After nearly two years of waiting, last Monday saw Broadchurch return to our screens. The question on everybody’s lips: What on earth is it going to be about? ITV’s carefully produced advertising strategy gave nothing away, except that the same cast, with a few new additions, would be returning. Even the cast members have been kept out of the loop, with more than one ending having been filmed and only the producers knowing which would be used.
To briefly recap, the last series centred on the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer. The audience was hurled into a frenzy of a whodunit mystery, as almost every member of the small community of Broadchurch came under the suspicious eyes of DI Alec Hardy (David Tenant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman). Only in the final episode was all revealed, with Ellie’s own husband, Joe confessing to the crime.
So, will this series live up to its predecessor, or will it just be another over-hyped, and sadly very average comeback? The last series saw 8.7m of us tuning to find out what happened, and the viewer statistics for the first episode suggest that this series may just be able to keep up with the last.
The episode seamlessly follows on from the last, as if barely any time had passed. We are thrown straight back into the action and drama, as Joe Miller pleads not guilty to the crime he had already confessed to. That’s right, cue jaw drops and predictions for the rest of the series. The rest of the episode successfully maintains momentum, as the brilliantly awkward relationship between Hardy and Miller is expanded and we are also introduced to a new murder plotline based upon one of Hardy’s past cases. This plot is perhaps the one with the more promising future.
This series does look to be heavily courtroom based, with an epic war already staged between the defence and prosecution; the two sides clearly have a past that will play a role in the episodes to come. The introduction of the defence party was particularly well developed in this first episode, and the interaction between QC Sharon Bishop (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and Jocelyn Knight (Charlotte Rampling) looks as though it will cast a new light onto the series.
In all, this first episode forms a framework which could result in a brilliant series. It was surprisingly engaging, remaining true to the original series. None of the momentum, despite the long gap, has been lost, and we can only hope that the rest of the series is able to continue along the same lines. The storyline seems to promise that the series will move forward and create a new depth, rather than just developing on the old. Only time will tell if this series will be as successful as the first, but so far, it has done enough to make us want to carry on watching.
Image property of ITV.