TV Review: Broadchurch Series 3

The final chapter of Broadchurch proves to be a little bit underwhelming, despite excellently harrowing work from Julie Hesmondhalgh

“I think you should say sorry to Brian”

Folklore declares that Chris Chibnall always intended Broadchurch to be a trilogy but it kinda feels hard to believe that while watching Series 3. Series 2 had already lost a little of the magic that made Series 1 so essential, diluting the focus on the murder of Danny Latimer and as we move three years on for this new series, that case naturally recedes even further into the backdrop.

Which is all fine and good for a continuing drama but for something billed as the final chapter, it’s an odd choice as it means that the focus is now on a completely separate sexual assault case. And as so many of the supporting characters that helped to build the sterling community feel that marked Broadchurch out are now MIA – we’re in a ‘different’ part of town now – it just feels so separate.

That’s not to detract from the excellent work by Julie Hesmondhalgh’s Trish, who has been traumatised by a severe sexual assault that may have happened at a good pal’s birthday party. In a neat twist, Jodie Whittaker’s Beth is now a community worker dealing in victim support but otherwise we’re dealing with a new crowd of people who it is a little harder to get invested in in these circumstances.

There’s touching moments as the Latimers deal with the implosion of their family, with the murderer of their son still going free. But it is hard to get involved with the mentions in passing about the death of churchgoing and local journalism which briefly draws back Arthur Darvill and Carolyn Pickles. But the parade of unlikeable men that might have dunnit aren’t a patch on the carefully constructed rogue’s gallery that made Series 1 so watchable and the climax of the whole thing thus feel just a bit too disconnected. 

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