Broadchurch season 2 has managed to turn off 2 million fans just four episodes in. Last night's episode drew 5.6 million viewers, 100,000 down from last week and a huge decrease from the 7.6 million that ITV pulled in for its opener.

Broadchurch season 2Olivia Colman [L] and David Tennant [R] star in Broadchurch season 2, which has been criticised in the press

After the critically acclaimed first season, season 2 has been derided by fans - particularly on Twitter - for its hammy dialogue and bizarre plot lines. In recent weeks, mother Beth Latimer, played by Jodie Whittaker, was ridiculed when she returned to court to give evidence just minutes after giving birth. Elsewhere, both prosecution and defence teams in what would surely be deemed a high profile murder trials, appear to have hired bumbling clueless assistants who seemingly have no grasp on the law.

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"I've tried to keep faith with Chris Chibnall's thriller, but with every week it gets (a lot) worse," wrote Vicky Frost of The Guardian, "At least half of episode four felt like it was pure exposition, with the remaining minutes filled with cursory reminders of what an emotional ordeal the trial had been and a few curveball witnesses. Even the reappearance of Vince the dog and another scene underlining that the way into a woman's knickers is via the chip shop couldn't cheer me up."

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"This week, Chibnall finally gave Sandbrook his full attention, and it turned out all that was required to make this B-plot A-grade was for us to go there," said Benji Wilson of The Telegraph, "The journey that Miller (Olivia Colman) and Hardy (David Tennant) made to Sandbrook was the most powerful scene of the episode."

Still, despite its drop in viewers, Broadchurch won its time slot for the first time with episode 4, beating the BBC's Silent Witness. 

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