David Tennant and Olivia Colman reprise their roles as Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller when BROADCHURCH returns for its second season on BBC America March 4, once again written by creator by Chris Chibnall, who won a Peabody Award for the first season of the soul-crushing mystery series.
Check out this extended trailer for the premiere:
Tennant, Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan and Arthur Darvill are reprising their roles from the first season. Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James D’Arcy, Eve Myles and Phoebe Waller-Bridge join the cast for the second season.
One of British television’s greatest achievements was last year’s eight-part miniseries BROADCHURCH, which examined the agony of a small town after a child is found murdered. The series has been transplanted across the pond and reimagined for American audiences as the 10-part GRACEPOINT.
DOCTOR WHO’s David Tennant – who recreates his role from BROADCHURCH – and BREAKING BAD’s Anna Gunn star as the detectives charged with unmasking the killer before the town tears itself apart.
Chris Chibnall, who created and wrote BROADCHURCH, serves as an executive producer on GRACEPOINT and wrote the premiere episode, so he will be establishing the tone of the series. Hopefully he is allowed to keep things as intelligent and emotional as he was on the brilliant original. I’d hate to see that absolutely searing miniseries blunted and dumbed-down for Americans.
The final episode of BROADCHURCH began with Detective Inspector Alec Hardy getting his walking papers and literally walking away — but he also got his man, collaring Danny’s killer on his last day on the job. True, the murderer wanted to get caught, but Alec had his suspicions and would have got him even without Danny’s cell phone.
The best thing I can say about the BROADCHURCH finale is that lived up to it promise; the series got the ending it deserved. And, as the recently concluded DEXTER proved, that’s no easy feat.
It’s the penultimate episode of BROADCHURCH, and the dominoes are beginning to fall — not only in the Danny Latimer murder case specifically, but also the pieces of the puzzles behind some characters have come together, including Detective Inspector Alec Hardy’s Sandbrook misadventure and Susan Wright’s mysterious past (and reason for the name change).
But there are still several key pieces missing, and I expect next week’s finale to be a pretty jam-packed episode. As suspects like Susan are eliminated, others become more likely. But I’m still holding out for a less-usual suspect. I’m not buying Nigel as the killer; I would be more satisfied if Steve were the perp and he got himself caught by insisting on interfering in the investigation. But my pet theory pointing to Ellie’s husband got a big boost this week.
Time has passed in this episode of BROADCHURCH and, ironically just as some are questioning the investigation dragging on, a sense of momentum suddenly began to build in the story’s second half. Clues have finally started to pay off, forensics results are coming in, and the killer may have been prompted to make a hasty, ill-advised move.
The spotlight of suspicion has shifted firmly toward Susan and Paul, but why is Tom acting so strangely — and is Ellie being paranoid, or is Joe acting more and more suspiciously? This week she uncovered a possibly significant lie about her husband’s relationship with Tom, Mark and Danny.
I hate to say that I saw Jack’s death coming, but it really seemed to be sadly unavoidable — and it was a credit to BROADCHURCH that it was still so affecting. The character was tragically hounded to death after being painted as a pervert, and I really felt bad for him as he had to see the signal tragedies of his life splashed across newspaper headlines by an uncaring press in quest of sales.
The lurid headlines and the mob mentality that swept the community fed off each other and were two sides of the same coin: the mindless rush to an easy conclusion. The producers of BROADCHURCH slyly played on the audience’s smug propensity to try to guess the outcome of murder-mysteries, and Jack’s obvious suspicious behavior might have been a fake-out or a double-blind. And, at this point, although it looks like Jack drowned himself, who says it wasn’t… murder?
After (apparently) clearing Mark last week, BROADCHURCH this week demonized a handful of other townsfolk so viewers would have new character to boo.
The script tried very hard to make viewers think that creepy old Jack Marshall is the killer. Or could it be prickly Susan Wright, the most off-putting and snide character on the show? And then there’s Paul, the insomniac minister who wanders in the night. What about Steve, the so-called psychic looking to cash in on Danny’s murder? And why were so many people having Sunday dinner together?
The third episode of BROADCHURCH was concerned with ruling out the prime suspect in the death of Danny Latimer: his father, Mark — the man with the most punchable face in town and the flimsiest alibi.
The show made a wise decision in trying to get us to sympathize with Mark — or was that trying to get us to suspect him more than ever? — by giving us a dream sequence in which Mark finds his son cold and wet but alive, and emotionally embracing him, telling his son he’s sorry.
Sorry for what… exactly?
The most intense, emotionally devastating scene in this week’s BROADCHURCH involved a box of cereal and a grieving mother — and it was almost enough to bring a viewer to tears.
The investigation into the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer lurched forward this week when police discovered 500 pounds hidden in Danny’s room and cocaine secreted in Chloe’s (Charlotte Beaumont) room. Another forensics team determined via bloody fingerprint that Danny was killed at a shack a couple of miles down the road — and a print from his father, Mark (Andrew Buchan) was also found at the scene. What’s more, CCTV footage from the shack’s car park showed Mark lurking about on the night of the murder. Chloe said she didn’t know anything about the money in her brother’s room, but she got the coke from hotelier Becca (Simone Macaully) — who claimed she got it from Chloe for some guests, but when they checked out before she could pass it along, she returned the coke to Chloe. She got it from her shady boyfriend, Dean (Jacob Anderson).
I quite enjoyed last night’s premiere of BROADCHURCH on BBC America, but I definitely didn’t see anything that was very “new” or “groundbreaking” — which is the way the series is being sold. BROADCHURCH is a police procedural about the murder of an 11-year-old boy in a British seaside town, and how the killing affects everyone in town.
Perhaps its storytelling is new for a series in the UK, but BROADCHURCH reminded me instantly of TWIN PEAKS, but without the supernatural elements: the death of a child shakes a small town to its core. I expect future installments to reveal the dead boy Danny was involved in a secret conspiracy that affects a lot of adults in town and reaches into the local school — just like Laura Palmer’s situation. It’s even mimicking the law-enforcement dynamic: the local cop who knows everyone in town teamed with the eccentric “expert” from somewhere else.