I, like many, thought that there was simply no way in which Broadchurch’s return could match the dizzy heights of series one. The pressure seemed to be too much. But I’m pleased to say that the first episode of the new run hints at positive things all ‘round.
A new case (well, kinda – it’s really an old case, but we’ll get to that shortly) is interwoven throughout the existing one in an interesting and exciting way. I have a feeling that, as the weeks pass, some connection between the Joe Miller case and the Lee Ashworth case will arise, otherwise why make them so pertinent together?
So, the mystery of series two has now been revealed, and thankfully another child hasn’t been murdered in Broadchurch. No, the story surrounds the unanswered Sandbrook case that Alec Hardy (David Tennant) was working on prior to his moving to Broadchurch. It appears as though we’ll finally be getting answers about why that case collapsed, as Alec’s true presence in Broadchurch is revealed – he’s helping to hide the chief witness from her accused husband. But the husband is back…
Stunning performances course throughout this episode, but that was always a given. Olivia Colman, once more, is simply sensational, not least during her counselling session. Colman has publicly stated that in series two she’ll spend less time crying, but that doesn’t seem to be the case thus far. She positively bawls throughout this episode, though given how mesmerising a performance she gives, I could quite happily watch her read the phone book. Like series one, give her every award going already!
Tennant, too, is breathtaking to watch, though his performance is more sensitised than Colman’s – the bumbling awkwardness of Hardy is enthralling to watch, as is the enticing trepidation of his final glare at Lee. This series is very much going to be about the emotions of our two leads, and that is possibly the best way Broadchurch could return.
Hardy will be leaden in guilt from his previous case, and Miller will be full of remorse over not realising her husband killed Danny Lattimer. After all, she said in her counselling session that she felt guilty over that.
But Colman and Tennant work exceptionally well together. Their on-screen chemistry is akin to Tennant’s with Catherine Tate in Doctor Who – it is just something that I can sit and watch all day without growing tired. I loved the attempted hug scene in the toilets. I hope we see them grow closer (though not romantically) this series, now that he’s openly admitted how much he needs her help on this case.
Ellie Miller is very much Claire Ripley – both are the wives of the accused. Though, saying that, I have a feeling Claire knows more than she’s letting on… Eve Myles is an accomplished actress, so I have faith that she’ll give this role the justice it needs.
To be honest, I was quite surprised to see Tom Miller return. I thought they would gloss nicely over the Lattimer case and instead focus solely upon the new case. I’m pleased I was wrong – this will be the perfect way to link in all of the characters we’ve come to know and love (well, not all of them … there’s some dodgy people in Broadchurch) with the new case.
The jury (pun intended, thank you) is out on the rest of the new characters for now, though I am sure to enjoy the animosity between Jocelyn Knight and Sharon Bishop. As a side note, did anyone else notice that Jocelyn’s home was the same one Danny argued with the postman near? Maybe Jocelyn knows more about the Lattimer case than the viewers, though given that Tom admitted his guilt last series I don’t see how much more there is to learn.
Speaking of Tom, he pleaded not guilty here. You just knew he was going to do so, but it was still sickening to watch. There is just no way he can get off! Hardy cannot fail two families – I refuse to believe it. His refusal at admission gave way to brilliant performances from the Lattimer family as Jodie Whittaker once more gave a sublime show. The emotion of her character is very believable. And Mark is once more distancing himself from his family, and playing video games with Ellie’s son Tom. Their relationship is (hopefully) platonic but the townspeople will not regard it as such if and when it comes to light. It too similarly mirrors that of Tom and Danny. I’ve a feeling that Mark is simply trying to recreate the father-son relationship he had with Danny and make amends for their falling out before Danny’s murder, but I sincerely hope it doesn’t become twisted or perverted. I have faith that Chris Chibnall won’t make it so – after all he fed us false information last series to make us think that David Bradley’s Jack Marshall was the killer, when really he was misunderstood (in this case, anyway).
I am pleased to say that the return of Broadchurch has more than lived up to the hype. The magic of series one has continued into the new series, without undermining what came before. It’s sure to be another twisting course of questions and answers over the coming weeks as more and more of the residents of Broadchurch become involved in the Sandbrook case. I positively cannot wait.