The third series sees David Tennant's Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman's Ellie Miller working together to identify a rapist who attacked a woman in the tight knit community. The woman, Trish Winterman is played by former Coronation Street and Happy Valley star Julie Hesmondhalgh. At a recent screening for journalists Hesmondhalgh said she was drawn to the part for a number of reasons but was particularly impressed at the way the script cast an “ordinary middle aged woman” as a rape victim. “That for me is an interesting take on it,” she said. "This isn't an act of sexual desire it is an act of violence."
Writer Chris Chibnall, who insisted this had always been vision for the show's final outing said that he believed Broadchurch was a “good forum to be telling this story” explaining that the drama has always concerned itself with the emotional impact of serious crime on ordinary people and saying that he had always intended for his show to be a trilogy.
You may remember the final episode of the second series saw Tennant's Alec Hardy leave Broadchurch but he returns for this final series and was keen the show didn't repeat the story that had made it such a hit. "Chris told us quite early on that that was his intention [to do the rape storyline] and it made sense that there couldn’t be another body on another beach. That wouldn’t have had the kind of truthfulness you expect from this series.”
The eight-part series sees a host of new faces join the cast. From Lenny Henry, Charlie Higson and Sarah Parish. More familiar faces from Broadchurch also returning include Arthur Darvill as Vicar Paul Coates, Andrew Buchan as Mark Latimer and Jodie Whittaker as Beth Latimer. Whittaker will play a key role in this final series.