(Ep.1) The trailer for Broadchurch really tells you most of what you need to know. David Tennant is in it and he’s looking haunted. Olivia Colman cries a lot. It’s about the murder of a young boy. It’s set by the sea and the sun is shining, but the town is full of secrets. There’s a cast of shadowy characters who will no doubt come to prominence as the series goes on (there are eight episodes) – the local reporter; the out of town reporter; the boy’s employer the grumpy newsagent; Olivia Colman’s son, the murdered boy’s friend, whose second reaction to the news of his friend’s death (the first was tears) was to delete every text and computer file relating to him; the young vicar; Pauline Quirke, who lives in a cliff-top caravan and hasn’t spoken yet but has been an onlooker.
It’s partly standard police procedural, but in the opening episode there were touches that lifted it above the standard. The presence of Tennant obviously gives it dramatic weight, but I was most impressed by Olivia Colman. As the local cop on the case and knowing the dead boy’s family personally, she’s heavily emotionally involved from the outset and Olivia Colman is totally real – she looks soaked in tears and grief, and it must have been a completely gruelling part to play.
Some of it was a wee bit obvious, like the boy’s dad’s progress through the town in the sunny morning before the murder was discovered, with a friendly word for every person he came across. We get it, it’s a friendly, tight-knit community. There were also some amazingly powerful scenes, such as when the boy’s mother was stuck in traffic and realised that the cause of the jam was that a body had been found at the beach. Already worried because her son hadn’t turned up for school, she left her car and set off running towards the beach in blind panic. I should think every parent in the country could relate to exactly how she was feeling. I bet more than one person went to check that junior was safe and snug in bed after watching this.
Posted by PLA