The small community of Broadchurch in Dorset is shattered when the body of an eleven year old resident shows up on on the beach. The police investigation, media frenzy, and private suspicions threaten to tear the tightknit community apart while bringing long buried skeletons out of some residents’ closets.
Broadchurch was recommended to me as a show I might like by my boyfriend, who enjoys some British TV shows and knows that I’m always for trying new ones that have the potential to be interesting. Ultimately, I think I enjoyed it more than he did (we watched separately), but it’s a solid police procedural with a heavy dose of personal drama. There’s teenage pregnancies and marriages, potential pedophiles, misunderstandings between friends, anger at the local church, estranged families, and a downright adorable chocolate lab. What more could you ask for?
Okay, let’s get to what everyone is interested about: David Tennant. Yes, the man behind the 10th Doctor takes on a less fantastical role by tackling a Scottish DI Alec Hardy, a police detective with a shadowed past. I haven’t watched any Doctor Who (I know, I know), so I can’t compare Tennant’s performances in the two shows. However, he does an excellent job portraying a character who can be hard to like but whose commitment to his job is unmistakable. His co-star, Olivia Colman, also brings serious acting chops to her role as DS Ellie Miller, the local officer who is passed over for promotion to bring Tennant’s character to Broadchurch. She struggles with suspecting anyone in her community of being capable of killing a child, but she also desperately wants justice for Danny’s family, who are neighbors and friends.
Overall, the story of people’s secrets being revealed and shattering the bonds of trust in a small community works except that it’s darn HARD to hide much of anything in small communities! Maybe it’s different in the UK where boundaries are a lot less fluid (at least less fluid that small town Texas, where it seems like everybody knows everybody’s business!), and unless you’re a nosy busybody you don’t know everything about your neighbors. I did get terribly distracted by Ellie’s husband, Joe, having a passing resemblance to the current director of operations for the animal shelter that I volunteer at:
but I adjusted over the course of the short series (I love how a full season for a British series is often only six or seven episodes, and it’s a complete story).Unfortunately, I ultimately felt like the killer was selected to be the obviously least likely individual, which seemed a little contrived. Thinking back there were little clues given with the various stories introduced, but I still struggled with the ending a little.
I’m eagerly looking forward to a second Broadchurch series though, even if it’s a completely different cast. The small town has caught my imagination, and I want to see how life develops After Danny.