Review of Broadchurch – Series 1, episode 2

Daisy Wyatt

Broadchurch david tennant 300x225 Review of Broadchurch – Series 1, episode 2

David Tennant in 'Broadchurch' (ITV)

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not see series 1, episode 2 of ‘Broadchurch’

It’s hotting up on the windy Dorset cliffs, some might say a bit too much. While the first episode was well paced, believable and beautifully lit, last night’s seemed to veer on the side of soap opera at times.

Take Beth Latimer’s visit to the local supermarket (presumably a Co-op by the font). It started as a stylised scene with music that sounded like breaking water as Beth ran through the aisles to find Danny’s favourite cereal, before rupturing into the realistic mundane of checkout chings and trollies.

But then it took a turn from realism to what seemed like surrealism when a distraught Beth revealed to the local vicar (Arthur Darvill) in the outside car park that she was pregnant. There was a whiff of uneasy sexual tension between the two characters, compounded by the fact she tells the Rev she hasn’t told husband Mark yet because “it’s complicated”. Hmm.

The episode then took a turn into magical realism, when phone line fitter Steve Connelly (played by former EastEnders and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps lad Will Mellor) spookily tells DI Alec Harding and DS Ellie Miller he has psychic powers and has heard from Danny. Harding rubbishes it off as “self-indulgent horse shit”, but the BT man then touches a nerve by telling the policeman “she says she forgives you”.

Alec Harding on the other hand is another story. Apart from turning down free fish and chips (obvious signs something is awry, surely?) the ruthlessly emotionally detached inspector proved he doesn’t have his “horse shit” together as he was seen taking (presumably) prescription pills.

But then, in a rural idyll such as Broadchurch, nothing is what it seems. Except for upstanding Ellie Miller who is yet to reveal anything lurking in her past, which is unlikely given she’d be most likely to blurt it out to her colleagues if so. Her son however seems highly suspect – and his bowl cut doesn’t help.

Mark Whittaker emerged as the number one suspect in this episode after he smugly dodged Harding’s questions, only for his finger prints to be found in the hut where Danny had been killed. But he is surely a red herring as it all seems too obvious and there are still four episodes to go.

Pauline Quirke’s character also seems suspicious, despite her roly-poly-Labrador-walking demeanour. What was Danny’s skateboard doing in her caravan cupboard? And as for Chloe’s boyfriend, has he been forcing Danny into drug smuggling?

The plot is beginning to thicken but as long as the series doesn’t lurch into the melodrama of production company Kudos’ sister series Mayday, all will be well.

Prime suspect: Mark Latimer

Oh-no-he-didn’t suspect: Ellie Miller’s son

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  • Mike Cater

    The proofreading for this article is shocking. Bad Independent…

  • Geordietoff

    “Take Beth Latimer’s visit to the local supermarket (presumably a Co-op by the font).”

    Is the Co-op doing baptisms now?

  • Kathrin ‘Lily’ Franke

    I do much wonder how many of the audience are watching it not because they want to see a crime drama but because they’re Doctor Who fans. Not only David and Arthur are part of the Who family but Olivia was in The 11th Hour and of course Chris Chibnall wrote for DW. I, for my part, like crime dramas anyway – so chances are I would have watched it even without David in it. But of course him being in it makes it so much more worthwhile and interesting. Also I like to see him play different roles. Can’t wait to see how much of the ‘typical’ David comes out in the next episodes (and I don’t mean the running around which is conspicuously absent so far) but the thing of having 1000 things on his mind at the same time and speaking at 100 mph (like in the ‘Fish-and-Chips scene with Ellie where he starts popping questions and probably wouldn’t have stopped if she hadn’t interrupted him).
    A further unrelated fact – the young reporter on the Daily Mail who gives Karen the news is played by Alfred Enoch who played Dean Thomas in Harry Potter. And what’s the name of Chloe’s boyfriend? It’s Dean Thomas.
    And did anyone recognise the guy who told Alec and Ellie that Danny didn’t jump off the cliff in episode one? It’s Peter de Jersey who played Horatio opposite David’s Hamlet.
    So far I haven’t really seen any really bad acting in it or dodgy dialogues for that matter.
    As for the review above, well let’s not talk about that – it’s all been said

  • Kathrin ‘Lily’ Franke

    Not to mention Olivia and writer Chibnall who both worked on DW, too.
    And I’m not sure I’ve ever considered David cute (well, maybe in his early stuff) – I’d rather say handsome. And that he still is even looking a bit ragged like he does in this. It suits him and the beard looks a lot better in reality than it does on screen. What he certainly isn’t so far is funny (not the right time methinks) or charming (I still have hopes for that), as for clever… I think he is, just in a different way.

  • Kathrin ‘Lily’ Franke

    ‘terrible acting, some rubbish dialogue and some cheesy camera shots’ can you give examples?

  • Karen Barclay

    I thought the mother was a bit blank in the eyes despite having to break down several times… ‘thank you for the 99′ – not a classic scene (done far better in the direly plotted Blackpool – also with David Tennant as a copper)… David Tennant’s first appearance, turning slowly to the camera, was pure cheddar.

  • osofine

    I didn’t realize that this show was created by the Head Writer and Co-Producer of “Torchwood”, who also wrote the first 11th Doctor episode (and 4 others) – it all makes sense now! Thank you! Chibnall has been busy this year having written DoaS and TPo3 as well as this show. (Not quite Moffat-busy, but then, who is?)

    I think Tennant is both cute and handsome and in this series with the scruffy chin (not so sure it’s a proper beard, which is fine by me) he is leaning more toward handsome. I think the “cute” (IMHO) comes from boyish enthusiasm and energy that he often gives off. Either way, he is always attractive and a great actor, so please don’t interpret my comments about him as negative.

    Actually, the impetus for me to finally catch up with DW (which I had been meaning to watch) after it had already been on for several series (thank god for Netflix!) was reading a glowing “review” of Tennant in “The Girl in the Fireplace” by one of the characters in a scene in Audrey Niffenegger’s (author of “The Time Traveler’s Wife”) novel, “Her Fearful Symmetry”. That book is not without flaws, but I still highly recommend reading it. Niffenegger and Moffat have a kind of mutual admiration society going; Moffat has stated that he based “Fireplace”, the River relationship dynamic, and (possibly) the museum setting for the end of “The Big Bang” in part on TTTW.

    Now I’ll have to re-watch “The 11th Hour” to see if Darvill and Olivia Colman are in any scenes together. :) I don’t think they were.

    *BTW, I’m in America and didn’t even get BBC-A on my cable lineup until 2011, which was *very* frustrating. I still download my favorite shows so that I don’t have to watch them chopped up and filled with commercials. “Broadchurch” is well-timed to give us Whovians something to tide us over until DW starts back up!

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