A fan’s eye view: Broadchurch series 1, episode 8

Daisy Wyatt

Joe Miller Tom Miller Broadchurch 300x199 A fans eye view: Broadchurch series 1, episode 8

The Miller family from ITV drama Broadchurch

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not see series 1, episode 8 of ‘Broadchurch’

Readers, you were right. It was Joe Miller all along.

He was just about enough of a main character to be considered a suspect, appearing in every episode yet without a real scent to throw him into the crime limelight.

ITV has kept the secret of who killed Danny Latimer under strict surveillance. No preview showings to press were allowed after episode six, and even writer Chris Chibnall chose to withhold telling who the suspect was from the actors. Some sites estimated that only 29 people in the UK knew who the murderer was.

But despite keeping the murder plot under lock and key, the majority of viewers (at least going by the Independent poll and trawling through your tweets every week) had already guessed Joe Miller to be the prime suspect for at least the last three episodes.

Is anybody else a little unsatisfied with the outcome? The finale wasn’t exactly mired in twists and turns and neither Miller or Hardy worked out it was Joe, who ended up giving himself in just 15 minutes into the episode (despite speculation surrounding the Broadchurch producer who tweeted to watch to the ‘very, very end’).

But what the finale lacked in tension it made up for in sadness (and too much music). Olivia Colman’s performance of being sick in the interrogation room after hearing her husband had committed the crime was gutting. Ellie has been such a likeable, honest character throughout and her fit of violent rage against Joe was all the more painful to watch as a result. Baftas all round for Colman.

But did anyone else breathe a silent groan when it was revealed that Joe had been involved in some sort of “inappropriate” relationship with Danny? Broadchurch could not get away from the male pedophile storyline, whether it be Jack Marshall, Susan Wright’s ex-husband, Rev Paul Coates or, ultimately, Joe.

There were, however, some beautiful scenes in the final episode- a testament to the series’ stunning cinematography, which is one of the many reasons why it has been such a roaring success for ITV, pulling in an average 7 million viewers each week.

More to the point, the series has proved that the home of Britain’s Got Talent is capable of commissioning and producing a first-class drama. And, apparently, there’s going to be more of Broadchurch. Quite how that will happen when Miller has fled the seaside town and Hardy has gone back to Scotland to see to his health is yet unknown.

The final frame of series one promised “Broadchurch will return” and signposted viewers to an extra scene on Facebook (is this the future for TV?) which showed the wake. It was a nice addition and rounded up the whereabouts of more peripheral characters.

Fledging journalist Olly has been offered and declined a job on The Herald (he wants to stay around in post-traumatic Broadchurch a bit longer) and Karen White was still up to her wicked ways trying to slime-ball her way in to get the exclusive details of the investigation from Hardy.

As the credits rolled on the final episode of Broadchurch, which (eerily) went straight into the main headline from ITV news about charging the Boston bombing suspect, read by the same newsreader featured in the drama, it was hard not to acknowledge how much the series has taken grip of us all.

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  • Sonja

    Yep… this ruined it for me just minutes ago. I guess the paper’s not to blame for the way google shows search results (I searched for episode 1(!) by the way), but putting a few more sentences between the spoiler alert and the reveal of the killer might have been a great idea. Maybe next time?

  • Sculptor471

    According to Googled references the England and Wales statistics are generally confused as there is no standardised way of recording them. However it is definite that most children are murdered by a parent, step-parent, or locum parent. The NSPCC says one child every ten days is murdered by a “parent”. The reasons seem to be failing, or violent, relationships and mental health. They usually get only one mention in the press.

    That is such an unfathomable crime that most people prefer to focus on the much rarer cases like this TV one – which make the headlines for weeks. Apparently the statistic for that has been constant for decades at a small number (5?) per year.

    An increasing number of murders of children under 16 are by adolescents with knives or guns.

  • sweetalkinguy

    There were sufficient loose ends left dangling for a second series to be on the cards. There was what happened to DI Hardy’s wife and her paramour, and whether DI Hardy’s previous case can be satisfactorily solved. There was the pushy journalist from the Herald and what she has on DI Hardy. Can DI Hardy regain sufficient health to be able to make it back to the force? Can DS Miller come back – will she want to – will they work together again? What about the hotel keeper Becca? What about Mark Latimer? Do they have something going on? What about Paul the Rev – surely he is not unblemished? There are also other characters who could move into mainstream. The only major constraint is that lightning does not strike twice in the same place very often. Maybe they will find another place to have hard-to-solve mysteries happen in, just the same as Mrs Marple went from country house to country house in search of small groups of people intent on murdering each other – like the place where Susan Wright has moved, and where probably Nigel Carter will join her.

  • juc56

    Re the superficial bit I meant the relationship between Joe and Ellie ie she did not really know him. There are different kinds of murder and some are worse than others but I don’t think that an “act of passion” is a defence to murder in UK law. Also the premeditation / intent required for murder can take just a few seconds and can be formed by someone who is in a panic / not thinking straight. I would be interested in a lawyer’s view but as I understand it – Joe intended to strangle Danny and strangling someone in that way is likely to kill them – so that is enough for murder, and the fact that Joe hoped only to scare him and not to kill him would not be a valid defence to murder.

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