#SRCZ Catch Up // Broadchurch: Series 2, Episode 1:

Spoilers Potentially Ahead!

Cast: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill, Matthew Gravelle, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Phoebe Walker-Bridge, Eve Myles, Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James D’Arcy

Written by: Chris Chibnall

The story: Broadchurch series two picks up from series one where Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle), husband of copper Ellie (Olivia Colman), admitted to the murder of young Danny Latimer. An open and shut case if there ever was one. Well, not so much. And DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) has a past case come back to haunt him.

Series two of Broadchurch has been surrounded in such secrecy that not even the cast knows how it’s going to pan out. At the end of series one, we were asking where could it possibly go after Joe Miller’s admission.  Would we have a new story? A new murder or mystery to solve?

Just as you think that the Latimer murder has all but had a bow tied around it, writer Chris Chibnall surprises all round in just the first ten minutes by continuing where we left off.  As Danny’s grieving family gather in court for what seems to be the simplest of cases, Joe Miller takes everyone (including his own solicitor) by surprise by pleading not guilty.

Joe and Danny’s family each set out to find the best QC to represent them, which leads them to Sharon Bishop and Jocelyn Knight (acting heavyweights Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Charlotte Rampling), two women with their own shared history. With each convinced she can win, we must remember to breathe as we await the day these women face each other in court.

In an intriguing side story, we discover the real reason that DI Hardy came to Broadchurch in the first place as he recruits Ellie to help him to protect Claire Ripley (Eve Myles), the former wife of the prime suspect in Hardy’s last murder investigation in Sandbrook. Lee Ashworth was suspected of murdering cousins, Pepper, aged 12 and the still missing Lisa, 19 but wife Claire’s false alibi allowed him to walk free.  Now Claire lives in fear of him finding her, while Hardy is using her as bait. For what, we dread to think. Ellie is astonished at his actions even as she agrees to help him.

Olivia Colman as the completely alone Ellie Miller is extraordinary here. Her own life and family devastated by the actions of her husband, she is eyed with suspicion by almost everyone, including her former friend Beth Latimer and even her own son, Tom, can’t bear to live with her.   Jodie Whittaker as Beth Latimer, the other devastated mother in this tragedy, continues to astonish in her portrayal of a woman ravaged by grief and guilt, but this time with rage at the circumstances she finds herself in bubbling just below an already stormy surface.

Making a return in series two is Vicar Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill), who is now apparently canoodling with Mark Latimer’s ex-lover, hotel manager Becca Fisher (Simone McAullay). We’ve also been reacquainted with journalist and Danny’s cousin, Olly Stevens (Jonathan Bailey) and Mark’s hot-headed work chum Nige Carter (Joe Sims).

With the scene set for the next seven episodes, almost the entire cast assembled at the church cemetery like a Shakespearean chorus to witness the appalling sight of Danny’s body being exhumed, while the menacing figure of Lee Ashworth watched from atop a hillside.

Where this story goes next is anybody’s guess. Certainly the cast doesn’t know; the actors were handed the script a page at a time to prevent them knowing what happened next and it seems that multiple endings have been filmed. What we do know is that Chris Chibnall has made sure that we’ll be gripped with speculation fever for the next seven weeks as this tale continues to unravel.

Doctor Who?: Writer Chris Chibnall has previously written for Doctor Who and its more grown-up spin-off show Torchwood. Here he’s put together a cast with a big Doctor Who background, including (*deep breath*)...Arthur Darvill (who played Rory Williams), Olivia Colman (Prisoner Zero), Matthew Gravelle (Torchwood: End of Days), Eve Myles (Torchwood’s kick-ass Gwen Cooper), Adjoa Andoh (Sister Jatt/Francine Jones) and of course, David Tennant, who played the tenth incarnation of everyone’s favourite Time Lord from Gallifrey.

Questions, questions, questions: Is the caravan where Mark Latimer and Tom Miller meet to play video games the same caravan that Pauline Quirk’s Susan Wright lived in series one? And if so, why has she suddenly disappeared?

What’s the history between Sharon Bishop and Jocelyn Knight?

What’s the significance of the bluebell in the card that Ellie found at Hardy and Claire’s bolt hole?

Awkward Moment of the Week: Hardy’s cack-handed attempt at supporting Ellie when her husband shockingly plead not guilty to murder, “Wanna hug?”

Creepiest moment: Joe Miller on why he’d changed his plea, “Nobody’s innocent. Everyone’s hiding things.”

Best line: Joeclyn to Danny’s family, “Knowing the truth and getting justice isn’t the same thing.”

(Andrea McGuire) 

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