Broadchurch – Back to its best

In this age of fake news and alternative facts, I have decided that I’m going to pedal one of my own: Broadchurch has returned to ITV after four years with a second series. Yes, DI’s David Tennant and Olivia Colman are respectively donning their beard and anorak again to solve another crime in the small coastal town. The original series was a huge hit, the mystery of ‘Who killed Danny?’ gripping the nation. It turned out the killer was Colman’s husband. I wonder whatever happened to him? Not an important question within a crime drama really, so thank goodness they didn’t bother to show the trial afterwards, right?

Now there is a new case to solve. Only this time, there is no murder. Instead, Tennant and Colman are called to the local police station in the opening scenes of this first episode. Here, Coronation Street‘s Julie Hesmondhalgh sits, bruised and pale, having been the subject of a sexual assault. What follows is an uncomfortable half hour as we witness Hesmondhalgh’s Trish undergo a full body examination before being interviewed by Tennant and Colman. The soundtrack, with its melancholic piano and haunting percussion, only add to the emotional unease of this clinical process. Hesmondhalgh gives an accomplished performance, the close-ups of her oft-blank face helping to convey her mixture of shock, confusion and fear with real emotional unrest.

The first series took the best of Scandi Noir and placed it in a British setting. Here, it continues, most notably with ominous aerial shots panning out over the Dorset countryside. The soundtrack, as previously mentioned, is haunting and ever-present. And, of course, we have our two dysfunctional heroes in Tennant and Colman, who have a list of potential suspects stretching to almost the entire supporting cast. These features are part of what made the original series so terribly enthralling. Therefore, it is no surprise that writer and creator Chris Chibnall has returned to these building blocks to construct another whodunnit. And judging by this first episode, this one will be just as gripping as the first.

I am excited for what lies ahead in the next seven weeks. It may have taken four years, but it looks like it has been worth the wait. Broadchurch is back to its brooding best.

Originally posted on March 1st 2017,

Featured Image (C) BBC

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