were suffering. Hats off to writer and creator Chris Chibnall (United, Law & Order: UK) for devising such a rich, compelling drama.
|Olivia Colman and David Tennant|
Olivia Colman was superb throughout, but really went above the call of duty in portraying the nightmare that befell Ellie during the finale. David Tennant was very good – as usual – as Alec, the lead detective who was by turns irritating and vulnerable. And, for my money, Andrew Buchan also stood out at times as Danny’s dad, particularly early in the series in the scene when he had to identify his son’s body.
ITV wasted no time last night in announcing that Broadchurch will be back. Which will be interesting, seeing that Alec is being invalided out of the force and Ellie will have to leave town. The story is, of course, being kept under wraps, but will go into production next year. More than nine-million viewers have been watching, so another series is not a surprise.
My guess is series two could involve Sandbrook, Alec’s previous and disastrous case.
Here’s the extra scene from Broadchurch that was posted on Facebook last night…
• In other news, ITV also announced yesterday that there will be a fourth series of Vera. Brenda Blethyn will this summer start filming four new 120-minute stories based on the character created by crime author Ann Cleeves.
• Here’s a glimpse of Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson, who will we see this year in BBC2’s The Fall. The series is set in Northern Ireland and will see Anderson’s character, who is on secondment from the London Met, called in to track down a serial killer who is terrorising Belfast. Jamie Dornan will play Paul Spector, the murderer.
• Former Emmerdale and Lightfields star Danny Miller will be joining Scott & Bailey on 24 April (pictured below). His character, DS Rob Waddington, is set to shake up things for Janet (Lesley Joseph) and Rachel (Suranne Jones), particularly Janet. She’s been filling in for months as acting detective sergeant, only to see Rob the young high-flyer nip in and take the job. ‘He’s learning on the job,’ Danny says. ‘Janet takes him under her wing and he appreciates her experience and intelligence. He doesn’t like confrontation and would rather sit down and work things out. Yet when he has to put his foot down, he will.’ Though S&B has been terrific, the male characters have all been either stupid, pathetic or lecherous. It will be interesting to see if Rob breaks the mould. And, when Janet and Rachel fall out later in the series, will Janet be able to turn to the younger man for advice?
• It’s the Bafta TV Awards on 12 May at London’s Royal Festival Hall and there are some terrific crime dramas in the running. CrimeTimePreview will be cheering on Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, who were bold and brilliant in the first episode of the Accused series, Tracie’s Story, in which Bean played spectacularly against type as a transvestite in love. Sheridan Smith (Mrs Biggs) and Sienna Miller (The Girl) are among those scrapping for Leading Actress. Olivia Colman, who could probably be nominated for everything she’s in at the moment (particularly Broadchurch), is up for Supporting Actress in Accused. Scott & Bailey and Ripper Street are chasing Best Drama Series (surely Scott & Bailey is better). And a particular favourite at CrimeTimePreview HQ from 2012 was Murder, which is up for Best Single Drama. Directed by The Killing‘s Birger Larsen for BBC2, this was a gripping depiction of the messiness and ambiguities involved in a murder case. See Bafta’s full nomination list.
• It’s competition time! The first three crime TV fans who become a member of the CrimeTimePreview gang (see the column right), will receive copies of the sinister thriller series Mayday. The complete series of the BBC drama starring Peter Firth and Sophie Okonedo was released this week, costing £19.99. It was written by the team responsible for that other creepy detective series Whitechapel, Ben Court and Caroline Ip, and told the story of the residents of a small town coping with the disappearance of a teenager who was supposed to head the Mayday parade. The woods outside of the town are menacing, while several residents have secrets to hide. So what happened to the May Queen? The DVD’s special features include The Making of Mayday, Cast Filmographies and a Picture Gallery.
This offer is open to UK residents only. The first three people who become Members of CrimeTimePreview (Join this site, column, right) will be posted free copies of Mayday. The selectees will need to provide their postal address. Deadline: Saturday, 20 April. No prize alternatives. If anyone registers but declines the Mayday DVD, an alternative winner will be selected.
|Washed up? DS Miller with new boss DI Hardy (David Tennant), who has a lot to prove. Pics: ITV|
ITV: Monday, 4 March, 9pm
Story: DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller are summoned to investigate the discovery of 11-year-old Danny Latimer’s body on Broadchurch beach, a death that profoundly affects the small seaside community.
Bog-standard crime series can’t be bothered to deal with the pain that follows a murder, with victims usually treated simply as an excuse to kick off a whodunit. The cops hog the limelight and the victims’ stories are left on the slab.
Broadchurch is not bog standard. It is an emotional thriller that follows the ripples through a close-knit seaside community caused by the suspicious death of a schoolboy.
Screenwriter Chris Chibnall explains his motivation in writing the series like this, ‘When I was writing Law & Order: UK, I always used to worry for the victim’s relatives we would bring in for one scene: what happened to them when they left the screen? Broadchurch is, in part, an answer to that, a desire to honour those people more fully.’
|The Latimer family|
Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan
The sunny mood of Broadchurch, a largely crime-free seaside town, is shattered one morning when the body of 11-year-old Danny is found on the beach. His parents don’t know at first that he is even missing because he always leaves the house early to do a paper round.
It is only at a school sports day that mum Beth, played by Jodie Whittaker, realises Danny is not there. From the word go we are alongside frantic Beth and her husband, Mark (Andrew Buchan), trying to locate their son.
When Danny’s body is found, DI Alec Hardy, a new face drafted in only recently, and DS Ellie Miller, a local woman, are called in to investigate. Hardy has just got the promotion Ellie was hoping for, so they immediately have a frosty relationship.
|The press – Maggie, Karen and Ollie|
Vicky McClure and Pauline Quirke
David Tennant and Olivia Colman portray the detectives, and they make a fine clashing partnership, with Tennant as a stiff boss with something to prove and Colman completely alienated by him. ‘Don’t look at me like that,’ he tells her. Colman is the mistress of the sour look.
But it is Andrew Buchan, a long way from his Garrow’s Law days here, who steals the opening episode. The scene in which he identifies Danny’s body, having hoped against hope that the dead child was not his boy, is absolutely heartrending.
The cast is good throughout, with Vicky McClure as a Fleet Street reporter sniffing for a scoop, Pauline Quirke as a suspicious and scruffy local, and Will Mellor as a telephone engineer with a connection to the case.
‘My character wasn’t supposed to cry half as much as she ended up doing’
Everyone from the vicar (Arthur Darvill) to the hotelier (Simone McAullay) are affected or implicated in Danny’s story, not least Ellie’s own son, who was Danny’s best friend.
|The locals – Nige and Susan|
Interestingly, the cast were not told who was behind Danny’s death during filming to maintain the level of intrigue – they apparently had a sweepstake on the killer’s identity.
But it is the story’s emotional journey that is Broadchurch‘s distinguishing feature. As Olivia Colman reveals, ‘My character wasn’t supposed to cry half as much as she ended up doing but I couldn’t stop myself; it was so sad.’
Cast: David Tennant DI Alec Hardy, Olivia Colman DS Ellie Miller, Andrew Buchan Mark Latimer, Jodie Whittaker Beth Latimer, Vicky McClure Karen White, Arthur Darvill Rev Paul Coates, Pauline Quirke Susan Wright, Will Mellor Steve Connelly, Carolyn Pickles Maggie Radcliffe, Matthew Gravelle Joe Miller, Simone McAullay Becca Fisher, Jonathan Bailey Olly Stevens, Oskar McNamara Danny Latimer, Charlotte Beaumont Chloe Latimer, Susan Brown Liz Roper, Adam Wilson Tom Miller, Joe Sims Nige Carter, David Bradley Jack Marshall, Jacob Anderson Dean Thomas
• Jeanne Tipplehorn, star of movies such as The Firm and Basic Instinct, joins the eighth series of Criminal Minds, launching on Living later this month (Monday, 28 January, 9pm). She plays linguist Alex Blake, with the season opener seeing the team tracking a prison escapee who is emulating the MO of a notorious serial killer called The Silencer. Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) will also appear in a later special episode.
• Sky Atlantic, which has boldly gone where few other channels dare in making feisty dramas such as Hit & Miss and Falcón, has just announced a new 10-part series inspired by The Bridge. Set on the border between the UK and France it’s called – what else? – The Tunnel, and it’s a co-production with French network Canal+. A French politician is found dead on the border and detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann investigate on behalf of their respective countries. It’s good to see Sky Atlantic backing a 10-parter, the same length of series as The Killing 2 and 3, something the Beeb and ITV rarely do these days. But it will be interesting to see if The Tunnel‘s Elise is anything like as much fun as The Bridge‘s ice blonde Saga Norén.
• The excellent Olivia Colman, who’s equally terrific in dramas (Tyrannosaur) or comedies (Rev, Twenty Twelve), takes a serious turn again to appear in ITV1’s The Suspicions of Mr Whicher 2, alongside Paddy Considine as the Victorian detective. The first film, shown in 2011, was based on Kate Summerscale‘s superb non-fiction book recounting the incredible story of the child murder at Road Hill House in 1860. Mr Whicher was the pioneering Metropolitan police detective who investigated the case, which shook his reputation even though he was proved correct in his suspicions. The second film, which is two hours long, is written by Bafta-award-winning Neil McKay (Appropriate Adult, See No Evil: the Moors Murders) and will be filming in Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and London over the next four weeks. It’s a fictional story based on historical research into Whicher’s career, with Olivia Colman playing Susan Spencer, who employs the detective to investigate the murder of her 16-year-old niece.