Broadchurch or Gracepoint

By | November 11, 2014

Broadchurch-with-David-Tennant-and-Olivia-ColmanDavid Tennant (Dr Who, Hamlet ) leads the cast in ITV’s gripping Broadchurch.  The first season was an eight part serial about the suspicious death of schoolboy Danny Latimer.   A sleepy seaside resort town wakes up to discover the body of a young boy on the beach, below the imposing cliffs of the Jurassic Coast.

We gradually meet the town’s police force, and the boy’s family, before the story unfolds, taking in the complex relationships of small towns and growing families. As different townspeople come under suspicion, long kept secrets come to the surface, with dramatic consequences. It’s a drama not to be missed.

Finally!  Broadchurch has a USA broadcast date of 7 August 2013. It was shown on BBC America.  If you struggle to understand English and Scottish accents, then Fox remade the series as Gracepoint, you could opt for that instead, but it’s unlikely to be as good.

Broadchurch features some of the best character actors working in England at the moment, and they work together splendidly to produce a fantastic ensemble performance. Alongside the lead actor David Tennant is the versatile and capable Olivia Colman. Colman showed her capacity for understated comic action in the BBC’s Olympic comedy TwentyTwelve, and for edge-of-the-seat suspense in the 2011 movie Tyrannosaur. She showed great sensitivity in her portrayal of Carol Thatcher in the hit movie Iron Lady with Meryl Streep. In Broadchurch she quickly commands the screen, becoming central to every scene she’s in, without seemingly even trying. It’s well worth looking out for other Olivia Colman performances, as she looks set to pick up a hatful of awards for Broadchurch.

Jodie Whittaker takes on the role of Danny’s mother, Beth Latimer, a woman who loses her son, and quickly finds her life unraveling. Andrew Buchan plays her husband, and fits so smoothly into the character it’s hard to remember him from his lead role in Garrow’s Law.

Fans of Dr Who tuning in for David Tennant will be pleasantly surprised to spot Arthur Darvill as the town’s vicar, looking very much like Rory has had a change of career. Harry Potter aficionados will recognize David Bradley (Argus Filch), masterfully portraying the elderly newsagent with a disturbing past.

Kudos TV

More From The Cast

David Tennant takes on Hamlet (2009) and updates it for the 21st Century. Elsinore is fitted with security cameras and Hamlet talks to them, putting you in the play.

Olivia Colman shines in the outstanding thriller Tyrannosaur. It starts out steadily as we come to know her character as a timid wife to a bullying and overbearing husband. Her kindnesses to others are often spurned, but then things start to unravel. A disturbing tale of what happens behind closed doors.

Although Meryl Streep stars as Lady Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Olivia Colman shines as her daughter Carol Thatcher.

Where Is Broadchurch?

Broadchurch is a fictional town in West Dorset on the Jurassic Coast in Southern England. The beach and cliff which appear in the show are at West Bay, close to Lyme Regis in Dorset. Real life Dorset is popular with holidaymakers and makes for a beautiful rural setting. Holiday home owners in Lyme Regis and West Bay have already seen bookings sky rocket for the summer, as the Broadchurch film makers worked hard to create an idyllic look for the town, despite the subject matter.

However, the majority of filming took place seventy miles further West. The interior studio shots were filmed in Bristol, and for the High Street and local businesses Clevedon in North Somerset stepped in to become Broadchurch.

Chris Chibnall

Who Wrote Broadchurch?

Broadchurch was written by British drama writer Chris Chibnall. Unusually for a major drama series, he wrote the script for the first episode without a commission. It was something he wanted to do, so he scoped out the story on a whiteboard, and wrote a full one hour show before taking his work along to ITV in the hope of finding a willing buyer.

It would be nice to think that this non-traditional approach to getting a show on air would be a great inspiration to new writers everywhere, but Chris Chibnall is no rookie writer. He has writing credits for the ‘back in time’ British policing series Life On Mars, Law and Order: UK, and Dr Who, but was perhaps best known for his work as Head Writer on the Dr Who spin off show Torchwood.

Broadchurch Season Two?

Broadchurch will be back soon.  ITV have been tempting us with little teasers of #theendiswhereit begins during the Downton Abbey commercial breaks (there’s certainly plenty of those).  The most likely UK release is in early 2015.

Here’s the first in a series of three trailers.  Trailer two has appeared and it makes it a little clearer that it’s Broadchurch we should be getting excited about, but trailer three hasn’t yet hit the airwaves, or more specifically, YouTube as I’m sure I could easily miss an advert on TV.

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