The dark crime drama hits US shores via BBC America. Why was there so much hype upon its UK airing?
It was the show everyone in the UK was talking about last Spring; that rare television event that your dad, your aunt, your sister, your boss is watching and constantly trying to work out the plot riddles in front of you. Broadchurch is about to make waves in the USA, having had strong ratings earlier this year and receiving critical praise.
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The eight episode series isn't one that's going to draw you in for months of twists and turns but the eight hour-long segments of the story pack enough drama, tension and twists to enthral its audience long after the final episode has aired. You could say that Broadchurch, filmed on the rugged, windswept and perpetually overcast southern English coast, fits comfortably genre-wise next to other bleak, dialogue-sparse and slow-moving whodunnits such as The Killing or Top of the Lake.
Olivia Colman Plays Broadchurch's Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller.
The show's writer Chris Chibnall, who is responsible for Doctor Who episodes and Law & Order: UK, lends the consistency and avoidance of cliché that really makes the concept work outside of its intriguing plotline. David Tennant, the former Doctor Who, plays Alec Hardy who moves to the seaside town of Broadchurch for a slowdown in pace required by his health problem.
Olivia Colman, famed for her comedy appearances in programmes such as Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look, plays local detective Ellie Miller: a police sergeant with her own issues who works with Hardy to try to solve the case of her friend Beth Latimer's (Jodie Whittaker) child found dead on the beach.
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The LA Times describes the show's narrative as a "solid, Agatha Christie- or Dorothy Sayers-like mystery plot that proceeds at a deliberate pace through a cloud of plausible suspects with a minimum of confusion." Whereas The Huffington Post remarks that the show is "effective" in its "why" mystery, as opposed to the "who" as the plot unfolds, adding "Creator Chris Chibnall has done an exceptional job of depicting the ways in which one awful act can ripple outward through an entire community and destabilize families, marriages and friendships."
Watch The Broadchurch Trailer:
Another nod comes from USA Today, noting that what makes Broadchurch so "compelling" and "heart-wrenching" are the complexities and personal aspects of the storyline.
With a second season currently being made, Broadchurch is aired on BBC America, Wednesday nights at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.