Rewatching Series 1 of Broadchurch for the first time reminds just how good a TV show it was
“I’ve got a Google alert on ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘death'”
I’m not sure what drew me back to rewatching Broadchurch but I’m sure glad I did, as I’d forgotten just how very good it is. Chris Chibnall’s murder mystery reveals itself as so much more, a depiction of the way a community is shattered by the death of a child and the waves of suspicion that emanates from it.
Series 1 centres on the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer in the small coastal town of Broadchurch, perched on the Dorset cliffs, where Alec Hardy has just been appointed DI. His rival for the post was DS Ellie Miller but as the Millers and the Latimers are good friends and neighbours, her connection to the case is painfully personal.
And it is this personal angle that resonates time and time again. Jodie Whittaker’s grief-stricken, truly traumatised mother, matched by Olivia Colman’s later on as Ellie. David Tennant’s hollowed-out investigator already running from his own demons. And the shocking effects of vigilante justice being imposed by a baying mob are viscerally shown.
I’d forgotten just how many red herrings were tossed into the mix, how many wrong’uns padding about town (Pauline Quirke, Will Mellor, even Arthur Darvill’s vicar, maybe, possibly…). And the journalism sideplot is entertaining as Carolyn Pickles and Jonathan Bailey wage generational conflict on local news reporting, while Vicky McClure’s national reporter further raises the stakes. An excellent job all-round.